Saturday, February 01, 2003

MUST HAVE SLEEP! Children are little darlings during the day -- except when they are spitting, calling people "Nimrods," throwing huge screaming tantrums in busy malls or engaging in other anti-social behavior -- but nighttime is really when the horror begins. Maybe I have no right to complain I did opt for this whole motherhood gig, but I will complain anyway. I like my sleep. I used to avoid college classes specifically based on too early a starting time. I also slept through an 8 a.m. class I was supposed to teach in graduate school. So motherhood is very rough on me. My three-year old usually (finally!!) sleeps through the night and my four-month old has figured out how to fall asleep at bedtime -- something it took her brother almost a year to master -- but she just hasn't figured out staying asleep, nor will she go back to sleep in her own bed once she's been fed. Every night my darling daughter starts hollering around 2 a.m. My wonderful husband gets her out of her crib, brings her to me, I nurse her and try to put her back in her own bed. It never works. She likes sleeping next to mom. I'm granola enough to like the idea of co-sleeping, but in practice it means that I don't sleep. So from 2:30 until George comes running down the stairs yelling, "Open your eyes! Get out of bed!" at around 7 a.m., I tussle with a restless baby who would happily be attached to my chest the whole time. I don't function very well on the three hours or so of unbroken sleep that I'm getting every night. I think I need a nanny on nightshift, maybe I can get one of those dewy-eyed attachment parenting gurus who know how to make every mother feel inadequate if they don't love co-sleeping, cloth diapers, want a minute or two alone sometimes and chose to wean after only twenty-five months instead of letting the child decide that it is time to wean and potty train at age five. Of course, too much exposure my turn my kids into flakes, but if something doesn't change soon, I may be willing to take that risk. Note: I am not saying that all APers are flakes, but if you think that without following an AP philosophy all kids will turn out miserable and/or criminal -- well, let's just say everyone I know who thinks that way is kind of odd.

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