Saturday, May 1, 2010

She is 4 months going on 17

When I was little I watched the Sound of Music until I had it memorized. I loved that movie. (Which might explain why I get teary every time I watch this.) I wanted Maria to come live with me and make me clothes out of curtains and dance and sing across the country. I dreamed about sneaking off at night to dance in the rain with my true love and squealing over our first kiss. That is, before he ran away with the Nazis. Stupid boys.

Anyway, I've been humming that song to myself the last few days because Lila's been acting like a teenager lately. Meaning all she does is sleep, eat and yell at her mom. My coping strategy has been to alternate between laughing at her, begging her to stop hollering, and losing my temper saying, "Fine! Don't eat!" and resorting to a bottle instead of nursing. I'm a good mom.

Also, I've been making really healthy decisions like staying up until 1:00am reading blogs. So last night at 1:28am I was counting down the hours until the rooster crows. Or until my 4-month-old adolescent wakes up. The good news is it's the weekend so the Husband can help with baby duty and I can go back to bed after the AM feeding. I love Saturdays.

Unfortunately things do not always go as planned. Turns out the Husband also loves Saturday and its elusive promise of extra hours of sleep. So after hours of silently passing the baby back and forth all day and taking turns crawling back into bed, we finally both admitted to the other that we each thought the other had the better end of the stick. He's jealous of the fact that I get to stay home every day and play with Baby Girl. I'm jealous of the fact that he gets to have conversations that are less about poopy diapers and more about...well anything else.

I shudder to think what emotional damage we would have done to our daughter if she had the mental capacity to understand that we were arguing over who had to stay awake to take care of her. The guilt almost makes me want to go and wake her up and snuggle her in remorse. Not really, though. I'm not that crazy. Let sleeping babes lie, for goodness sake!

I've gotta admit though, these last few days have been rough. I keep telling myself that the kid is just transitioning out of the newborn phase and into a more set schedule. That it's the "ing" part of that which makes it rough and once we can replace that "ing" with an "ed" things will be much better. But what it really feels like is someone took my sweet, cooing angel and replaced her with a wiggly, opinionated, over-tired, restless, hollering demon. Who eats a lot.

In desperation, I asked around and was advised to read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Which I did. In one day. And the next day, I awoke with foolish optimism, armed with the knowledge of my new Sleep Bible. I vowed to take notice of the early cues of sleepiness, to make sure Baby Girl could take all of her naps in her own bed, to not allow her to get overtired. My type-A brain was a-spinning with graphs and charts and timetables and I thought, "Now I've got a hang of this."

Apparently Baby Girl doesn't read (I think I learned that lesson during my pregnancy). This was her response to my grand plan (sorry it's a bit dark, it was nap time after all):
I especially like her response right before the video cuts off when I ask her if it's nap time: "Eh-eh." Getting her to sleep wasn't the only problem. Despite canceling all grown-up interactions so I could respect the nap times, despite putting her to bed before she got fussy, despite following every rule in the whole stinkin' book, the child slept all of 39 minutes for every nap. Which is 21-119 minutes too short. Which meant that her eating schedule was off, too. Which meant that my body and her tummy were not coordinated appropriately. Which meant that every feeding was a frustrating battle. Baaaaahhhh.

Sometimes I wish the answer to all of my parenting problems was piling the whole family into bed and singing about our favorite things. Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, sleeping and sleeping and sleeping and mittens. Please, all you experienced mamas out there, tell me there's hope! Tell me that I won't spend the rest of my life watching the clock and doing math that never quite adds up. Tell me that one day I'll wake up before my child (and not because an alarm went off). Tell me that one day I'll feel like I have more purpose in my life than being a walking kitchen. Tell me about the day that my body becomes mine again - even if it's 40 years from now. Tell me that day exists!

Well, I know one thing for sure: that day is not this day. This day Baby Girl decided not to wake up from her last nap and that 6:00pm was her new bedtime. Which might mean that 4:00am is her new wake-up time. Which, as you can imagine, is not a good thing in this house. Oh, Husssbaannnd.


Bethany said...

but she's such a CUTE disagreeable little burrito! that makes the frustrated exhaustion entirely enjoyable...right? no?

Anonymous said...

Ohh Kelsey! I'm so sorry about all the frustration...I'm not an experienced mom so all I can do right now is sympathize :) Hang in there!

Katy said...

Oh Kelsey, You are a fabulous mom and you will get your body back, I promise. It is ALL totally worth it. Lila is still the cutest baby girl ever no matter when she decides she needs sleep and when she doesn't. Remember Tony didn't sleep through the night for 12 months, waking every two hours for food or attention so it does get beter. Love ya, Katy

michelle said...

*BIG HUG*!!!!!
you can do this! you are capable and able to do this (and much much more!) hang in there! she may be stubborn but i have a feeling that her parents can between the two of them be more stubborn! ;) love ya and miss you tons!

Jessica said...

i love my lila. i love my littles.