I usually am a pretty happy soul after both of my girls are tucked into their respective beds for the night, but I'm finding it hard to rally tonight. I'm too tired. Yesterday, after Sadie woke up around eleven, I stuck her in bed beside me – with Chris gone for his new job, there's plenty of room. Except she pretty much fidgeted for the next four hours. I think that she might have actually dozed off in twenty-minute spurts, but I can't say that I did. I finally realized how much time had actually passed during her restless fugue around 3 am, and I promptly returned her to her crib and we both slept for a couple of hours. I re-settled her again around five, and while I had to be up with my alarm at 6:15 to get Madeline ready for school, Sadie slept until nearly eight o'clock.
I am clearly not at my best today. We were supposed to be doing school tours in Saigon this Friday, and I've our visa application forms and photos ready to go for over two weeks now, but it's taken so long to get this trip organized that it's probably too late now to get our visas processed. I am very cranky about that – I purposely had everything assembled in advance because I know that it scrambling at the last minute would be frustrating. I've been quite worried for the last six weeks that the International School of Good Reputation won't have a space available for Madeline because we're applying so late in the year, and that she'll end up going to the International School of Last Resort and we'll have to home-school her in order for her not to be held back a grade in the future. Not that I really know anything about any schools there, anyways, but I tend to get anxious about things like this. But waiting another week doesn't seem so horrible at this point. Maybe that's a good thing.
That brings us to bedtime this evening. Why doth my baby protest so? Screams at getting changed into her pajamas and a fresh diaper, screams at the sight of her sleepsack, the sight of her lights being dimmed … and yes, screams at being put into her crib in less than a state of complete slumber. Darned eighteen-month sleep regression. It's like the period when I could go through our bedtime rountine and plop her in the crib and she's lay down and fall asleep on her own was just a figment of my imagination. Blah. Anyway, I've done as much as I can on the 3-4 hours of sleep I got last night, so it's time to get off the computer …
I'd like to be able to say that I am a master at the art of putting two children to bed by my lonesome. In truth, I have some help on the oft-frequent nights I'm home alone with the two tired kids and bedtime creeps near and their dad is traveling or stuck at the office. While I was awaiting the arrival of Sadie, the thought of being responsible for putting both of the children into bed all my myself was the scariest part of becoming a parent of two children. I was certain that Chris and I were going to have week-long ugly arguments about being home in time for bedtime. I'll be honest – there were some bad nights, nights where poor Madeline waited in her bedroom for over an hour and a half for me to get to her to tuck her in and kiss her sweaty little forehead – but I've become a little smarter about how I manage the putting-the-kids-to-bed process.
And so, bedtime is now officially sponsored by:
- iTunes, where I download Ramona Quimby and Ivy & Bean and Clementine on audiobook for Madeline to listen to on my iPod while I turn my attention to getting Sadie down for the night. After the littlest one is tucked in, I steal back into Madeline's room and we usually read a picture book together.
- Fisher Price and Cloud b, who make the Ocean Wonders Aquarium and Sleep Sheep that provide the orchestal backdrop to my seventeen month-old's dreams.
And I probably should also thank Duracell and Energizer, as I am quite convinced that if we experienced the Great Battery Famine, Sadie would not sleep a wink. She'd just blearily stare at her silent crib aquarium and try to lift a tired arm to point to her mute Sleep Sheep. Ah, who am I kidding? She'd probably just yell, not having the words to tell her parents how crazy they are for expecting her to sleep without her fish and white noise. Goodnight from somewhere in the twenty-first century.
It was not willingly that I got out of bed this morning at 5:30. It was preceeded by the electricity in our apartment building going off about five minutes earlier, which left all of us without our air-conditioning – I'll admit that makes me grumpy. Of course, when the electricity goes out, it plunges Madeline's bedroom into total darkness, which is a problem as she has insisted on sleeping with the overhead light on for the last three hundred and sixty-five days or so. Of course, my five year old, despite being sound asleep, senses that she's in the hot and dark and immediately starts to wail, "Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy! …"
You'd think that these events would wake up the baby, but no, not really. Sadie had been tossing and turning for the last couple of hours. And since she was tucked into bed with us (where you'd think that she'd be content and busy sleeping, right?), tossing and turning really means that she was climbing from one side of me to the other at fifteen minute intervals, stilled only by topping off her milky tummy.
These goings-on collided when the power went out. Madeline summoned her courage to sprint across the den and fumble her way to the far side of our bed, where there was a small patch of real estate available beside Chris. Despite the darkness and maybe because we were without the hum of the A/C, the pat-pat-pat of her feet attracted the notice of my little tosser-turner, who popped her not-so-sleepy little head up to greet her sister with cheery good-morning-ish babble. That's when I knew that I was done, that we were done, and there was no going back. I checked the time on my iPod, sitting on my nightstand. 5:30 am. I rolled to my right and fumbled for my slippers.
I am sure that everyone and their dog is tired of listening to me post about my perpetually-night-waking children after nearly six years of blogging here, but I have to document this or else I will never believe that it actually happened. Last night, Sadie woke up ONCE b/w 7:10 pm and 4 am. And that was at 9 pm, so didn't have to haul my tired and sorry bottom out of bed until I'd been asleep for like, six hours. Wow. No matter how the rest of the day goes, today my toddler is a rockstar!
Sadie was not up for the day until eight this morning!
She stirred around seven, but Chris reached over and patted her, and she settled again. I am pretty sure that she hasn't slept that late since she turned four months old. That was a year ago. Also newsworthy is that she didn't make a peep b/w 7-11 pm-ish. I cannot remember the last time she slept that long …
We are very pleased to announce that we have a new household sleep record. Sadie, three-and-half months old, slept straight from 19:15 – 5:15 on January 30/31. This record was previously held by Madeline, at two years, five months. Sadly, that is not a typo.
It’s been about ten months since Madeline has treated herself (and her hardworking mama) to a regular afternoon nap. We flew across Canada quite a few times in the space of five weeks in December and January, and I think that the travel and time zones are what did the nap in. She could still benefit from a daily dose of afternoon shut-eye, but professes not to see the logic when I try to convince her of that.
Sometimes when I’m preparing dinner, around five in the evening, I’ll notice that the house has gone silent. Eeek! I know that Madeline is wiped out come evening, but if she naps at that hour she’ll be up until nine or ten at night! My policy had been to immediately wake the sleeping child, and then deal with the consequences: utterly cranky child who can only be placated with her favourite unhealthy foodstuffs.
The last two times that this has happened, though, Chris and I have taken a different approach: we just put her to bed (albeit early and without dinner). It’s gone quite well, though. Madeline slept straight from 5-11 pm last night, woke up and asked for her jammies (yes), snack (yes), and her bedtime stories (raincheck on that one). I think that she woke even later at night the first time. We get her changed and armed with a cup of dry Cheerios, and she dozes off again until morning. It’s so much more pleasant than finishing the evening with an over-tired and cranky three year-old …