Posted by Gina Perkins, Pre-School Mommie | Posted in Gina Perkins | Posted on 31-01-2011
It has been a really hard week. A hellish week, actually. In fact, I can’t remember a more challenging time since DJ was a newborn – and that’s saying a lot. We are sleep-deprived, which I believe is just another term for “clinically insane.”
Just when I was celebrating the fact that DJ had finally started sleeping through the night, in her own bed, without me – she decided to give up naps. I had all but corked a magnum bottle of Veuve to commemorate the nine nights of bliss, when DJ moved me to tears rather than drunken hiccups of glee. Last week, she refused to take a nap five days out of seven. And let’s face it, what I’m really trying to say is that I had five days without ANY time to myself. Zip, zero, zilch. That’s enough to make even the strongest, most gracious and passionate mother crumble to her knees. Which I did. A lot. My husband felt so sorry for me, that he even brought home this “Nap-Strike Wellness Kit.” (He’s a really good catch).
If you’ve been following my posts, then you know that sleep has been the bane of my existence since DJ was born (well, before that if you count the sleepless nights I spent on the couch as a heifer in the heat of August, 2009 while I was nine months pregnant). But, it’s one of those chicken or egg phenomenon’s – I’m not sure if our lack of tough love surrounding sleep issues caused DJ to be a bad sleeper, or if our sensitivity to DJ’s bad sleep issues caused us to soften up. In any case, I am tired of defending our choices and so, here I am saying it out loud for the first time ever – my daughter is not perfect (and we certainly aren’t either, but I make no qualms about that). Every time someone sees her radiant smile and says, “She sure is happy,” I always respond with, “She’s a really sweet girl.” And then, in my head, I say, “unless you’re trying to put her to bed, and then she turns into a freakin monster.”
I have talked with sleep consultants and pediatricians, and they all assure me that DJ is just fine, that not all children sleep as well as every single other child that I know, will outgrow this, and seems to be perpetually on the verge of some supposed development milestone. At this point, I am waiting for her to wake up singing “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” while doing cartwheels. How about her next developmental milestone be one that focuses on healthy sleep patterns? That would be good.
Anyhow, things were looking up yesterday. She actually took a two-hour nap, during her “regular” naptime. I used the time to shower, shave my legs, blow dry my hair, put on makeup and even watch part of a daytime drama movie. Man, I felt spoiled (and clean!). However, as I am quickly learning, we certainly can’t have too much of a good thing – so of course, last night was a real doozey.
DJ rolled around the guardrail, and fell out of her bed at 3:00 am. She woke up in a panic (totally understandable), but then spent the next hour-and-a-half fussing (incomprehensible, right?). She wasn’t hurt in any way – the bed is low to the ground, the floor is carpeted, and her noggin seems downright indestructible. But nothing, and I do mean nothing, would make her happy. At one point, as I was rocking her, she started pointing to her changing table saying, “Pee-Pee.” In the midst of my frustration, I actually had a proud moment, “Wow,” I thought, “Now she’s telling me when she needs her diaper changed.” So, I laid her on the changing table only to find out through heightened screaming, that she was actually pointing at her bedroom door saying “Eeety, Eeety,” her word for “Kitty.” Oh right, because every kid should be allowed to play with their pet kitty at 4:00am. NOT.
Once she realized that we were not going to be letting Eeety into the bedroom, DJ started calling for “Dada,” then “Papa,” then “dah-ee (doggy),” and finally hoping her “Pahdee (pacifier)” would rescue her from her cries. Just as I put Pahdee in her mouth, she sneezed, and Pahdee launched across the room and vanished into the darkness. Well, that was it, the straw that broke my little camel’s back. We had to turn on the lights, find Pahdee, and then start the calming process all over again. I didn’t crawl back into my own bed until 4:47 am. So awesome.
DJ is napping as I write this blog. It took me 40 minutes to get her down. I made four separate trips into her bedroom to put her back into her bed (which makes me wonder if she really fell out of bed last night, or if her determined and independent little self climbed out). I sang about 17 different lullabies, and even attempted to let her cry-it-out (which is, conveniently, when she dismounted from her mattress). She’s now been asleep for one hour.
One hour is not enough time to write a blog (my passion), read my February issue of Martha Steward Living, check Facebook and have an actual, adult conversation with my husband on a Sunday afternoon. However, I will take one hour over none – and will still take my child’s imperfections over any other child’s prodigy. God, just give me the strength (and rationality) to remember that I said, and mean, that.