Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What ain't happenin'

Isn't she sweet? Isn't this adorable?


You see, Tessa, darling, sweet girl with the falsetto voice, sky-blue eyes and enchanting curls is ruining my life. OK, maybe that is an exaggeration... not my life. Just my nights.

This beautiful being that I birthed into this world (12 hours and unmedicated, I might add), breastfed for two and a half years, and have tended with the utmost care through croup and owies, is trying to kill me.

Let me back up.

At Halloween, Tessa learned a new word: Scared.

Ever so subtly, she began to use it. "I skeawed da ants." Soon it was, "I skeawd da light not on." It grew and grew, till it came with bursts of tears, running in place, screaming and refusal to use the toilet, leave the room, eat or do anything else alone.

She also began a perfectly lovely little thing at night. About 5 to 10 minutes after Guy and I would head off to bed after extinguishing TV and lights, brushing teeth, and praying, we would settle in and... Tessa would wake up.

Wait, I don't think you get it.

We're talking 5 to 10 minutes after we "settle" into bed. Lots of things can and should happen at that particular time. Really, REALLY important things. NICE things.

Things that ain't been happenin'. At least, not without concerted effort. It's hard to stay in the mood after checking closets for monsters.

Ah, but that isn't all, you see, the little cherub began waking up several more times each night, scared. Then we added a second nocturnal bathroom run.

During this time period, I began to have a recurrence of my lifelong battle with insomnia. Tessa would wake, I would tend her, I would be awake for another hour, I would finally fall asleep, 10 minutes later Tessa would wake up again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I have become a zombie.

Tess began falling asleep everywhere during the day. (Nothing like your sister's butt for a nice, soft pillow).

We tried having her sleep in Ellie's bed, but she wouldn't stay put. We tried having her sleep with Ethan...

(E and T asleep in the cupboard under the bed)

It worked for a while, but Ethan got tired of her wiggly little legs. I understood. It was the reason she had been banished from our bed.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

We tried nice stories about the dark, flashlights, letting her sleep on our bedroom floor, the works. I began having fantasies about slipping her some benadryl. We were at whit's end.

And I was exhausted.

I decided that I needed to see if maybe, perhaps, she had a choice in all this, or if it was completely beyond her control. Was she just in the habit of waking? Was there something physical that perhaps needed a look-see from a doctor?

I found a carrot. "Forbidden fruit" at our house.


"If you stay in bed all night tonight, tomorrow you can have gum."

"Really? For me? A gum!?"

That night, she stayed in bed all night, accept for one potty-run.

Night two was dreadful. Up 4 times, and my insomnia was in full party mode in between. Over the next week she got sick with croup again, so that was a wash. She spent several nights in bed with me, gasping and coughing through the night, waking constantly in tears. I lay awake and listened to her breathe.

Finally healthy and well, we tried again. With gum.

For the last week, Tessa has earned a piece of gum almost every night. She doesn't even fuss after our little 3AM potty-run when I send her off to bed. "Night, mama" she croons as she toddles off into the dark hall and puts herself back to bed.

I on the other hand, am stuck... I have taken to praying at night as I lay awake in bed for hours. I pray for my pregnant friend's tricky cervix, for my son's science fair eggs (please hatch!), for friends, neighbors, homeless folks I have seen, ...our plumbing. I figure when He gets worn out from hearing me, he will knock me out. I pray for that, too.

So far, it ain't happenin'.

Rinse. Repeat.

1 comment:

They Call Me Momma said...

Oh Laine...... that was so funny and well written. I'm sorry for your sleepless nights..... I am not afraid to take Benydryl myself on a night I know I'm not going to sleep well. After finally sleeping through the night for the first time in my parenting career, I'm not gonna risk waking up and not going back to sleep. LOL...... LOVE YOU!!