Adventures in semi-co-sleeping:
It was our fault, really. The child was calling out, but not crying; she just sometimes sings and yells and expresses her irritation with our fascist parent-imposed bedtime. Unless she sounds really sad, we let her bitch herself to sleep.
Except last night, on the Colbert Report, some enterprising young lackey did a mashup of a Limbaugh video + Herbie Hancock and well, we might have laughed a little too hard and a little too loud. The short lull in irritation from the next room ended abruptly and then I (stupidly) decided that since it was after all, our fault, we should get her.
Plus, you know how I secretly love the little foot in the back trick.
After an hour or so of “LAY DOWN! RIGHT NOW!” M decided to sleep in another room. He left me there with her and her incessant questions: “mama? What are you dooooiiiiinnnngggg? Reading a book? MY book!”
Really it’s not that bad. I’m up late, she’s up late- we’re all OK. Until the mornings. Sometimes it’s a dream that wakes me at the exact time that the cat wants out (6:00 a.m.) and I have to pee. This particular morning, after I let the cat out, pee, and climb back into bed, TeenHer’s alarm began its daily game with her, and I began my semi-daily (sometimes I can sleep through it) game of wait and wait. “OK. Alarm 1. Seven minutes until Alarm 2. If I can fall asleep between now and then, I’m ok. Oh. Alarm 2. All right. 7 minutes to fall asleep! AUGH! Alarm 3.” Followed closely by much stomping down the stairs and bright lights in her face. “GET UP!” Stomp Stomp. Snuggle under covers. Back up into tiny hot feet. And wait for husband’s cell phone alarm. And then for the closet light on while he finds clothes.
Sometimes I soldier through it, eyes screwed shut, rocking under the covers, trying to ignore the light seeping in through the uncovered (what’s wrong with us! Why don’t we just put up a curtain?) window. This morning I gave up. Came downstairs. Checked some email. Forgot the sound machine was off upstairs. Talked too loud. Tiny shuffling feet on the stairs announced my BIG MISTAKE- a critical error in sleep strategy.
We went back to bed when everything got quiet. You’d think that would be so nice, so sweet. There were nice parts. Sweet parts. The part where she put her pillow on my back and laid horizontally in the bed was not so nice, but the part where I got to sleep a little longer balanced it out.
Note to self: when you allow yourself and baby to sleep until 11:30, do not be shocked when said baby is in her bed calling for her dad at 3 p.m. instead of taking her afternoon nap.
The worst part is that I know that someday this will be over; The afternoon nap tradition will give way to a new tradition, probably something like “everyone sit down with a bowl of candy and watch TV while mommy catches up on her stories” or “we’re taking out a home equity loan to hire an afternoon helper because mommy is about to go postal”.
I have a friend whose children, for the most part, don’t nap. Somehow she has adjusted and she promises me that as a mother, you adjust. Your sleep requirements change, and you suck it up. As an only child, of course I don’t understand why everyone else can’t just adjust to ME.