I dragged myself out of bed at six this morning. Not to go on a run, which was my initial plan, but to pull a bleating toddler out of his crib and bring him into bed with us. Without changing his diaper, because one word he has learned in the past week and uses frequently is “no.” So, he didn’t want a clean diaper, he just wanted to sleep with Mommy and Daddy.
Then, at 6:20, I pulled myself out of bed again to go on that run. Because I’m not getting any faster, more in shape, or skinnier lying in bed. Even though that is truly where I want to be because Charles has relapsed into bouts of shrieking at all hours of the night.
We’re consistent with our “sleep training,” but he doesn’t let up. Tony and I take turns entering his room, reassuring him that we’re there and it’s okay, and then leaving to the sound of his terrified cries. We flop into bed, but putting the pillows over my ears doesn’t keep out the sound of him retching as he works himself up so hard he barfs. Usually only the air he has sucked into his stomach from crying so hard, but still.
I know I was a crier, but I seem to recall that it was at a much older stage in my life… around age four, when I was pissed off that Leland got to stay up late and I didn’t. I was articulate, I know that much, as I screamed at my parents things like, “You can make me go to bed, but you can’t make me sleep!” Little did I know that my mom probably wished with all her heart that she could change Leland’s infant schedule and get him to bed earlier, too. Would I have been satisfied if he had to go to bed at the same time as me? I don’t know.
And I don’t know what’s eating Charles. It seems as though this is just another in a long line of nighttime sleep problems we will have to endure. He can’t tell us what he needs, so he just cries, shattering my visions of tucking my son into bed after reading a story and having him sleep soundly until the sun rises. Oh, he goes to sleep okay the first time, but after he wakes up in the middle of the night, it can be a good hour before he calms enough to hiccough his way back to dreamland.
Tony and I have been subsisting on a very few hours of sleep for a long time. And truly, the five hours I get now are so much more than the two or three I would get when Charles was younger, sick, or actively teething. It sure throws me into a tailspin, though, as my emotions are much closer to the surface and every daily task seems like slogging through thick, ankle-deep mud. These are not rose-colored glasses I wear, but rather foggy lenses peering out only a world that is moving too quickly for me to keep up.
The bright side? Charles wakes up happy, babbling, and excited to eat his toast and waffles come 7 am. The little stinker.