That Never-ending Chapter

Author’s Note: I am NOT looking for advice on sleep training my child. If you give it, it will only make me angry and resentful right now in my current state of mind. Thank you.

You know that chapter of a book that you get stuck on, whether because of time or distraction or what have you, and you keep reading it over and over again? That’s where life with Elizabeth feels right now, per her sleeping habits. I know it’s not Wednesday but I’m going to whine.

With spring here and daylight extending its presence, her clock is incredibly off. It used to be every night, 6:30/7:00 and she was good and ready and down like a light. Nowadays, it’s 7:30/8:00 and, though she is exhausted, she will fight tooth and nail against me holding her. She screams if I hold her, she screams if I put her down. She flails, she throws her pacifier. And I don’t know how to calm her. Tonight, it took an hour and a half to get her to sleep. After three failed attempts to put her down, I left her in her crib and sat in the living room, listening to her scream and wail like someone had just cut off her toe, writing this article in my head until I couldn’t stand it any more. I forced myself to stay calm amidst my frustration and frazzled state. I made a fresh bottle of milk, got a dose of Tylenol in case she is teething and was indeed in pain. I went back into her room, gave her a fresh pacifier, laid her down in bed and patted her back for a bit. She resisted and rolled around in the bed but I told her that I was not going to pick her up, she was fine, and it was bedtime. I sat in the rocking chair, facing her crib, and told her that I would sit with her until she fell asleep but I would not pick her up again and I forced myself to make that truth. I sat in the rocking chair and sang her lullabies. She stopped cry, though she still moaned for a long while and kicked at the bars of her crib, but, eventually she calmed and, finally, FINALLY she fell asleep in her crib and I slipped out of her room (what used to be our library by the attic stairs.

Today has been especially rough. Elizabeth and I…*sigh* She woke up at 11:40 last night, had a bottle, and went back to bed relatively easily. Then she woke up again at 4:30am and it was a struggle to get her to bed again, nor was it very long at all. I didn’t even bother taking off my glasses or getting comfortable in bed again because I just KNEW. She woke up again 5:30 and I just didn’t have the fight in me to wrestle her back to bed, so I let her get up, took her to living room, and set her down to play. She stayed up until 7:45am, when I got her to sleep again. Unfortunately, she only slept for less than an hour before getting up again so all day I was very tired. But there’s nothing for it so here I am. I shouldn’t complain. Lots of people are up before me normally  to go to work, Ben included. And, part of me wonders if I have earned this difficulty in a way. If I deserve it.

On the whole, Elizabeth’s infancy was incredibly easy. Difficulties with breastfeeding aside, she had no health issues, no colic, no allergies, no diaper rash, nothing like that. Her infancy was, all in all, stupidly easy and incredibly blessed. Sleeping through the night has never been a norm for her, though (it wasn’t for me either until I was three or form). So…I cannot help but think that, maybe, I deserve it, and maybe others think I deserve a little difficulty, too. I know, it’s stupid and ridiculous and trouble made of itself but I can’t help thinking that way at times, that maybe I am getting what I deserve and that others might think that’s true, too.

I know that the hard times are not the end of the story but I would really, really love to get past this chapter.

 

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