Sunday, May 17, 2009

Itchy Buns

Of all my children, my almost 6-year-old daughter is the most high-maintenance when it comes to sleeping (luckily, I have extremely low-maintenance sleepers, so comparatively, it only SEEMS extreme). She has to have her blanket (this humongous, gosh-awful pink and purple princess nightmare) and ONLY her blanket covering her whole body, with the fuzzy side up and if it's cold, any additional covers need to cover her in a certain way. Then she needs to be tucked in like a burrito. After kisses, hugs, arm rubs, singing American Pie, nightlight, music on and door cracked just the right amount, oh, and more hugs, she's so exhausted she falls asleep right away. Whew!

Not uncommon demands for young children, no?

But when she wakes up during the night, this maintenance takes an unusual turn.

She's not one to wake up wanting water or because she had a bad dream. She awakes and starts screaming for Mommy. SCREAMING. Groggy and usually a little perturbed at her proclivity for hysterics, I stagger down the hall only to find that...she wants to snuggle. Or she wants her arm rubbed. Or she demands to know what we're having for breakfast. Or she has dry skin. Or her nose hurts when she pushes on it. Or her lips are chapped. Or she can't stop yawning (?). Or that her blanket has fallen out of her bed.

Really??

The latest? Itchy buns. Her backside.

Her buns.

It's the dry skin thing again, taking on a life of its own in the latest of her midnight afflictions.

Last night she called for me again. Not one to jump up and run down the hall at the first holler, I ignored it. Quiet. I must have fallen back to sleep. Suddenly, I awake with a start to find her looming over my head. In the dim glow of the 100 or so nightlights upstairs, I see her wild-haired silhouette.

Her: "My bottom itches." In her famous pre-hysterics whine.

Me: trying to comprehend what she's just said, "What?"

Her: whining more loudly, "My bot-tom ITCHES." You dummy.

I see that she's got her hands down the back of her pants, sleepily scratching her backside as hysteria starts twisting her facial features.

This has been going on for about a month now. Usually, I traipse back to my bedroom, rummage in the medicine cabinet for the Eucerin, traipse back to her room, apply the Eucerin, arrange her blanket and various and sundry other covers, and traipse back to my room to drop back into bed, usually with an exasperated sigh.

Tonight, I'm ready.

Me: "OK. Turn around."

Total confusion ensues (hers) as lickety split, I spin her around, dip into the cream, rub my hands together, and apply to the offending backside. Pat her gently, smile and say "There. Better?"

Her: "What just happened?"

Me: "You'll feel better in a minute. Now go to sleep."

Motherhood truly is a learning experience. And with any luck, she'll remember these times and be inspired and amazed by my maternal efficiency.

Or so I can dream.

But only if I can stop the buns from itching so I can actually get some sleep.

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