After having four infants one would assume the night-time routines are a snap for me.
My first, beloved child, whom I had at the young age of nineteen, was a breeze. He was pretty easy and we eventually fell into a comfortable routine…….at least looking back seventeen years ago it seems this way. Not to mention I didn’t own a monitor so he was probably wailing his little lungs away during my sweet oblivious sleep…AND I was NINETEEN- what did I know?
My second child is a little vague for me. Could be because my mother lived with me for a short time during her infancy and helped at night quite a bit. Humm..matter of fact, could be she took ALL the night-time feedings and issues for a while. Ya, that is probably why my second also seemed pretty easy to me. Ten years ago.
My third. Demon spawn. She came roaring into my world, my world, and not only didn’t sleep, she didn’t like to be rocked or held. WHAT?! What infant doesn’t like to be rocked or held? MINE. We had a joyous eight weeks of torturous hell with the walk-rock (you know, when you walk and bounce until your arms are on fire and your eyes are watering because you keep staring at a hole in the wall, or the tv, wishing either would suck you into it away from the madness), with the pick up, put down, pick up, put down routine TWENTY FOUR HOURS A DAY, that I finally snapped and ferberized her (what ever the spelling is for that dude that believes we should let them scream till they burst). Well, I did. And after three nights of absolute sheer torment, it worked. Three nights of my crying, her crying and my husband pleading for us both to shut up. She is two now and sleeps like a champ. I am scarred for life from my three night experience.
My fourth. My little sweet fourth…child.
I am not sure where to begin with this precious bundle of joy.
She is not like my third. She does like to be held. And rocked.
ALL THE TIME.
She is mostly sleeping through the night now. Sometimes. Once in a while.
Last night wasn’t one of those nights.
Massive melt down.
MY MASSIVE MELT DOWN.
I am not designed for the night-time routines, I don’t think. No, I know, that really, I am not. I am the demon, in the middle of the night.
I could probably handle a quick rock, feeding and then place a sweet sleeping child back in a crib, smile wistfully and climb into my warm comfortable bed to fall fast asleep.
First, I have insomnia quite often so for me, to be woken, is like waking a raging hormonal beast. It is just not good.
So I will stomp, yes stomp, to the pretty nursery and pick up the crying child, stick a bottle in its mouth and pray,
“Lord, please let this child eat quickly. Please let me have patience. Please don’t let me snap”. With my eyes closed so that perhaps, maybe, I will be half asleep by the time I get back to my bed.
Last night, the Lord wanted to teach me perseverance. I failed miserably.
At two am, my sweet fourth child finished her bottle and was wide awake. Placing her gently in her bed with my wistful smile didn’t work. She started wailing.
She kept wailing. For twenty minutes.
I STOMPED back.
“Go to sleep!”. Yes. I yelled. At my ten month old. To go to sleep. I am pretty sure, that if she could understand my asinine outburst, she would have something to say back, that would go a little like this,
“Shut your lazy trap, pick me up and comfort me!”.
I didn’t. I stomped back to my bed.
And turned the monitor off.
She did fall asleep. I am just not sure when.
I am not proud of my severe lack of night-time mothering abilities. But they are what they are and I can no more stop my night-time demon than I can stop having bodily functions. It is who I am.
I love my babies. All of them. I swear.
I just don’t do love very well in the middle of the night.
Thank God he designed children to be resilient and forgiving.
This is what I woke up to.
She still loves her lazy, ridiculous, bad-tempered demon of a mother.
I am off to enjoy a glass of wine with a friend tonight, while the babies are sleeping.
And I will pray before I go to bed, since my husband is out-of-town all week,
“Lord, please don’t let the devil jump into my body again tonight.”
And I think I will leave the monitor on. Am pretty sure I will. Possibly.
PS tonight I had boring, but delicious turkey tacos. YUM!