Monday, September 12, 2011

People always warn you about the sleeping habits of newborns (or should I say, lack thereof). Even strangers will often offer their unsolicited advice at how you should "store up sleep now, once the baby is here there'll be no more sleeping for you" as if somehow this imaginary sleepbank even existed. (Trust me, it doesn't.) To all this, I say Pshaw! Newborns got nothin on toddlers, let me tell you.
Last night I got a grand total of 2 hours of sleep. And out of everyone in the family, the newborn slept the most - go figure. Since Daphne was born, a mere 8 weeks ago, she has made the newborn phase of parenting look like a walk in the park. Matilda, on the other hand, has suffered a barrage of disruptions in her little world, all peaking at what I would consider the painful pre-show to entering the terrible twos. Sigh.
The poor girl got a new sister, a new bed, and a new set of molars within a month. She's been to the ER once (I'll save that gem for another blog on a slower day) and dismantled more than a couple child safety devices we've had to install to protect her from her nighttime excursions. But, last night topped them all. Albeit, the ER scenario was by far the scariest - but last night was the most frustrating.
Last night she discovered that if she got out of bed and didn't come to our room (which is what she did before we locked her in) then she could simply just stay and play...and play...and play...and...well, you get the idea. We have a video monitor so that we can literally keep an eye on her in the middle of the night, and at around 11pm, the sneaky scoundrel decided to go to the one side of the room undetected by the camera, climb the rocking glider with her favorite animals, and just play.
This led to my husband returning her to bed not once...not twice...but maybe a few dozen times. At least. Long story short, she finally caved around 3:30am, right around the time Daphne woke up for a feeding. Yep, that seems about right.
This girl has got some naughty britches on her, I tell you what. First thing this morning I pulled out the ole James Dobson classic "The Strong-Willed Child" and started dog-earing pages, determined to arm myself with more parenting ammunition than her little assertive brain can defend.
Where is my sleepbank now? Is it completely overdrawn?
How about all that time I spent skipping chapel in college and sleeping in instead? Where's that sleep? How about all those Spanish classes I dozed off in the back of class? Can I cash that sleep in now??
Honestly, if I were the makers of Huggies, or Graco, or Gerber or whatever-the-heck-else baby-stuff-maker is out there, I would seriously look into branding my own line of highly caffeinated beverages for the parents out there.
And to the new parents of a little newborn for the first time. Those parents who are up in the night but then get to sleep while the wee one is sleeping...well, to them I say this: Sleep now, store it up, cause in a couple years you're going to need to cash that in.
Good luck.

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