Toddler Sleep Inertia, Part Two
The toddler arrived at home screaming today.
He'd fallen asleep in the car on the drive from his grandma's house, and woke up disoriented and miserable. I could hear him wailing before I even walked in the door. He'd sequestered himself in our bedroom, and was thrashing around like a younger version of Linda Blair.
I sat down at the kitchen table and rocked the baby until the toddler's wails subsided. Then he called for me. I curled up next to him in bed and rubbed his back for a few minutes; offered to tell him a story.
"No stories? But it's almost Toddler Roo's birthday! He's going to bring Spider-Man cupcakes to his class. Everyone's so excited."
"No stories. I just want to play the iPad."
He pulled up JobyJoby Fire Station and set to work rescuing a kitten from a tree.
I wrote about toddler sleep inertia in August, and how excruciating it was for me back them. I was confused by his screaming, distraught that I couldn't help him, panicked that he might be having a panic attack.
Maybe I've gotten over these fears since then, or maybe I've just gotten far enough away from postpartum hormonal fluctuations to not crumble under the weight of my toddler's cries. I only know that it felt good to be there for him, when he finally decided he wanted my company, and not lost inside my own anxiety.