The things that stopped me...I would love to say sanity, or love for my child, or my commitment to not use violence as a means to and end (I do not consider the way we spank to be violence, it is brief pain for the purpose of instruction), or something that would make me sound a little less like a psychopath...but seriously, the things that stopped me were the fact that I probably would feel bad as soon as he started crying, and then it would prolong the nap-time battle, and that even if I were successful in knocking him out just enough for him to fall asleep without dying, it would not be a good long-term plan for successful napping. The pragmatist in me stopped me from fulfilling my angry fantasies (well, okay, and probably the fact that I really am still sane, and that he is only 27 months old, and that he can feel the unsettledness of Andrew being home most of the day and the talk of moving and packing and not seeing people he has grown quite attached to seeing, and I think he is somehow afraid of falling asleep and having things change on him).
Still, it is somewhat infuriating to have 60 minutes of the 90 minutes I get "to myself" during the day spent holding a door closed listening to a screaming overtired boy and waiting for the 2, then 3, then 4, then 5, etc. minutes to go by before going in and calmly placing him back in bed and leaving again. There are dishes to be cleaned, things to be put away, laundry to do (this is the "to myself" time aforementioned), then hopes of afternoon plans, wishes of time to sit and read or write or make Christmas cards.
These are the kinds of days that face me so directly into the truth of my nature. It is easy to be kind and patient and loving and serving when things are going as planned and my children and husband are being easy to love. Where is the accomplishment in that? It is when I really start to feel inconvenienced, it is then that it is so much harder to be loving and patient and kind and self-less. This is where I see my ugly self rear my head proclaiming that I think that me and my needs are more important than my child's need (for a calm, loving, firm, and reliable mother). Then there is the ridiculousness of thinking that getting angry or physical with A TWO YEAR OLD is going to somehow show him that I feel really put out and do not want to take it anymore. As if it were personal or something.
Yes, I know, I actually need time to myself worked into our schedule and habit. Yes, my husband and I need more than 1 date a year. Yes, I need a lock on the door so that I can walk away and do something else while he screams (though that would require a door that actually latched shut, and we are renters and leaving in 3 weeks anyway). Yes, I know that this would not have even been such a big deal if it was not the fifth day in a row that I have had to do this. Yes, I know that I have now spent the last 30 minutes to myself blogging, but this is my place to vent and process. Yes, I know lots of things that could help reduce these kinds of days from occurring, but that does not change it for today, for this moment. We often do not know how important certain changes are until we are under too much stress.
Obviously, I did not hurt him, and, of course, I did not actually want to. I was loving, and calm, and firm, and reliable. He was never in danger. I was mad, and I was stressed, and I was feeling like my need for him to get over this weird sleep issue was more important that just about everything else. I was thinking "I hate my life!" when really, I just did not like that hour of my life. I let myself get caught up in thinking that some temporary circumstance was going to last forever.
Why do I post this? It is certainly not a pretty moment to share. It is because I find it most helpful to be honest about the difficult moments of what I am committed to (being a good parent), and because, perhaps, my experiences will help others who are also dealing with this and might think they are the only ones who get a little crazy sometimes.