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To sleep, perchance to shut the f!@k up

20 Jan

Here’s what I don’t get.

Why don’t babies just sleep?

They’re little, they’re clearly tired, it’s not like they have a to-do list to check off before they turn in for the night so for fuck’s sake, why can’t they just lie down and nod off?

When I brought home newborn LD, I was shocked to discover that babies often need to be ‘taught’ how to sleep. What? Newborns are pretty much perpetually ready for a nap, their tiny bodies worn out after half an hour of blinking so I can’t fathom why it should be so hard. Even if they didn’t want to sleep, shouldn’t sleep just overtake them anyway? Why do they even get a say in the matter?

And toddlers. What’s up with those little siesta-haters? Sure, I read the books and I understand that the very act of being alive is thrilling in the extreme to little people and this leads to an active resistance to sleeping. But again, when they started the day at 5.30am and have been tear-arsing around for hours without pause, their eyes rimmed with red from the constant rubbing, wouldn’t it just be lovely to have a little lie down?

At this point, if someone demanded I have a nap, I would assume I had gone to heaven. And that’s without the parade of enticements like warm milk and bum pats, forehead stroking and lullabies.

Sometimes LD likes to reverse the roles and put me to bed. I get a (half-hearted) pat and just as I’m settling into a little coma (some 13 seconds have transpired since the beginning of the tucking in), the room floods with light and a sing-song voice declaring, “Morning time!” In some ways, I really hate this game. It feels Guantanamo-esque to me.

So, sleep. I don’t get it. Literally and figuratively.

LD, while sleeping through every night now (after some standard arsing about before bed time), refuses a day nap – a nap he sorely needs. A nap I very sorely need him to have.

Zee, since his arrival, has been a sleep resister. I could count on my fingers the number of times he has slept through the night – and I mean, ten or more hours, really, really slept through. And during the day, he will almost always wake after one sleep cycle (about 45 minutes). At least in more recent times, I can resettle him and get another hour or so.

Getting him to sleep is a bitch when he knows his big brother is still up playing. And being the lightest sleeper in the world means that keeping him asleep is even harder. If, during the resettling process, Zee hears a noise that is obviously coming from his big brother who is obviously playing, the resettling is pretty much fucked.

So LD spends his little brother’s nap times being constantly shh-shhed. I hate to stifle the kid’s creative play but hey, I know a way to solve the whole problem. You have a nap, too, LD!

Short of that, I think the only solution is separate sleeping quarters –  another wing, if you will.

Either that or a couple of nannies.


14 Oct

I had something planned for tonight’s Random Mumma Thoughts Thursday. But then Zee happened. In an ironic twist, LD had gone off to sleep with nary a fuss. In the next room, Zee was slumbering also. It was a moment of perfection. And not yet 7pm. Everybody do the ‘Kids In Bed Happy Dance’!

But then, as I mentioned, Zee happened. He was in a sleeping bag in anticipation of the temperature dropping as the night progressed but for now, it seemed he was too hot. Of course, if I’d forgone the sleeping bag, no doubt I would be hearing from the child later when he was too cold. What’s a Little Mumma to do?

I went in to start the resettling.

And the resettling basically involves putting Zee back on the boob and then in mere minutes, transferring him back to his cot. But tonight, in a very random moment, fittingly, I got it into my head that I wasn’t going to boob this kid every time he needed resettling. Not anymore.

And that’s when the fun started.

My Zee is – how shall I put this? – a force. Willful and determined and having none of this no boob business. He screamed. And I mean, SCREAMED. Loud screaming. Seriously pissed off screaming. I could have caved. And resurrected what should have been a peaceful and relatively long evening spent with just the B and me. It’s so rare that we get a good couple of hours kid-free each night before one or both of us has to go to bed and die with exhaustion. So, I would have been well within my rights to cave. But then, why begin the process at all? It was dumb, a split-second decision but I was headfirst in it now so I figured I might as well ride it out.

That was 53 minutes ago.

So, what I had planned to write tonight will have to wait. I wanna go and grab at least some of that kid-free time. I have a date with B and True Blood Season 3.

I have begun something with my Zee. And he was well within his rights to kick and scream since there was no warning that I would be changing things up after almost 11 months of settling into this particular habit. I know boobing that baby boy to sleep – and then each time he needs resettling – has become unworkable. And even though I swore I wouldn’t do it this time around, the quest to have some kid-free time meant that I’ve been choosing the quickest, most painless way. The long-term consequences are what kick you in the nuts. But a tired Little Mumma is a desperate Little Mumma….even a lazy Little Mumma. So, we’ve started something and I hope to God I can hang in there and that little Zee can get with my program. I’ve got the feeling he might just sleep better overall.

So, on this Random Mumma Thoughts Thursday, let me give thanks for a sleeping Zee.  

Fresh out of the box and sleeping like a dream....