And The Truth Is

Admit it.  Go ooooon, fess up.  It’s just you and me – and a couple of other readers – and maybe the whole interweb if this were to go viral.  But this is a safe space.  There is a competition amongst parents out there, particularly mothers, and it is a fierce battleground of one-upmanship.  It’s called “My Baby Sleeps Better Than Yours.”  Don’t fool yourself Moms, that’s why you’ll see Facebook statues about how little Jimmy slept 14 hours last night, even changing his own nappy in the night TWICE and then falling back to sleep.  Little Jimmy is the perfect child and well, that must just make us, by sheer coincidence, perfect parents.  We need other Mothers to know how truly awesome we are, ahem, I mean our baby is.  And for whatever reason, your baby’s sleep pattern is the true test.

I can say this because this was me months ago.  Sweet, naïve little me.  Bless her heart.

Then we dropped the dream feed.  And then we flew to America and had a 5 hour time difference.  And when in the world do you feed a jetlagged baby for the two weeks you’ll be in another country?  And then we just caved because it’s easier.  Yeah, I said it — We caved, people.

So, she’s in the bed half of the night.  The half where I just want my sweet sleep and would rather bite off my own toenails after walking barefoot through a field with fresh manure than to get out from under my duvet.  But she’s there.  And genuinely, most of the time we don’t really mind it except when we have a night like we did last night.  Then we mind.  Oh, how we mind.

You should know that there is a moment, a very fleeting moment with The Duchess where when she wakes up, if you can get her dummy to her within that window, she will sweetly drift off into a deep, suckle-induced sleep.  If you miss that window, sweet Lord, prepare to pay.

Me: (Shakes The Native) Wake up, I can’t find her dummy.

The Native: (Grunts) What?

Me: (Patience gone) I can’t find her dummy.  Help me look for it.

The Native: (reaches out with a closed fist and replies serenely) It’s here.

Me: (Opens his fist.  It’s empty.  Smacks his hand away).  NO.IT.IS.NOT.

The Native: (looking startled and mildly upset) It isn’t?  I dreamt it was in my hand.

Me: Ya think!?

By the time this conversation had ended – that window was irrefutably shut. And locked.   And the key was hidden in a kitchen drawer somewhere along with the sandwich bags.

After posts in the past about how great my husband is, which he is, I hope this assures you that our relationship is nothing but normal.  Abnormal even, especially when I have transformed into my Mombie alter ego.

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10 thoughts on “And The Truth Is

  1. Deborah

    It’s the sleep thing when they are babies but just wait till she gets a little older, then it will be how quickly she talks, learns her numbers, alphabet and potty trains…. So much to look forward to! I am now paying for my former self of about 3-5 years ago who worked with preschoolers at church and would think hmmm he/she is three years old that’s way to old not to be potty trained… Uhgg I hate that judgmental old me and while I realize my thinking is ridiculous I truly feel God may be punishing me for thinking those thoughts so many times by making my son who is 3, not want to potty train!

    Also…just a thought for whatever its worth (not judging you for letting her sleep with you, you do what you gotta do but I wish someone had told me this earlier with Landon.) I’m sure the trip to the states did effect The Duchesses sleep patterns but I also have learned with both of mine that typically somewhere between the ages of 6-9 months even babies who were previously sleeping through the night will start to wake up again. Not because they need to be fed but because they are more active and when they wake up they have a harder time going back to sleep on their own; So they have to relearn how to do that. Landon started doing this about 8 months (after having slept through the night from about 6-8 weeks old) and I just thought he must need to be fed. So I did feed him in the middle of the night for many months. Then at his one year appointment I told the doctor about it and she said oh no he’s not really hungry he’s just more active and needs to relearn getting himself back to sleep. I thought but did not say… gee that would have been nice to know four months ago!! Anyways a few nights of letting him cry it out when he woke up and we were able to go back to sleeping through the night again! Same thing has just recently happened with Emmy in the past couple of months, at first I caved because her weight gain is a little slow, but then the doctor told me to let her cry that it was just the active thing and she would learn to eat more during the day. So we did and it took about three nights of some middle of the night crying sessions but she’s sleeping through the night again so it was worth it!

    This may not be the case with The Duchess but I just thought I’d share because I know how much you like your sleep! I am definitely not saying I am a better mother than you… I’m sure I’d win the worst mother contest if you and I were to compete! 😉

    Reply
    1. Jez

      Haha! I judge, therefore I am. I love how stressful this is for you. Sorry, but I do. But then, I shouted at my kids today, then felt guilty, dragged Firstborn to the naughty step (who promptly left said step and ran to tell Mummy that Daddy had hurt him) and let them eat three lots of cake in one day. But at least my kids sleep through the night. Lol. Then again, I got it wrong a few nights ago when the toddler woke at 2am declaring that he wanted to come into our bed. I relented (despite advice to the contrary from my wife) and that was that. He refused to go back to his bed and an hour later when I put him back in his bed, shouting, I stood outside just saying ‘Help me! I don’t know what to do!”

      Tracy Hogg is the way forward… It’s all about the sleep training and controlled crying – yeah baby.

      Reply
      1. Living Life as an Expat Parent Post author

        Brilliant. I lie in my bed last night after reading this (at 1.30am, after she had woken up for a brief spell of screaming) and chortled to myself. We totally found it stressful the other night. The next morning we found it hilarious and peed ourselves with laughter.

    2. The Foreigner

      Deb — Ha! #1 – You are sweet. #2 I think your comment about God punishing you for eyeballing those 3 year olds with poopy pants (and their parents) is hilarious. Eh, I think it might possibly be teeth, but I see no real signs of anything coming through. Plus, full disclosure, she’s been in our bed for aaaaages. You can judge us now. Go ooooon. 😉

      Reply
  2. Stacey

    We’ve all been there and fallen into that trap. Ours was whenever Frederick had an ear infection, thank goodness for tubes. Still, every once in awhile, he will have trouble getting back to sleep on his own but now one of us will stay in his room until he does an sneak back out.
    As for sleeping through the night Deborah is right, they go through stages. Especially when things change like a new tooth or learning to walk. It’s like they are so busy with the new they forget how to do the everyday. Frederick didn’t sleep solidly through until a year and now he’s an early riser. What luck 😉
    Good luck and nap when you can…

    Reply
  3. MsXpat

    LOL its not funny I know but because soooo many of us go through this at some stage, its best to laugh than cry I say. Our son has been in our bed for half the night for months. I’m was to tired to try anything else as she only wants me to put him to sleep. IF his dad puts him down he wakes roughly every hour untillI come to him. We have since move flat. He has his own room. He goes down anywhere between 730-9pm depending on how long he’d napped in the day. Then wakes about 1 – 2 am at which point I get him and cuddle in his room in the spare single bed untill he falls asleep. Then I put him back his cot if I haven’t drifted off myself, lol. Then he wakes at 6-630am. Hence my unending months of tiredness. I’m to tired to sleep train, yet.

    Good luck with yours.

    Reply
    1. Living Life as an Expat Parent Post author

      Glad I’m not alone. Expected I wasn’t! Sounds like they are roughly waking around the same time, so I shall think of you when she screams tonight. She is starting to go back to sleep more quickly. Last night it was only about 3 minutes before she passed back out. The sleeping through thing was important to me for a while because I thought it said something about what kind of parent I am, but now we’re just doing what works for us. I’m pretty sure that doing that won’t land her in years of intensive therapy when she’s older….preeeeetty sure.

      Reply
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