Her Bad Mother

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Peering At The Backside Of The Moon

I kept my mouth shut for a reason. I figured, if I never, ever discuss that fact that WonderBaby is both sleeping through the night and napping every afternoon, in her crib, I will never have to answer to the gods for impertinence. I figured, if I never speak of it, I will never tempt them to relieve me of this great gift.

So I never spoke of it. After months and months and months of kvetching about WonderBaby's wakefulness, I simply went silent. On the day that she finally started napping - April 2, 2007 - after a seven-month nap strike, I went silent. I swore that I would not speak, nor write, about her sleep. The gods are impetuous, and fickle, and they would, I knew, take me from the gift of sleep as quickly as they had given it.

But the temptation became too strong. My secret was too sweet - she sleeps. She sleeps! I began to whisper it: she sleeps. Hand cupped to mouth, eyes raised heavenward, hoping that the gods be distracted by demi-gods taking their women or mortals stealing fire: she sleeps.

And then I began to gain confidence. Surely it was I who had brought about the sleep; surely it was my commitment to schedules and rituals and my persistence in trying, always trying, to bring about the precious sleep that had won me this victory. Surely this was my accomplishment, mine alone. Surely I could sing my own praises. Surely I could say it out loud: I have won her sleep!

I forgot the gods. I sang openly of my accomplishment. I waxed philosophic and pragmatic and prudential. I speculated upon technique. I regarded the nap and the easy bedtime as works of art, crafted by my own will. I displayed them proudly, and announced them to anyone who drew near. These were mine, I said. I made these.

I was prideful, hubristic. You know, then, how this story ends.

Sleep has flown, been snatched away, is gone. The naps are sporadic, bedtime is a battle, our nights and days have become long, too long, far too long to bear. The wax that has held the harmony of my days has melted, and I am falling, have fallen, into the sea. Is this the gods' vengeance, or did I simply reach too high, too far, too soon?



If only it were always this easy. If only.


I am peering at the backside of the moon.* It is dark, and it is pockmarked, and I would give anything to feel the sun again.

(*Undying respect and big geek high-five to whomever can tell me the source of this line.)

*********

I lifted my skirt and... what? Whaddya think? Check it out, and tell me that you love it over here.

57 Comments:

Anonymous Sarah said...

The sleep gods (they are definitely NOT goddesses) and I are not really seeing eye to eye right now. They have been depriving me of my nights as of late, and my husband seems to be inkahootz with them.
Bat Rastards.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Madame M. said...

Hmm.... is she teething?

Teething has been my archnemesis for months and months.

Good luck, and may you find yourself a Teiresias to keep you focused next time. Not that it did Oedipus much good in the end, but you never know.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Playgroupie said...

I completely jinxed my daughter's sleep by telling of her two hour naps and six hour stretches at night.

Never again.

My lips are sealed.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

I want to go in a corner, rock back and forth and cry now. You are supossed to say there is a light at the end of the 12 month tunnel (Oct. 12!!!)!! I've been holding on thinking when this magical age came so would an 8 hour night of sleep. I think that the Gods are exceptionally cruel to give us the occasional full night to snatch it away again. OK, let me stop now before I really start rambling in my sleep deprived state.

Oh and yeah, Stella is 8 months and has been teething for at least 2 years...

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Heather K said...

My first was a horrid sleeper, but now I can gloat that I have her (now 3) and the 1yo both on the same 1-4pm nap schedule. For now at least!

Aristophanes?

3:15 PM  
Blogger Laural Dawn said...

I'm so there with you!!!
We have 3 beds in my son's room and he sleeps on NONE of them. I'm beginning to accept that my child can run on very little sleep. Much less than me.
He is 3. I am exhausted most of the time.
You know, though, these will be the teenagers who can't get enough sleep!!!

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Chaos Control said...

Welcome to my world, sister!

3:19 PM  
Anonymous sam said...

Sooo cute that WonderBaby!

I hate talking about sleep. Every time I open my mouth, he does the opposite.

But I do have to say (and this will probably bite me in the ass this weekend).. Carter has been napping for three to four hours on saturdays!

Sawwwwweet!

3:30 PM  
Blogger J said...

Anyone who even questions whether sleep deprivation is a form of torture should check out the mommy blogs--starting with your picture of that poor carrot.

Great post--hope you get some sleep!

3:30 PM  
Blogger AndreAnna said...

I just started bragging about how after a year, my baby is finally sleeping through the night and napping in her own crib after 5 weeks of silence (and fear of the almighty jinx).

I pray I do not have a similar ending to yours, because the whole world cries when I am tired. :)

Good luck!

3:34 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

That's how it goes, isn't it? Which is why I am not even going to mention how our sleeping is going ... however much I want to. I won't. Does thinking about it make it happen too?

3:37 PM  
Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

K and I CONSTANTLY try to appease the sleep Gods. They ARE fickle. -Sigh-

I know the wee early mornings all too well.

3:40 PM  
Blogger kgirl said...

Oh, I so feel you. It so sucks. It's so exhausting.

Weaning taught me one thing - I am a one trick pony. I have no other method to get Bee to go to sleep. And Chris has been working weekends. Sigh.

This too shall pass, mama. It has to.

3:44 PM  
Blogger MsPrufrock said...

Ah yes...I am well-acquainted with the cruel mistress that is baby and toddler sleep. P wouldn't nap in her crib until a few weeks ago at 10 months. I was blissfully happy for but a moment, wondering what I could do for these spare couple of hours every day. Alas, she has since discovered that naptime is for wussies and the inactive, so out the window that has gone.

Good luck. Oh, and those are some freakin adorable pictures.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous pgoodness said...

Sleep? What's that?!
Lately, Matt has been saying (over and over and over) I'm not ready yet! when it comes to bed time. SIGH. What about when I'M ready? LOL. The sleeps gods skipped our house completely. Such is our life - bed is a fight, naps are non-existent and there's always one kid, if not both, up in the middle of the night. I look forward to the teenage years for the sleep alone.

3:57 PM  
Blogger AbbysMomma said...

Ahhh...sleep deprivation is surely a form of torture...Seriously!

I feel for you...the gods must be pissed...my normally easy to sleep 4 y.o. has been a pain for weeks now...

Hey, did you put the air conditioning on recently? DD slept well from 3 mos. to 6-8 mos. and then was a pain...it took us 2 mos. to realize it was the a/c. I put warmer jammies on her and saw improvement.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous dana said...

It's not Pink Floyd, is it....

That's in my head now!

I'm sorry about the disruption of sleep over there. Dawson will sleep, just never in his own bed. I can't stand it!

4:08 PM  
Blogger rachel said...

The Clouds, no?

4:24 PM  
Blogger Julie Pippert said...

Teeth, growth, development.

It's actually not random, I've learned, nor governed by fractious gods with a sick sense of humor.

It's tied to an Event. Which will strike just when you are at the end of your sleep-deprived rope.

Hang in there until the phase is past. Lots of luck. I recall that no knowledge whatsoever is any consolation to me at the time.

4:27 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

Have hope, HBM. We have periodic disturbances of a week or two when I nearly lose my mind, but she gets back on track, just when I'm dangling on the ege. This is a test. I repeat, do not adjust your set. This is a test.

4:42 PM  
Blogger nomotherearth said...

We call it the "Kiss of Death" over at Casa Earth. It is a topic of which we don't speak, therefore I cannot speak about it (or risk the Kiss of Death).

We are here for you, though, if there is anything we can do to help. Know that. You don't live far.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous pkzcass said...

They just suck the life blood out of you, don't they?

My 10 year old still sometimes wakes me up to tell me he can't sleep. I threaten to kill him if he doesn't get out of my room right this second!

Backside of the moon, hmmmm, Shakespeare?

5:05 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

Impudent and arrogent human.

How easily the gods laugh in our faces when we are prideful. Perhaps a small sacrifice to gain their favour again?

Wonderbaby sounds wired JUST like bigirl was.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous binkytown said...

This is a tidal/moon phase kind of thing I am sure of it because as someone else mentioned, just when I think I can't possibly take one more day (and night) of not sleeping, the spell breaks and he sleeps gloriously for weeks sometimes at a time.

Then we find ourselves right back there again. I've found it's easier to surrender and not try to fight it or beat my chest in frustration or even attempt to determine the cause. I simply shrug my shoulders and hope for the best.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

Ooooooh. You had to go and tempt fate, didn't you? I will never mention the S word on my blog for the same reason. Sleep, she is a fickle mistress.

5:15 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

I am going to go mental if I do not find out where the quote came from. I am thinking shakespeare but a google search raised a electronic album, not Pink Floyd.

argh.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

If you find the right sacrifice, please notify me. I will fire up the backyard pyre and get to burning.

Emily started a new sleep strike two weeks ago. And she's nine.

11 am to 2 am seems to be the best time to tell me how she can't sleep.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...

Aristophanes Clouds?

I hope you sleep again soon, HBM!

6:20 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Those gods punish me in different ways...my girls - they sleep. Long naps and early bedtimes every day without fail. So how am I punished, you ask?

The little one eats so poorly she occasionally ends up on laxatives and stool softeners to get things moving.

The gods are fickle and even though I have not had to use medication in months and the fact that Rosebud has pooped on our potty many times now, I have blogged about it a bit.

I just don't dare.

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Austrian Dyspeptic said...

Calling Prospero? Puck? What to do? Play CDs of falling rain? A couple of martinis? (Just kidding)

Hubris? It's not like you're King Lear. You were pleased with the little bambino's streak of embracing sleep. That's all. Nothing wrong with that -- celebrating those little victories.

Love the photos of WonderBaby drifting off.

Have you considered t-shirts of WB and her carbohydrate adventure?

7:05 PM  
Blogger Magpie said...

It ebbs and flows, the sleep thing. Mine now just won't go to bed. In her bed. Or in mine. Just wants to be up. And then she's so tired she can't get up in the morning, when we need to fly out of the house to daycare. Someday, she'll be in college and I won't have to worry about her sleeping. Or, her erratic sleeping will be happening elsewhere and I won't have to think about it.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Mamalooper said...

Sounds like you ran smack dab into the 18 month sleep regression...it apparently gets better at 20 months. So I hear. And am counting on...

7:44 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Gah! Cute photos, baaaaaad story. I'm such a wreck when we don't sleep. It's kinda nice being in Victoria now, because even though I'm working like a dog and staggering through the time change, at least I can sleep. All Night. Every Night.

Very, very cute photos. When she's alseep, WB looks like a baby still ...

8:59 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Kyla, Rachel, Heather - big geek high five. It is inded the Clouds.

And Madame M? You get a geek high five, too, for invoking Teiresias.

9:30 PM  
Blogger jen said...

um yeah, Bad. I know.

I know. i have some extra crow over here, want me to heat it up for you?

9:45 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

The exact same thing happened to me. I finally couldn't take it any longer; I wrote a post BUT DID NOT POST IT, hoping that it would alieviate my desire to shout to the mountains without angering the gods. But even with it sitting in my draft box, the damage was done, the sleeping was over. Defeated, I posted it weeks afterwards, with the original date. I got a few congrats and didn't have the heart to tell them that it was over...

I won't even open my mouth to say how he's sleeping now...

10:06 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

The Baby is having a miserable time right now and getting up multiple times a night. Of course, I sleep like a baby (one who DOESN'T sleep like a jerk) because my husband is the lighter sleeper of the two and gets up with her.
I don't remember where I was going with this....

10:07 PM  
Blogger painted maypole said...

i feel your pain. my child never slept when she was young. I had a friend say to me "my child is sleeping for 4 hours every afternoon, should I be worried?" AFter restraining myself from decking her, I told her she should be throwing a party, and cooking dinner for ME!

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

Ah yes. The first time The Weed slept through the night I (foolishly) proclaimed it to the masses.

It has never happened again.

I hear you.

Teething. Oh, and those incredibly long days - my toddler doesn't go to bed until almost 9 now!

11:00 PM  
Blogger flutter said...

Taught you, now didn't she?

12:04 AM  
Blogger Major Bedhead said...

The Bug has slept thru the night once. She's almost 11 months old. I despair of it ever happening again. This is why I stay up until the wee hours - if I'm not in the room, she stays asleep. As soon as she hears me, though, she's up and wanting to nurse. All. friggin'. night.

I had Aristophanes, but I was beaten to the punch.

1:04 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

I had a high school friend who had a superstition about driving across train tracks. You had to lift both feet off the floor of the car, cross your fingers, touch the ceiling, and say, "Peanut Butter."

Which I think affects your luck about as much as anything you do to keep your child napping.

3:32 AM  
Anonymous Shiri said...

The first rule of nap club: you don't talk about nap club!

Did you know that you come before Aristophanes when googling that phrase? That should make up for the lack of napping, no?

3:50 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

I will not comment on this subject for fear of retribution from the gods of sle..... Uh uh. Not even gonna say it.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

I feel this pain. I feel it. At 7 weeks, we are lucky to get Myles to nap for more than 15 minutes at a stretch during the day and man the days are LOOONNNGGG.

10:10 AM  
Blogger ewe are here said...

One of the reasons I don't openly celebrate our 15 week old's sleep patterns, too much....yet.... :-) don't want the sleep gods to punish me!

10:26 AM  
Blogger Bloor West Mama said...

I find it that now with it being light outside until 9 or so, Isa is awake in her crib for much longer. I have to go and buy myself some blackout curtains.

I hope that WB finds sleep again. The only tip I can give is to still be consistent with your sleep routine.

10:55 AM  
Blogger metro mama said...

Oh, fack. I'm so sorry HBM. I hope it's just a phase that passes soon.

2:09 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

Thank god I know it is the Clouds now. Who the hell are they? I came back just to find out. How sad.

Ya Metro, suuuuurrrreee you're sorry with your perfect sleeping child.

xo

3:57 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

no I am not stalking. oh my god. I asked if The Clouds was a band, then I googled. Ancient greek stuff.

skulking off in embarassment.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

My son is generally a good sleeper but just started to have trouble at bedtime. Gah, it sucks so bad. I feel ya.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Slackermommy said...

My kids were good nappers until they turned two then the nap was gone forever. I've always envied moms who could get their kids to nap regularly after the age of two.

I love the sleeping photo. They certainly are angels when they sleep.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Sigh, I forget about the sleep gods ALL the time too. You'd think I'd learn but they jinx me every time! Hope you get back to sleeping better soon!

10:24 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

I second Madame M regarding the possibility of teething. I seem to remember my son getting some molars in for, oh, a month or so when he was right about WonderBaby's age.

In case you have angered the sleep gods, however, it would seem to me that such a situation would certainly call for libations. Lots of libations. One drink for you, one for Hypnos. Two drinks for you, another for Hypnos . . .

10:43 PM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

oh god, you poor woman. you poor poor woman.

is it tempting fate to say *three nights of hotel sleep with no children?*

yeah. i thought so.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Staci Schoff said...

Thank you for proving what I already know. Rational mind or no, to achieve the best outcome, always remain superstitious!

1:34 AM  
Blogger mo-wo said...

I know that hubris. Why do we make them if it is for the winds and sands to in fact grow them up?

2:04 AM  

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