I often look back at the first 4-5 months of Mateo's life, think about all the nights I didn't get much sleep, all the nights I was woken up every 2 hours, then 3 hours, etc., all the sick nights and fussy nights, and then I think about how I did it. I, for one, do not like being woken up after only being asleep for an hour or thirty minutes. So how did I do it? How do any of us do it?
Maybe it was the knowledge that some day Mateo would be sleeping through the night, which meant I would be sleeping through the night (unless our cats woke me up, which happens, a lot), which means life would be, dare I say it, normal again.
Yeah, okay, that dream isn't entirely true. I live in a bubble of goofy pre-baby dreams when I could sleep-in and nap at will.
So here were are at the end of Mateo's 21-months, and last night my husband and I took turns trying to get that boy to go to sleep, but more importantly, stay asleep. Nothing worked.
While he was sent home from daycare due to a fever, by the time he got home and sat around watching Blue's Clues for a bit, he was pretty much normal again. So I can't blame his night issues on being sick.
We replaced lost pacifiers, we gave him milk, we held him, we let him cry it out for a good hour, we brought him into our bed (that NEVER works with him, so why do we bother trying?), and as a last and final resort, I just took him into the living room and turned on the TV so I could lie down while he went into a TV coma. I also gave him pancakes. Does that make it okay?
The "fade into TV coma" occurred at 2:30am. I get up at 4am. So, at this point, I felt it was either I get him into a TV coma so I could lie down on the couch while he sat on me (he sits on my belly or legs), or I just sit in his room with him, falling asleep and waking up and falling asleep and waking up while sitting the rocking chair, risking dropping him on the ground or getting a really bad kink in my neck--neither being good choices.
Well, seems that was the best thing I could have done for both of us because not only did I get a tiny bit more sleep in, but Mateo finally gave up and passed out on my chest. My husband came out at 3:50am to see what we were doing, saw that we were asleep, left, then came back at 4:20am, saw that we were still asleep, so he left us there while he went to the gym.
(Side not: How annoying is that? The man barely gets any sleep and he still goes to the gym in the wee hours of the morning! Bottle that up and sell it, I say! Whatever that is.)
I woke up at 5am, took Mateo into his room, put him in his crib, took my shower and then started working. I had to wake up Mr. "I love to stay up all night and so that means you will too" Party Animal at 7am to get him to daycare so he wouldn't miss his breakfast. Needless to say, he was not happy to be woken up. But then, neither was I at 10pm, 11pm, 12am, 1am, or 2am.
He did get me thinking about when he was a baby though, besides the waking me up all night long business. He used to lie on my chest and sleep, something he hasn't done in, like, forever, and it really was quite nice. He was warm and toasty and felt so good. And then later on when I was holding him as he slept, his little mouth opened up, and he gave me the briefest dream-smile with the breathiest giggle. I loved watching him do that as an infant, even though I knew he was only doing it because of nerves and not because he was really dreaming about something funny. At least this time he probably was.
And even with all the sleep debt I've incurred in these past 2 years or so, I would so do it again. Even though I don't know how I did it before, I would. Because I don't know how I do it now, for that matter. He's just about the only thing that can keep me up all night long that I don't want to shove into the hallway and close the door on so she can't come back in (Sophia).