Tuesday, January 18, 2011

On the subject of sleep...

Excitement is at an all-time high around here this week as two people are celebrating their birthdays! On the same day!! It shall (mostly) all be revealed in the fullness of time (Yes, I do actually speak like that in real life and to real people...)

Today, on the subject of the Tater, I thought I would sketch out a subject near and dear to my heart: Sleep (or lack thereof).

Both my kiddies are terrible sleepers! That is the # 1 deterrent to having more. I have always been green-eyed at my girl friends who could proudly proclaim that their own sprog slept for 6 hours, 10 hours through the night from about 3 weeks onwards. A neighbour had her baby the same time as Tater was born and that kid was sleeping 12 hour stretches through the night and would nap for a minimum of 2 hours twice a day! That's 16 free hours at least! From the time she was a week old!

That was not my life! I was up and down like a yo-yo for *at least* 2 years. Girl-chick now sleeps like a log, through anything. A Harley could zoom around in the room or a battle tank could fire off a couple rounds and she would still be out cold. Waking her up is pure torture! So is getting her to settle down to sleep. (But that's another story).

My little Tater, hovering around 2-1/2 now, still doesn't sleep well nor consistently. Some nights she wakes up screaming around 2300 but if I or Da-Man get there in time to shush her back to sleep, she's not awake and she curls right back up and slumbers until we have to wake her up too. Some nights she will sleep through that midnight call and wake around 0400 instead! Those are the hard ones. Sometimes, she settles herself down. Most times, she starts wailing until a sleepy someone (usually me) stumbles over to soother her. Even that is inconsistent! Some nights she will gladly cuddle in the chair for a few minutes and drop back to sleep. Other nights, she wants one thing only. Mummybed.

I have nothing against co-sleeping. Both Da-Man and I have accepted the children into the family bed. On weekends we cuddle up to watch TV, talk and read books and listen to the girls giggle. They are boisterous and we have bruised kidneys to show for it but we also have good memories of being a warm and cosy family unit. Both girls spent a massive amount of time in the bed as infants because it was easier to nurse them and it was warm (and who wouldn't want to snuggle with a little sleeping baby?). When they got older, they got squirmier. Some mornings, the Tater is rolling around and squirming and driving her head and feet in different directions, making it hard for us to settle back down. That was this morning. No amount of cuddling would settle her down in her own bed, no amount of threatening to send her back to her own bed would get her to settle down in our bed.

When this ends, (and I know it will), I will miss those days but for now, I am armed with my sixth cup of tea of the morning to stay awake and work while she is off to daycare (possible grumpy and definitely squirmy).

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