Beatrice will be 11 months old this month. She is nursing and eating like a champ, but refuses to sleep through the night. She is our first baby to not be sleeping all night by this point. I can’t tell if it’s because she is in our room with us, or if it’s just her. Either way, we are tired and frustrated and please baby girl, PLEASE just start sleeping.
We’ve sleep trained her to no avail. Night after night, we put her in her crib wide awake and she puts herself to sleep, just to wake up a few hours later…and a few hours after that…and a few hours after that.
Incidentally I keep seeing all these new moms on FB talking about the seven hours their baby slept through the night and I just want to take our diaper bin full of dirty diapers and throw them at their house in the middle of the night. Sleeplessness makes me spiteful.
We are doing baby led weaning with Bea and that is going well. She is an adventurous eater with a hearty appetite and it’s always fun to get to this point. She loves roasted broccoli and that kind of makes me one proud momma.
Despite all her eating, she is still a peanut, per our usual. I don’t want to take her in for her well visits at this point to hear about how she isn’t on the growth chart. NONE of our kids are ever on the growth chart until about age two. Late bloomers, I guess.
Oliver, on the other hand, is quite the chunk. He can out eat us all, and is as solid as a brick wall. He wakes up early each morning and climbs in and out, in and out, of my bed, bringing stacks of books with him. It would be cute except for the fact that Bea is finally quiet and I’m trying to sleep. My kids have a MO, that’s for sure.
It’s been fun to see Oliver’s personality really start to shine now that his big brother is at school each day. He talks non stop and enjoys playing, free from his brother’s mini-dictator demands.
It is slightly strange, going backwards in terms of what the oldest is capable of while we are out and about mid-week. I’m used to Theo, and now I’m back to an almost-three-year-old which kind of changes the pace and rhythm of our days. It’s not bad…just different.
Theo wakes up each morning happy and ready for the day. Having his tonsils and adenoids removed this past spring has really helped him achieve a quality of sleep that he’s never had before, and it’s great to see. He gets himself dressed. We eat breakfast together. He and Oliver chat and bicker and simultaneously make my head hurt and my heart swell.
And then it’s time to get his backpack on and wait for the bus.
The razzle-dazzle of school has worn off. Like, big time. He doesn’t want to go. He says it’s too long. He says he wants to play. He says he misses us.
All fair. All understandable.
But for now, this is the decision we’ve made and we are still trying to wade through the pros and cons of that decision so on the bus he must go, and it hurts.
It hurts my heart that he doesn’t want to go. It hurts my head to try and make these decisions that really, I know we can’t screw it up that bad because at the end of the day we are still a safe, loving, caring family and it’s all going to be ok.
I also know there is about a million miles between “ok” and “yes, THIS is the best decision.”
All of this is happening on so very little sleep. What I wouldn’t do for a week’s worth of uninterrupted sleep. Actually, I do know what I would do for it, and it’s a little scary. Would I rob a bank just so I could have the funds to pay for a nanny for a week so I could catch some zzz’s? I mean…I can’t say that I haven’t thought about it….So yea, maybe. Maybe.
Does prison sound more restful than motherhood. Yes. Yes it does.
But I digress.
Life lately is….Well it’s hard to put my finger on what “it is.”
Honestly, I can see why people say your third baby is your hardest. For me, that has been true every step of the way. Bea is up all night and Oliver is up super early and then right from the gate, BAM, I’m dealing with a sad and confused kindergartner who doesn’t want to go to school.
We were all feeling pretty miserable yesterday, so for the sake of mankind, we stayed away from the rest of the human race. I took my birthday money and we went out to buy me some new running shoes. The guy who helped me find my favorite style of Nikes asked if I was training for anything and I laughed a little which I’m sure made me look deranged. But training for something? I mean, I guess I kind of feel like the CIA operative who is in the “breaking you down” portion of training. So does that count?
We got the shoes and then we headed out to the bike path that was just outside of the shop and went for a walk. It really was a beautiful day. Theo rescued a caterpillar from a fate of “death by smooshing” and released him (her?) into the weeds. Oliver walked between Mike and I, holding our hands, and would occasionally nod his head down and kiss our hands. I wore Beatrice in my Beco and she chatted and kicked her legs – excited to be out and about and seeing life from a new vantage point.
A group of cyclist came up behind us and we paused to let them pass.
As we returned to our van, the cyclist were loading their bikes into their trailer and refueling with snacks. Their license plate said they were from North Carolina, and the sticker on their trailer said they were a group of seniors who still loved to get out and have fun. I liked them immediately.
One of the ladies came up to me and said, “We passed you on the path earlier. You have a lovely family.” I thanked her and she took one more look at the kids, smiled, and walked away.
You know that verse about being kind to strangers, because you never know who is really an angel?
Maybe that sounds silly.
But we actually have this happen to us a lot. We will all be tired and kind of depressed about how poorly this whole parenting gig seems to be going (No one is sleeping! No one is growing according to a growth chart! Theo hates school!), and then BAM! Someone reminds us that we have something special – so special.
Are they angels? I don’t know…Maybe that’s just my tired brain walking that thin line between reality and whatever space it is that my mind tends to live in these days.
What I DO know, though, is that regardless of where these people reside -whether they live earth side or not – they are purely heaven sent in my book.
This parenting gig is so dang hard. And when it gets hard, it can be difficult to see how good it is, too. It’s hard to see the forrest through the trees, so to speak.
But these babies of mine are lovely. Our family, is lovely. This life, is lovely.
Sleeplessness and all.