Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A lot of boring detail about Shulamis and sleep

Hello, my name is Miriam and I'll be playing the part of the bad mother this evening.

Well, fortunately, as of about 10 seconds ago, that's not true, but that's the lead-off line for this post that I've been thinking of for the last thirty minutes of bedtime.

Shoot. Back in five.

...Okay, was back in one. I have hesitated to blog about this, but now that, well, now that things aren't perfect, I'm not scared of an ayin hara. :)

When I was pregnant, I devoured a couple of tomes on getting children to sleep properly, "The No Cry Sleep Solution" and the biblical caliber "Good Night, Sleep Tight." I studied them, the latter principally, ad nauseum (no pregnancy pun intended). Anyway, by incorporating their suggestions from the get-go (and, I must say, by being blessed with an amazing infant who never confused night and day and was sleeping like 5 hours a night from the first week of her life!) I've had a completely different - that is to say, vastly improved - nighttime situation with Shulamis than I had with Sarah Rochel.

Shulamis SHOULD, therefore, be sleeping about 8 or 9 hours straight these days, waking to eat, and then sleeping another 4 hours or so.

Well, she HAS done it. She IS capable. But lately, it's been tending towards sleep 5-6 hours, wake up and eat, and then sleep another 5 hours OR sleep 3 hours, eat again, and sleep 2 more.

Insert sound of me drumming fingers. Harumph.

The secret truth is I don't really mind so much, because I don't care if my one middle-of-the-night wakeup is at 2 AM or 5 AM. Well, 5 would be nicer, but really, it would be fine except that this is a deterioration, and I don't want to lose all my hard work. For example, I have tried very hard to not establish a suck-to-sleep association with this kid, or at least not eat-to-sleep (she, alas, almost always falls asleep with the pacifier in her mouth. Yoav reminds me that Sarah Rochel used to do that at this age too...). And up until the last week or two, it was great! But she's been falling asleep nursing at bedtime... and after she wakes up from her naps and I feed her, she falls asleep again!

So I have to move up her bedtime, because if she's falling asleep whenever I nurse she's too tired. Okay. Moved it up. And NOW... she and Sarah Rochel are going to sleep at the same time in the same room. Insert sound of my hair not even waiting to be pulled out in frustration, but leaping out of its follicles of its own accord.

Both children are in bed. Both are quiet. Tiptoe out. Baby whimpers as she settles into sleep, and Sarah Rochel yells out, "MOMMY the baby's crying!" ARGHHHHHHH!!!!

Last night both tired children didn't want to go to sleep. Both insisted on eating more after they'd been put in their beds (toast for one, milk for the other - at least nursing doesn't make for a bunch of crumbs in the crib). Both did their fair share of crying as they moved from tired to overtired.

And today, all of Shulamis's (aside: Shulamis'? Shulamis's? Shula-misses?) naps (except for the one in the stroller when we were outside) only started with me leaving her alone to cry for a couple minutes. And she takes 4 naps a day!!

So tonight, Sarah Rochel is all "I don't want to sleep," Shulamis is essentially saying the same thing. And I nurse and I sing and I cover Sarah Rochel about eighty times (in actuality, it was 9 times)... I pick up the crying, flailing Llama and hold her tight, at which she quiets. I put her down, and she cries. I hold both her hands and put my cheek next to hers, and she quiets. I let go, she cries, and Sarah Rochel thoughtfully yells from 18 inches away, "Mommy, the baby's crying!" I say thank you, I'm aware of it. I keep patting and shushing, Sarah Rochel is patting and shushing her dolls as well (she had already nursed them while I was nursing Shlama), and boy is she loud (and unrhythmic!).

I eventually tell her that the baby is going to cry for a couple of minutes before she falls asleep. Sarah Rochel says, "I sleeping now." I say GOOD, and I'll be right outside the door. I go, baby cries, Sroch calls me back in again and again until I say, "I don't want to hear another word from you until tomorrow morning," (but in a nice way) and I'm outa there.

Sarah Rochel is asleep, and Shulamis is asleep.

Time since I put the first one in the bed? 1 hour, 23 minutes.



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