Sweet Dreams ’til Sunbeams Find You . . . or Your Daughter Wakes You Up

You know that moment you’ve been looking forward to since you first woke up in the morning?  That moment when you finally crawl into bed and relax under your covers after a long day?  When your head hits the pillow and you prepare to surrender yourself to sweet sleepy bliss?  When every muscle in your body starts to give in, and your breathing gets deeper, deeper, and your eyelids get heavier, heavier . . .

Yeah.  That’s the exact moment that my daughter Ell-Bell wakes up screaming.  Every. single. night.  And it doesn’t even matter what time I go to bed.  She manages to pull it off whether it’s 10 p.m., midnight, or anywhere in between.  What on Earth did I ever do to her?

Am I embarrassed that my 15-month-old is still not sleeping through the night?  You betcha.  Do I feel guilty that I’m still nursing that sweet little demon back to sleep because it’s all I can do?  100%.  Is the end in sight?  God I hope so.

I remember with K-Man, we were sheepishly admitting to the pediatrician that he was still waking up in the night at his 18-month check-up.  But then a few weeks later, he miraculously started sleeping through.  And it was everything.  (Well, it was everything for four months, and then we had another baby.  That was dumb.)

So maybe my life is about to get a whole lot better?  I can do this for three more months, right?

Until next time,

Vee

Nap Time, I Hardly Knew Ya

Mr. K-Man, my son.  He’s never been a sleeper.  He’s been hard to put down, always.  Late to bed.  Early to rise.  Waking up in the middle of the night.  Short naps.  And now, I fear, we are at the end of our nap time journey altogether.  You guys, he’s not even 3 yet.  *Insert bawling emoji*

To be fair, I’ve thought K-Man was giving up his nap every few months since he was probably one-and-a-half.  I like to cry wolf.  But sadly, I really think this time it’s for real.  In the past, after a week or two of nap resistance hell, everything would go back to normal. This time it’s been going on for months.  Months.

Things went downhill for us when we started potty training.  When K-Man learned that he could use the potty as an excuse to get out of bed, his ability to fall asleep at nap time or bed time took a nose dive.  We’re talking hours between the official start of sleep time and when he would actually fall asleep.  Every time I would reach the door to leave him alone in his room, he would call out goofily from the bed, “I. Need. to. Peeeeeee.”  Ugghhhhh.

Since it’s been months, though, I don’t think I can chalk this one up to a potty training-induced sleep regression.  I don’t think it’s going to get better, and we’re stuck in a miserable vicious cycle.  I spend an hour getting him down for nap, all so he can take a (late) 1.5 hour nap.  Hardly worth it.  And then I spend 1-2 hours getting him down for bedtime.  He’s not tired because he took that piddly little nap earlier, you see.

So lately we’ve been skipping naps here and there.  And by “skipping naps” I mean he’s been refusing to nap.  Last week, he napped on Monday.  And on Monday night he was a total butthead to put down to sleep at bedtime.  On Tuesday-Friday, no nap, and bedtime was a dream.  On Saturday, daddy insisted on a nap.  And then later, you guys, K-Man refused to go to sleep until 11:30 at night. 11-freaking-30!  That’s 3 hours later than normal.  That’s after I go to sleep!

So I think I’m done trying.  Because it’s exhausting.  But there’s still a little nagging voice in the back of my head wondering if K-Man is really ready.  He’s not exactly a peach in the evening on the days he doesn’t nap.  I mean, some days he’s great.  But other days he’s rage crying because I won’t let him have a donut before dinner.  Or smashing his baby sister’s face into the floor.  No bueno.

Mostly, I just feel sorry for myself.  And unlucky.  According to this highly scientific Baby Center article, more than 50% of kids are still day napping at age 4.  And 3 in 10 kids continue to nap past the age of 5.  What the fuck?  What the hell kind of sleep gods did I piss off that I’m getting cheated out of YEARS of nap time bliss? I’d like to meet the parents of these kids who are still snoozing happily in freaking kindergarten.  I’d like to shake their hands.  Or you know, punch them in the face a little bit.  Whatevs.

Until next time,

Vee

I Want Sleep Parity and I Want It Now!

If you have small kids, how do you and your Sig O share the load when it comes to night time and early morning wakings?

For Hubby and me, it has never been even a little bit close to equal.  If one of the kids wakes during the night or before we’re up in the morning, I’m the default caretaker. This drives me nuts.  I know it’s not healthy to keep score, but it’s kind of hard not to when I’m basically batting one thousand.

Biology is part of the problem.  I breastfed both kids and so the assumption is that they are waking to eat, and I’m the food.  I’d be curious to know, though, what the division of labor is for families where there is not a breastfeeding parent.  Is it any more equal?  And, needless to say, it’s not like Hubby started taking half the K-Man wakings when I weaned him.

Another count against biology: I’m apparently wired to wake up to the sounds of baby cries, and Hubby is not.  Or at least that’s what he would like me to believe.  I’m not entirely convinced he hasn’t been pretending to be asleep all this time.  Either way, unless I roll over and physically wake him up to help out, I’m on my own.  It is exhausting — and feels selfish — to have to always beg him to do his share.

To be fair, Hubby’s work schedule makes it impossible for him to wake up with the kids most days.  That’s because on the days that he works, he’s usually leaving the house before they even get up.  (And this is the part where you lose all sympathy for me, right?  But the petty part of me has to point out that when I was working and Hubby was in school, I was still always the one getting up with K-Man, even on the weekends.)

I’m not asking for anything unreasonable.  Here’s what I want: on the days that Hubby gets off, I want an even split between who gets to sleep in.  And I don’t want to have to remind him or ask for it.  I want it to be the default.

These days, if I want the chance to sleep in, we have to discuss it the night before.  I have to make an appointment.  And sometimes, come morning, Hubby doesn’t honor the appointment.  Nothing makes me more grumpy than waking up with the kids when I was led to believe I was going to get an extra hour of glorious sleep.

Last week, Hubby randomly had three mornings off in a row.  Great, I thought, I’ll get to sleep in at least once this week!  We didn’t discuss anything before the first morning off, so Hubby slept in.  I was fine with that, he works hard and deserves his time off.  That night, though, we talked and Hubby volunteered that he would let me sleep in on the second morning.  However, when Ell-Bell woke for the day with her cranky cries, Hubby opened his eyes for a few seconds, rolled over, and went back to sleep.  After I gave him a thorough reaming when he finally did get up, Hubby promised I could sleep in on the third morning.  Well, needless to say, Ell-Bell woke up on Day 3 and Hubby wasn’t budging.  So I passive-aggressively brought her in to bed with us.  She grunted and screeched, but Hubby still snored on.  Finally, I swore loudly and stormed out of bed.  Hubby woke for a few seconds to ask “What’s wrong?” but he didn’t follow up when I didn’t answer and left the room.  I came back up a few minutes later to get K-Man’s monitor, and Hubby was like, “leave it, I got him.”  Seething, I told him it didn’t fucking matter and stomped away.  Another five minutes later, I heard Hubby coming down the stairs, and I instantly felt regret and guilt.  Why am I such a monster about this stuff?  Why can’t I just act like an adult and calmly resolve these issues with my Hubby? Halp!

So yeah, I have some work to do on coming to terms with my current sleep situation.  You know what else would solve this problem, though?  Kids who don’t wake up in the middle of the night!  And kids who don’t wake up at the butt crack of dawn!  Little turds.

Until next time,

Vee

#NaBloPoMo Day 13: Eleven, Twelve, Fourteen

It’s the 13th of the month, so today’s NaBloPoMo theme is Superstition. Peek back at yesterday’s post for a cute photo of Ell-Bell doing some chores.

Are you superstitious? I think my son K-man might be. When he counts to twenty, he almost always skips the number thirteen. It’s probably because his two-year-old brain can’t distinguish between the words thirteen and fourteen, but still, cute.

I’ve never been an overly superstitious person.  One superstition I think all moms subscribe to, though, is that you should never ever EVER vocalize when things are going well with your kid.  It’s a classic rookie mistake. Because the moment you admit that things are going well, the literal moment, they take a turn for the worse. Sometimes it’s a full 180. Ugh. Kids are so spiteful.

And this is true in every facet of parenthood. Behavioral issues. Eating. Potty training. And of course, sleep.  Mother effing sleep. Aka the joy killer. Aka optimism’s kryptonite.  If you’re a masochist, if you really truly hate yourself, go ahead and roll over in bed one night and tell your partner that you think your child is finally sleeping better.  Go ahead, I dare you.  I guarantee you that same child will wake up crying within five minutes. And then again every hour for the rest of the night.  You done messed up.

Honestly, there’s no safe way to acknowledge a trend of sleep improvement. Ell-Bell has had some major sleep issues for the past, oh, five months or so. Multiple night wakings, every night. But lately, it seemed like we were turning over a new leaf. Gosh, a few nights in a row she didn’t even wake up for the first time until about 4 a.m! Pure heaven.

Since I’m talking in the past tense, you already know I messed it up somehow.  But if you think I’m naive enough to have uttered a word about my giddiness to another living soul, you’re not giving me enough credit.  This isn’t my first rodeo! I wouldn’t even meet Hubby’s eyes when he asked me in the mornings how things went the night before. I just gave him the usual old miserable grunt.  So here’s where I went wrong.  I dared to think about it.  How could I have been so stupid?  Obviously the sleep gods can read minds, too!

Guess I need to bone up on my occlumency, just in case my daughter ever starts sleeping through the night.

Until next time,

Vee