Monday, January 9, 2012

Nighttime's When We're On the Lookout for a Piglet On a Stool

sleep deprivation

I'm always a little wowed when mother friends tell me that their Babby-age children still seldom sleep through the night. (You know who you are.) I can't imagine what it would be like to be nearly three years into parenthood without having more than a few uninterrupted nights' sleep. Truth be told, I'm rather terrible when sleep deprived. Not quite a mama witch, but one heck of a bleary eyed grumpy gus for sure.

Once upon a time I had the most ridiculous argument with the BabbyDaddy. We were raw edged and full of bile from lack of sleep, and arguing over who would change a diaper. Not arguing about who wouldn't change the diaper. I was absolutely bent on being the one to wipe the poop off the Babby's behind.

These days, most days, the Babby sleeps straight through the night until morning and then some. As much as we try to be good parents and to get her into bed and asleep earlier, she wakes up in the morning like her mama... mushy brained and out of sorts... so I always try to let her sleep as long as possible.

But every now and then the Babby does wake up in the middle of the night. Her papa and I count to 100. Or, rather, the he counts to 100 because I'm no better at waking up in the middle of the night than I am at waking up in the morning. On most nights, the Babby snuffles herself back to dreamland - or never was truly awake in the first place. On a few nights, her snuffles escalate into wails and then one of us has to go attend her.

It's a chore, I'll admit it. Nighttime is not the right time, when it comes to this mother having to do, oh, anything.

And yet, when I stumble into the Babby's dark room and see her outline reaching for me, when her tiny nighttime voice says "Hold me in the chair, mama," and when I do and the minutes tick by so slowly it feels like forever, I travel back to the Babby's baby days when every night meant holding her. Then I travel forward to a future when no night ever will again.

These days, I know she's ready to go back to her own bed and her own dreams when she whispers "Mama, ask papa to find a piglet on a stool." No lie. When the BabbyDaddy puts her to bed each evening, she dreamily asks the same of him. "Papa, ask mama to find a piglet on a stool." We don't know what it really means. We've never seen a piglet on s stool. What it means to us is bedtime and sleep and a child who is secure enough to go to bed alone, even if every now and then she needs a little nighttime company.

How do you deal with sleep deprivation? Or were you blessed with amazing sleepers from the very beginning?


  1. Sweet post. I got a bit teared up with the "...I travel back to the Babby's baby days when every night meant holding her. Then I travel forward to a future when no night ever will again."
    And, I'm also no good at mornings...

  2. That is too sweet! We ruined Marlie is the sleep dept and she was a night-waker for the longest! It was pure torture! She didn't start sleeping through the night until 18 mos when the breastfeeding ended. Now she wakes up once in awhile, but we no longer run in there unless she starts crying and usually she falls right back to sleep after some water, a diaper change, or a back rub.

  3. I am so curious about the piglet on the stool... I want in her mind!

    I have several friends whose kids have never mastered sleeping and I wonder how they have any sanity. Trajan has slept through the night all but one night since he was three months old. And that night he had a stomach bug, so definitely acceptable to wake up.

    One friend says she has had one of her two kids in at least once a night every night for over the last five year. BLOWS my mind.

  4. Hi Babymama,

    When my son was a few weeks old he started sleeping for longer stretches at night but we would wake him every 4 hours to feed (stupid us). He didn't start sleeping through the night till around 8 months when the doctor told us to stop his midnight feeding.

    He's 19 mths now and has the habit of falling asleep with me in bed (because I was doing that some time ago when he was a sick baby and the habit stuck much to my husband's chagrin). Anyway, he has a pretty strict bedtime of 8:30 and we'll transfer him to his crib once he's asleep- but around midnight he jumps up from the crib and wails to be back in the bed. He would fuss around 5:30ish for a "milky" but I swear to you he NEVER opens his eyes the entire time while fussing or drinking at that hour...he promptly falls back asleep and doesn't wake until around 8-8:30am

  5. I am just like you with the need for sleep (we call it my grumpy switch') and I usually deal with it by giving Micah a nudge ;)

  6. Great post! I've never had good sleepers in the beginning. I've been handling sleep deprivations fairly well lately. Though when I have to get up EVERY night (like when I have a newborn) I can be cranky. :)

  7. Sleep deprivation nearly broke me with my first one. It. Was. So. Hard. Now mine are 4.5 and almost 10, so getting a full night's sleep is much more "normal." That being said, you are right - it will come sooner than you think - her not asking for you in the middle of the night. So a little extra cuddle every now and then won't hurt. :)

  8. Okay, I swear I read this whole thing but I just had to say that I LOVE your peacoat!!

  9. My daughter slept thru the night when she was 4 weeks. It's been pretty easy ever since. Consistency and not forcing my own agenda on her was key, I think.

    I'm glad to know other parents let their kids sleep in because I do,almost every day!

  10. Mine is only three months and she's been a pretty good sleeper for awhile. I guess she knows that I wouldn't survive if she wasn't. It's sweet that she has her own sign that she's ready to go to bed on her own.


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