Tuesday was date night, and we got home happy and beer-buzzed after kid bedtime. We sent home the sitter, watched a little TV then hit the sack.
Then about midnight, I heard Annie yelping from the kid room. Usually these days this means she needs a bathroom trip or has already “had an accident.” I staggered in hoping for the former but getting the latter, and geared up for hazmat duty.
I got her stripped down, which was distressing because she was worried that her socks were going to get wet. This was all that was required to plant the seed of emotional destabilization as I sent her off to the potty while I started tossing soiled bedclothes in the washing machine. My goal was to get her back in bed without rousing Paul or Mom.
Alas, I couldn’t find any clean crib sheets. I woke Leslie looking for them and we realized that, because of a string of earlier accidents, we had none. I dug out a king-size sheet from our bed. As I was wiping down the mattress, Annie went into full oppositional meltdown and screamingly refused to let Leslie apply any clean clothes to her because all options had critical defects, like a bow or button or something.
Near her snapping point, Mom bugged out and I did a half-ass job of wrapping this huge sheet around the crib mattress. Tapping into my deepest well of patience and sympathy, I convinced Annie to put on a dress and lifted her into bed. I asked if she was okay. Teary-eyed but calming down, she requested a bandaid for an imagined injury.
I made a trip back to our bedroom to get one, and was just settling her under her “covers” (a beach towel), when from across the room a plaintive cry rose from Paul:
“Wheres my bandaid?”