Thursday, May 23, 2013

4:00 a.m. Wake Up Call

As parents, we often times want to take credit for the great things our kids do, even when sometimes we might have just gotten lucky.  There have been times when I've seen an episode of Super Nanny where the kids are constantly getting out of bed, or throw a fit when it's time to go to bed, or refuse to sleep anywhere but in their parent's bed and I've smugly thought to myself, wow, those parents didn't do a very good job teaching their kids to go to bed, thank goodness I did do a good job.  The reality of it may just be though that I have been blessed with three great sleepers - the jury is still out on the fourth.  That's not to say they all slept through the night the minute they came home from the hospital, but each found a routine by around four months and pretty much stuck with it.  I can remember Shannon waking up the most, probably from teething, and I also remember the many trips into his room to give him back his pacifier before he figured out how to do it himself.  But, that was over six years ago now and as with most things kid related, time softens memories. 

Right now, Shannon, Quinn, Sully and even Maren are quite easy to put to sleep.  Sometimes I get a loud "hmph!" out of Shannon, or a "right now?????" out of Quinn when I say it's time for bed, but that's it.  There's no screaming, or tantrums, or kicking fits.  There are even times, when if for some reason I've lost track of time and it's crept past Sully's bedtime he'll come over to me and look and point up the stairs as if to say "I'm tired, please take me to my bed."  It's adorable and wonderful that he's that in tune with needing to sleep.  Even Maren has become very easy to put down.  I know she's tired when she starts to turn her head to the side and suck her thumb and I can lay her down in the pack 'n play still awake and she'll drift off to sleep.

The three oldest all sleep until at least 6:00 a.m. with Maren thus far having small spurts of sleeping until 5 or 6:00 a.m. but most nights having a 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. wake up call.  She is wide awake, smiling and cooing just waiting to start her day not realizing that no day should ever really start before 5:00 a.m.  The smiling and cooing devolves into fussing and crying if no-one comes to claim her.  After a few minutes I can hear her thrashing around, trying to get comfortable again and fighting to find her thumb to suck.  Sometimes I wish there was a pacifier to stick back in her mouth because maybe that would help her to fall back to sleep.  We are torn between just getting up with her and helping her to fall back asleep.  I'm also torn between moving her pack 'n play into the nursery with Sully or letting her stay in our room a little longer.  I wonder if she awoke in a quiet room with her sleeping brother if she'd fall back asleep quicker versus what happens now which is she knows we are in the bed just two steps away from her.  Or, would the stirring and crying wake Sully up?  My plan has always been to move her once she was consistently waking at the same time everyone else does, I just assumed that would be before six months.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Just You Wait

Every mom has had someone say to them at least once "just you wait."  When you're pregnant and you say you're going to try for a med-free birth inevitably someone will say "just you wait until you're in labor, you'll be begging for an epidural."  Or,  you might be saying how wonderful a sleeper your baby is and get in response "just you wait until she starts teething."  Maybe you mention how fun it is to see you child start to pull up on the furniture and then you get "just you wait until they start walking and you have to chase them around."  It's like some women are just hell bent on putting a damper on everything you are excited about.  And, at the same time, they have a point.

There are some women who think they know exactly what motherhood will be like and so they get tired of being told to "just wait."  Then, they become mothers and they live the nitty-gritty of it.  They experience the highs and the lows.  They love their baby but when they find themselves up for the tenth time in one night they long for sleep.  When they are changing not just diapers but entire outfits for the fifth time in five hours because of massive diaper blowouts they find themselves crabby and worn out.  Their baby gets a fever and they worry and then worry some more.  They never realized they were capable of so much love and so much worry all at the same time.  The next day they wash bottles for what feels like the millionth time and they are bored, so very, very bored, with the mundane tasks that come along with having a baby.  Their baby starts to grow up and toddler-hood hits hard.  Sweetness turns into attitude, it's not just the terrible twos, it's the terrible twos, threes and fours.  And then it happens.  One day they find themselves chatting with a pregnant woman who is acting as if she knows exactly what motherhood will be like and they say "just you wait."