Thursday, August 11, 2011

Nighttime Screamfest 2011

It is 8:56am and all is quiet. Her Highness is sleeping, Hubs is at work, I am slurping coffee, even the dog and one of the cats are asleep on the floor. Ahhhhhhhhhh. I am coming off of a stint of long nights. Lady Baby is qoing through her quarterly I-hate-my-crib-my-room-and-anywhere-you-are-not phase. It involves shrieking like a wild animal anytime she is put in her crib. It started Sunday night with an epic scream-fest with the added bonus of projectile milk barf (extra points for style). Every night she loses her schmidt whenever I put her down and will scream until one of two things happen 1) I can't take it and go get her or 2) she passes out from sheer exhaustion. These "episodes" also include her throwing absolutely everything out of crib including her paci. Once we reach that stage of protest, she then adds howls for "paci" in with "mama" to complement her cacophony of animals-going-to-slaughter nosies. 
Last night she went to sleep after about 30 min of screaming at 7.30, only to wake up at midnight. At the exact moment I was taking off my shorts to get into bed. It is like she knew I was on the edge of sleep and that must be prevented for obvious reasons (because she hates me). Cue the "mmmmoooommmmeeee wah wah wah mmmmaaaaammmmaaa wah wah wah mamamameeee." SO, I drag my exhausted self down the hall, trip over all the crap she threw on the floor a few hours earlier, and get her out of her jail crib. I will say, the moment I pick her up is so sweet. She clings to me like I am a piece of board floating in the water and she is a titanic passenger (imagine she is Rose and I am the plank). She snuggles as deep into my arms as physically possible and hangs on tight, and I do love that. Then she starts up her demands (last night it was milk) and the sweet moment is gone and Her Majesty has arrived. 
This child, when she is of a normal sane mind, is the easiest to put down ever. We literally carry her into her room, lay her down and she says "night night" and that is it. When her alternate personality, Hellraiser, is in the house, bedtime is painful for both the ears and the soul, and all night is spent on pins and needles. I will be the first to tell you, when I don't sleep I am subpar on all fronts. I love sleep. When I get up in the morning I am looking forward to crawling back into bed that night. If I have my drothers, I go to bed early and sleep late (pretty much never now that child is on the earth). So you can see how this sleep interruptus causes me distress, both mentally and physically. Last night I was forced to watch a Toddlers and Tiaras marathon while the child played on the floor from 12am to 2am. (Okay, I watched it becuase it is a train wreck and makes me feel like a great parent, but you know what I mean.) 
I know what you are thinking...tough love, cry it out...blah blah blah. We will occasionally let her cry it out at bedtime (despite her X-Man ability to hurl under distress), but in the middle of the night it doesn't work. The crying escalates into a wall of noise that you have to hear to believe. Also, it goes against my motherly instinct becuase she is normally an amazing sleeper and my gut tells me there is something going on keeping her from sleeping. (I usually blame it on teeth, but sometimes constipation, hungry, growth spurt, the tilt of the planet). So I get her up, give her advil (just in case), milk, and let her play until she is ready to go back down, which inevitably happens. Sheplays until she passes out. Sometimes we just let her sleep on the floor like a puppy. It is scary to move her once she is asleep because you might wake the beast and the process starts all over again.
I know this cycle of phases won't happen forever, one day in like 30 years, I may be able to get a night's sleep with no worry about a child waking up and needing me. Until then, coffee and my superhuman ability to both sleep and watch my child play at the same time in the middle of the night will have to get me through.

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