Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Doesn't sleep well with others

Parenting is the most humbling situation you could ever willingly put yourself in. You have one kid, you trial and error your new life to death, you figure things out, and all is well...for a minute. You begin to understand the ebb and flow of this new life. You may even be able to make educated predictions and be proud of yourself. Then you have a second kid. Maybe the stars align for you and kid number two follows a similar path as kid number one. Maybe you are us and your two kids seem like they can't be related other than they look just like each other. Regardless, you learn all over again and cross your fingers that this time you get more things right the first time you try. And this is all before the age of three.

You could be the most amazing, well rounded parent. But, if you aren't getting any sleep your amazingness no longer matters.

This is not a post about the pros and cons of co-sleeping. I am not here to tell you that if you co-sleep your child will never leave home or that if you don't they will hate you by the age of twelve and run away. I will let the crazies out there handle that for me. What I do intend to do, as usual, is give you a glimpse into what it's been like for us.

Co-sleeping was never an option for us. I do not sleep well with others. We are lucky that when Seth falls asleep he pretty much stays as is all night. I'm a light sleeper. But more than that, I just don't want to be bothered. I don't like cuddling unless it's on the couch in front of a good movie. Lots of movement or sound wakes me and then it takes forever for me to go back to sleep.

That being said, I miss the days when Lila did sleep with us some. When I say sleep I mean really sleep. Those were the early days when I was nursing and she barely moved when sleeping. And even then it was only for a few hours. I was sad when that never happened with Evie. Her reflux gripped body made it impossible to prop her up in any way, shape, or form that she was able to sleep in our bed. She would sleep on me during the day for naps, but that was about it. At night she didn't sleep much and when she did it was always a big question mark as to how or why the position she was in worked.

Do not misunderstand. Sleeping with that sweet little perfect newborn is glorious. There is no better feeling. I often miss the times I had it in small doses. At the end of the day I just wasn't ever sleeping enough to feel functional if we pulled an all nighter of co-sleeping. Constant interrupted sleep is very hard for me to survive on, let alone parent on. I have no problem admitting that.

Fast forward to now. Evie has been sleeping in her bed happily for months now. Maybe one day she will take a snooze with us, but when we have tried it recently if she wakes up fussy it only proves to make her really, really mad. And when Evie is mad the whole neighborhood knows it.

Lila on the other hand decided not too long ago that sometime around 1:30 am or 4:30 am she needs to be in bed with us. At first I thought she was getting scared so I let it happen. That or I was too lazy to not let it happen. After so long with Evie not sleeping I guess getting 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep seemed easier to maintain if I didn't fight it when Lila started crawling in next to me. Now I think it's just become a habit. The problem is, she is quite possibly the worst bed buddy on the planet. I'm sure you've seen this picture that was floating around facebook (illustrations from www.howtobeadad.com)...

I laugh out loud every time I look at this. The very first image happened the other night. I actually looked at Lila and quite frustrated said, "where do you expect me to sleep??? on the floor???". She matter of factly replied, "yes". 

Now, the co-sleepers of the world will probably tell me that she just isn't used to it. And I'm not really in the business of getting her used to it. I simply cannot sleep well with her. She insists on being nose to nose with me, on top of me, or pushing me. Sometimes she will sit up, flop herself in the opposite direction toward the foot of the bed onto my hip and "sleep" that way. On the rare occasion when she can tell I can't take it anymore I will wake up and wonder where she is only to look over and see her laying completely on top of Seth while he is sleeping on his side. It's funny. You laugh. Ok, I laugh too when it happens. But then I realize it's 5 am, I've technically been awake since 3am, Lila refuses to nap during the day, and tomorrow will be a disaster. 

I'm the sleeper who counts the hours. I may even count the minutes of sleep I predict I will get. Those wee hours of the night where the time is ticking away as I'm attacked in my sleep by my toddler have taken their toll on all of us.

So last night I did something I shouldn't have done. Part of me regrets it and part of me wonders if she even has any idea. 

I got up quickly the minute I heard her stir in her room. I put her head back on her pillow, covered her up, and told her I was going to the potty. Sometimes when she wakes like this I get in bed with her thinking the smaller space will provide less wiggle room. So if she really comprehended what I said she would take that to mean I was coming back. I would truly go to the bathroom and then peek back in and she would be passed out. I would then sneak back to my bed. This happened twice. I woke up this morning feeling like I actually slept. Surely if she was upset that I didn't come back she would have made that known right?

Ugh. Parenting is hard.

But, I can't promise the same thing won't happen tonight. 

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