Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I am a problem solver

By this point, you should all know that I don't handle sleep deprivation well. I don't usually get quite enough sleep, but I'm pretty functional and fairly happy so long as I get 6 and a half hours or more.


These last, oh, two weeks have been a spiraling maelstrom of suck.

Emmy is sick. Again. She coughs at night. She cries in her sleep. She has dirty diapers (these must get changed pronto, or she's bleeding by morning, even with the Vaseline slathered on like icing).

So there was that. For a bit.

Then on Thursday they both went on a nap strike, which was super fun. I wanted to gouge my ears out because I was also trying to get the apartment ready for friends to come over.

And then! The best part! Yesterday afternoon Grace refused to nap. She SCREAMED. For two hours. I did not know what to do--give in, let Emmy sleep, and send Grace the message loud and clear that she could get out of naptime just by screaming? Let her scream and traumatize an already sick Emmy?

So I cried for half an hour in the shower. That was fun.

She pulled the same stunt last night. Jeremy and I could not figure out what was wrong. She wouldn't tell us. I tried "monster spray." I tried telling her that her stuffed animals and blankets would protect her. And just in case she was scared for Emmy, I told her they would protect Emmy, too. I told her EMMY would protect her. I told her God would protect her. Nothing worked. The door shut, she started screaming.

FINALLY! I caught her glancing at a corner of her room, where there was a new shadow. A scary shadow. Even I thought it looked a little ominous. You see, I'd cleared out their changing table, so light shone through the bars in it instead of getting blocked by stacks of clothes. And there, on the wall, was this looming set of black and white teeth. Poor kid.

I fixed the problem, she said, "Shadow's gone!" while pointing at the ceiling, and I patted myself mightily on the back while walking out the door.



At that point, I was ready to throw her through a window. There comes a point where all sympathy withers and turns to dust, and my heart turns more toward the IRE end of the spectrum. I sometimes wonder why I was allowed to have kids. I am very short on empathy in such situations. Especially when I'm running on like four hours of sleep a night for the last week and a half.

So I gave up. I lay down on the floor next to her crib because I couldn't think of anything else to do. And as I lay there, I kept thinking about all those parents who get sucked into these traps, and before they know it, the kid is five, and they still haven't slept in the same bed with their spouse in years (the silver lining is that there are no more children to appease). I know this is stupid, but I'm very fond of trotting out the worst-case scenarios whenever I'm pondering a problem. The adrenaline keeps me young.

Then! A brilliant idea! And folks, I am SO proud of myself for this one because I thought of it ALL ON MY OWN.

Every couple of minutes, I slid a little closer to the door. Soon, I was in their doorway. I sat up so Grace could still see me. Then I started shutting the door a little bit every couple of minutes. Soon, the door was shut. Every five minutes, she'd call out, "Mama?" and I'd say, "I'm right here," and eventually she fell asleep. It took a long time. And she woke up a lot last night (to be fair, once was because her water cup was empty and once was because she had soaked through her diaper). But we did an abbreviated version for naptime today, and she actually slept a little bit. And even though she didn't sleep the full three hours, she did remain happy and calm in there. And tonight, I shut the door from the start and told her I would be right on the other side. Not a peep. I'm still sitting right outside her door, just to be sure, but I think she may be okay.

I still expect to wake up a lot tonight, but hopefully it will get better over time.

My MIL comes for another visit this evening. The apartment is a total mess. One of the bathrooms hasn't been cleaned in a week, and the living room is covered in toys. It's depressing. But I'm stuck outside this stupid bedroom door, just to be completely sure she's okay in there (because once that screaming starts, it just ruins everything).

I'm so exhausted I can barely see straight. I told Jeremy that if I didn't get enough sleep tonight, we were going to switch. I don't care if he has to work in the morning. I will turn homicidal if this doesn't stop soon.

So, we'll see. Watch the Utah news.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, the joys of parenting! The screaming, the not sleeping, the yet-to-be-done cleaning. Thank you for reassuring me that I'm not the only one who sometimes wonders why she was allowed to have kids.
    Then, sometime after the screaming ends, you catch them cuddling their little sister and you fall in love again.
    Hope it gets better for you soon.