Not to brag, but sleep was something I was always good at. According to my mom, I was a natural from an early age. With talent comes responsibility. I needed a lot of sleep, and I usually got it one way or the other.
I was apprehensive about parenting because I knew my sleep intake would take a hit. Of course, it did. With Buzzy, we went through bleary-eyed days. I consulted the sleep canon of Ferber and the No-Cry people, and eventually we worked it out so that we were reasonably well-rested. Buzzy even, God bless her, adapted to our late morning life style and slept in from time to time.
Then. Then came Rosie. You've seen Nightmare on Elm Street? Ha! Freddy Krueger is no match for my daughter. Rosie loved to cozy up and snuggle, but woe to the person who dare lay her down. We'd rock and sooth 'till her crazy curly eyelashes slooooowly dropped, only to have them pop open just as her body relaxed. Bleary-eyed days turned into grimly-exhausted weeksmonthsyears.
After she turned one, I tried cry-it-out, modified, then not-so-modified. You've seen Poltergeist? Yeah. Nothing compared to the screams coming from her room. She screamed 'till she was hoarse, then kept going. (Did I mention she has a bit of a temper?) I read the attachment theories, which are lovely and all, but a bit impractical if you have another child or want to shower from time to time. Nevertheless, I tried it for a while. My child is so attached I think she would crawl back into the womb if she could. After some deliberation, I decided that full-on attachment parenting wasn't the answer for me. Turns out, I need a little space.
She didn't sleep through the until she was 21 months old, which means I've gone over a year and a half without real rest. You've seen pictures of how the presidency ages people exponentially? I look like I've been running the entire G8 since the day she was born.
After my recent weeks of regular sleep, I started to feel more human again. Household tasks, like packing lunches and making dinner and even throwing in a load of laundry, no longer made me weep. I even organized a closet and wrote a blog post. Were there no heights to which this mommy could not climb?
Alas, it was not to be. It could be her teeth (again), her stomach (again), the phase of the moon (again), the fact that she's entering the terrible twos, or God-only-knows (again). But, she's taken to screaming every time she approaches her crib. My patience, however, is gone. I've been letting her scream (after ascertaining that, despite appearances, no one is sticking pins into her and that she has a clean diaper). Something may well be wrong, and she may be trying to tell me something, but she's going to have to save it for her future therapist, because I can't do it any more.