The first person who says ‘Well this is what you signed up for!’ GETS IT

Last night we had our first taste of the next kabillion nights, i.e. our nightly quest known as Operation Act Like We Know How to Put Two Kids to Bed.  We’ve already been putting Rosie in her crib in Noah’s room at night, and it’s gone ok, but last night she woke up right before Noah crawled into his bed, and L and I looked at each other like “Um, did you read this part of the parenting book?”  Because it has been a long time since the days of Every Night is a Toss Up and I have really sort of forgotten (kind of like you “forget” the pain of childbirth) how totally and utterly maddening it is to try to put a child to bed who is developing at warp speed and therefore requires vastly different routines almost daily.  One evening they go to bed at six and sleep most of the night without a peep and you think, “Awesome. Bedtime routine memorized and filed into brain. Done and done.” And then the next night you go to put them down at six but LO:  Six o’ clock bedtimes are so fifteen minutes ago, and they wake up a mere 10 minutes later stretching and smacking their lips like “Why that nap was quite refreshing!  What’s on the tube?”  And then the method you used to put them to sleep earlier (read: boobs) is null and void and a whole new game plan has to go into effect on the fly.  Only you don’t have a game plan and babies can sense this with their tiny ESP abilities and they lay wide eyed and grinning at you in the dark as you rock and rock and rock until the left side of your body is paralyzed and you’ve begun drooling out of the corners of your mouth.

So, yeah.  That’s what we’re on the cusp of.

It’s like Rosie was this sort of lump of a thing that you could just lay down and pat on the back and she slept, because she didn’t have a whole lot else going on.  But now all of a sudden, now that she’s three months old, she’s like a person and stuff.  A person who is aware of things now like “Hey! I have hands!” and “Hey! That smallish dude gets in my face a lot!”  And Aware Babies like this newfound awareness, and sleep, well, sleep is what newborns do, dudes.  Three month olds are so beyond that, duh.

And besides the giant hurdle of Getting Them to Sleep there’s the whole other realm of Getting Them To Stay Asleep that involves bolting off the sofa at first gritch on the monitor to reinsert the pacifier as quickly as possible because it has been scientifically (i.e. made up by me right this minute) proven that the odds of continued sleep go drastically down with each second that ticks by.  And if that effort fails you go to Plan B, which usually involves curse words.

Rosie has yet to sleep in her crib all night long, but geez, she’s only three months.  Noah NEH-VERRR did that.  Not even once.  The first night he ever woke up right where we left him with no interaction with us through the night was sometime right after we put him in his big boy bed.  That’s two full years of interrupted sleep. But almost worse than that is that since then we’ve had about two years of UNinterrupted sleep (minus the time of the pregnancy when I woke up 15 times to relieve my dime-sized bladder).  So the old noggin’s feeling a little mushified these days.

I would say that we’re just a little rusty at the whole waking up at night to parent thing except that I really don’t think I ever got good at it. It was always hard.  And I expect it will always be hard.

But of course, obviously, clearly, a million DUHS…worth it.


1 David { 02.04.09 at 12:58 pm }

Well, this is what you…never mind. 😉

2 Julie @ the calm before the stork { 02.06.09 at 12:06 am }

I’m angling for the angel wings. Just wanted you to know that I enjoyed this post. Good summation of the whole parenting/sleep thing.

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