If you don’t have kids you are probably tired (get it? haha) of hearing us parents talk about sleep. While I don’t want to fall into the parent trap of constantly rambling on about things that no one else cares about, I’m here to talk about it just a little bit more.
Recently, my darling Winifred has been sleeping for stretches of three or even four hours at a time at night, and I want to thank the Academy and anyone else listening for this wonderful turn of events. She is even at the point where I can usually put her in her crib, walk away, and she just goes to sleep. I’m starting to wonder if she has switched places with a twin I don’t know about.
It’s true, my extremely gifted child has figured out the most highest of baby talents, and yet, I keep messing it up—just my luck!
This past week alone, I have completely ruined three sacred sleep sessions:
Tuesday, 1:47 PM
I killed a cockroach, NO BIG DEAL. I’m not afraid of cockroaches—I like to let them hang out a while after I’ve smashed them with one of my husband’s shoes (certainly not one of mine!) before I pick them up—I AM NOT AFRAID OF COCKROACHES. I bent over to scrape it up with a credit card offer envelope roughly five hours later after I laid the baby down, and as soon as the corner touched its mangled body, it flipped over and ran across the room with the few legs it had left. I chased it around with a broom, trying to hit it with the bristles and letting out a short, high scream every time I missed, like a group of girls who are the victims of a rival bunk’s hijinx at summer camp. No naps were had that day.
Tuesday, 7:30 PM
Sometimes I like to leave the house without my baby, and the universe usually likes to punish me for this. I left her with my husband one evening, who took her on a “little ride” to “get a drink” before “putting her to bed.” Well his car must have had a mind of its own, because an hour later I came home to an empty house! An hour after that, they walked in the door from shopping the Dillard’s sale, at the mall, and she was wide awake, staring at me with her lovely, scary (1980’s) Elizabeth Taylor eyes. This one wasn’t really my fault, except of course it was, because I’m the mom.
Thursday, 7:34 PM
Every night I make sure to lay the baby down the opposite way from the night before, so that her head doesn’t become misshapen and then she can’t move to Manhattan and become a carefree socialite, as is her destiny. The other night, I reached down to pat my restless baby’s foot in an attempt to comfort her and recoiled in horror as my hand touched her warm, wet mouth. I accidentally freaked out and shrieked, then had to spend the next 20 minutes rocking and convincing her she was still beautiful and could go back to sleep.
While I’m still pretty clumsy at figuring this whole sleep thing out, I’ve got to say that having a baby that finally sleeps on her own is, to use a term I have been over-using lately as a new mom, life-changing. I have walked her around in her baby wrap during naps; I have gone to bed at 8pm so that she would go to bed at 8pm; I have read the sleep books; I have read the message boards saying not to listen to the sleep books; I have wrung my hands in pathetic conversations with my not-listening husband about our baby’s sleep; I have lost sleep thinking about her not sleeping; and while I’d like to think that all that time and energy has paid off, the reality is that she decided she was ready to do something so she started doing it.
I hope that’s just a baby thing!
Libbie Henrie is a new mother and really smart gal. You should believe everything she writes, especially the super sarcastic parts. She lives in Arizona with her husband and newborn baby. You can read more of her musings on her blog and follow her baby wearing adventures on Instagram @sweetcheeksbabywearing