Nap laps, tantrums and stepping in poo

Dexter is having kind of a tough week.

On Tuesday, I woke him early from his nap to get to a midwife appointment on time. It’s been cold and wet lately, but that afternoon was sunny and cool so we played in the front garden a bit before heading inside. It was all fun and games until he tried to step down a concrete step onto our driveway, slipped and fell.

That’s when I realized the bottoms of his shoes were coated with poo, about an inch thick.

Dex would like to show you this big leaf he found, in happier times, before he stepped into a poo trap.

Whatever bastard let his dog go in our yard really had to work at it. There’s a retaining wall and Dex didn’t even go near the road, so to make that pile, the mystery pooper both had to climb, and had to walk in deep. I want to believe it was a stray, because I really don’t want reality to be that someone would put that much effort to drop a poo bomb deep into our yard territory.

Dex was not injured, but he reeked. We had to leave his shoes outside and drop his trousers at the door and the whole thing was weird and kind of upsetting.

Wednesday afternoon I had a job interview (once I can discuss it publicly, I’ll have to write about what it’s like to interview for jobs while eye-poppingly pregnant), so for the first time since we’ve been here, neither of his parents woke Dex up from his nap. The sitter said he was yelling “Mommy!” as he does, when his bedroom door opens, and then when Dex saw her, he froze and cocked his head to the side, inquisitively. He took it in stride but it was another snag in the routine.

I had another interview this morning. I left first and Matt did the sitter hand-off. I don’t know if Dex sensed something off in the air or if he’s just had enough this week, but he cried steadily almost all morning, which was not like him. I almost missed my train. The sitter brought a 3-year-old she cares for over to play, which we’ve done before and which Dex loves. They partied all morning, and then Dexter was excited to see me when I got home, and then he was crushed and sad when they left. It was not an easy transition to nap. He cried more than he has in ages and refused his milk – all very unusual.

And then.

I finally calmed him down. He was clearly tired. He sleepily drank his milk, and we snuggled under his blankets. I know I talk all the time about how Dexter not a snuggler, but here it is again: him relaxing in my arms like that is so, so rare. We stick to the bedtime and nap routines and put him down alone in his bed because that’s how he sleeps the best. The last time I remember him napping in my arms was right after we announced our move to London, more than six months ago.

I miss it so much my heart aches, but I know it’s best for him to sleep alone. That sentence is a perfect description of parenting.

June 25, 2016: Last photographic evidence of a Dexter lap nap.

Today I decided, curled in the yellow chair in his nursery, still dressed in my professional outfit and sweltering under a toddler and two blankets, that if he dozed, I wasn’t moving. It might be my last chance to hold my sweet, sleeping baby.

But Dexter is Dexter, and he couldn’t quite drop off. So I put him in his crib, where he immediately fell asleep, and crept downstairs to fold laundry.

And write this and cry a little.

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