Dulcie keeps surprising me lately with how much of a big girl she appears.
Here she is, looking very grown up while she watches TV, wearing the dress I made her a while back. I had to wrestle her into it for some reason, probably because every task these days involves wrestling, but once it was on, nobody could deny how good she looked, not even Dulcie herself. It fits her much better now than it did a few months back.
But really, she's still only little, I know. I have to keep reminding myself of this fact in an attempt to keep myself sane. Much of the time, she is the absolute epitome of a stereotypical terrible two-year-old. The crying. Oh, my god, THE CRYING. She will scream about absolutely anything and everything, mostly about me not giving her enough attention or making her do one thing when she wants to be doing something else. And you can guarantee she never wants to do anything we actually need to do - going to the toilet, eating meals, going to nursery, sleeping, getting dressed, visiting the supermarket... And when you picture her crying, don't think of a stifled sniffle as a solitary tear trickles down her peachy cheek, it's more of a glass-shattering, eardrum-bursting scream, a red face and flailing limbs. Once the screaming abates, she'll sometimes say something horrendous like, "I'm sad because of you, Mummy."
After a mammoth decorating marathon (helped massively by my parents on their recent visit) Dulcie finally moved into her own bedroom this weekend. The room is lovely. Dulcie still whispers, "Wow!" every time she walks in and gives actual guided tours to her soft toys. She thinks having her own bedroom is the best thing ever. But sleeping in it? Hell, no! After spending ages fighting with me about whether or not it can be night-time when it's still light outside (every night - aargh!) her real gripe is that she does not want to be left alone. She begs and pleads with me not to leave her and will only stay in bed long enough to go to sleep if I am close enough to her so that she can actually hold onto me, usually by my hair. Ouch. Once she's asleep, I sneak out of the room. This is the unhealthy manner in which I've been getting Dulcie to go to sleep for ages. The thing is, while she was forced into a sharing a room with us, I would be back by her side by the time she woke up sometime between midnight and dawn. All I would have to do to get her back to sleep would be to reach out my arm and let her know I was there, I hardly even had to wake up myself. Now that we're in separate rooms, she wakes up on her own and sets up a blood-curdling and hysterical-sounding screaming session. She keeps it up until I get out of bed, go to her room, tuck her back in and sit by her side while she falls asleep again, definitely not something I can do in my sleep. Last night she woke me up at 2.30. And 3.00. And 3.30. And 3.45. And 4.30. And 5. Basically, I was awake from 2.30 to 6.15...and my alarm was set for 6.30! Ugh! (Yes, I really did go back to sleep for those 15 minutes...and loved every one of them!) Graham tried to do his bit and went through a few times too, tucked her in, sang to her, even tried to reason with her, but this just made her more hysterical still and meant it took even longer for me to settle her back down afterwards. It's nice to be wanted and all, but I need to sleep. Our new king-size bed is proving to be super comfortable and spacious and it's so frustrating that I'm not reaping the benefits of that.
Dulcie was actually pretty sweet in amongst the hellish frustration and exhaustion last night. I think it was around 4.30 when I finally succumbed to silent tears. Dulcie, stroking my face, realised I was crying and said, "I want to make you happy, Mummy." I honestly didn't have to work too hard to resist the urge to shout, "THEN GO BACK TO SLEEP ON YOUR OWN, YOU EFFING BLIGHTER!" Ha! No, really, I was still sitting watching her sleep and marvelling at how bloomin' beautiful she looked by 5am. (What can I say? I'm truly besotted.) But something's got to give. Even Dulcie herself was suffering as a result, looking pasty-faced and exhausted when she had to get up for nursery this morning. And every day she promises that tonight will be the night she settles herself and every evening she goes back on her word and I'm left asking yet again, "What would Supernanny do?" and thinking that her solutions just wouldn't work for us, but obviously everything I'm doing is not working either. At least doing things my way, the neighbours aren't disturbed for quite so long, right?
I feel like such a crap mum. And a tired one :(