Elusive Sleep

Yup, the post time down there isn't wrong. It is nearly 4 am right now and I am getting that deja vu feeling of being up around the clock with a very tiny baby. My Caroline was up at 5 am on the dot Monday morning leaving me exhausted and confused. I don't know about you, but I can't really argue with a child at that hour. Caroline is old enough now that so long as she isn't in distress she will lay down if you ask her to. She nodded off just long enough for me to barely fall asleep again and we were up for the day with Noggin blaring (or did it just feel that way to my desperate to sleep eyes and ears?) at 5:30.

She has been sick for a month. That lingering cough and runny nose still allude rhyme or reason. She has at least one new tooth coming in that is giving her a bit of trouble. She has been pointing to her ear and saying ow. During the waking hours, at least the normal waking hours for the rest of the world, her mood has been great, normal, happy. One minute I think - teeth. She's ok. The next I think respiratory infection, ear infection, teething to boot. There is no guidebook to get me through.

Tonight, or should we just say this morning, she woke us standing in her crib calling out at 2:30. That was after we struggled to get her to sleep even with the use of ol' standby; Motrin. I thought I could ward off the painful teething, but at this point I don't even know what woke her. She handled me poking around in her mouth without a peep, tugging on her ear without so much as a grimace, and basically it all seems to boil down to her not wanting me to leave her room. My independent girl is suddenly afraid of being alone? Each time I left her room last night she seemed to panic and as soon as I returned she was able to lay down, get comfy, and eventually she fell asleep - without my presence.

I got up at 2:30 and then again at 2:45. At that point I just went and sat with her, my head against her window, eyes drooping, saying shhhhhh over and over. When I returned to our room at 3:00 and she cried again, but since she wasn't in distress, did not appear to be in pain, and kept smiling at me I ignored it. It is now nearly 4 and both Caroline and I appear to be wide awake at this point. While my eyes are open and I wonder if I could even fall back asleep at this point, the nauseous feeling in my belly tells me that I am dead tired. At last look Caroline was sitting with her back to the crib wall, pulling her shirt over her head. Before that she was jumping up and down. Before that she was playing with her little giraffe. She's in fine spirits and clearly as awake as I am. Every now and then I walk in, tell her to lay down, cover her up, pat her back and walk out again.

Where's Steve? I ordered him to sleep too. I don't see why both of us need to suffer - at least not tonight.

I always find myself saying that nature tricks us. Nature makes us forget about all that sleep we lost with our infants, all those nights we were the alternating walking dead. Nature, I am so on to you. This little reminder has been loud and clear and the thought of sleep being this elusive again absolutely terrifies.

I am not sure that she would even sleep if I did bring her upstairs, but at this point, it feels like a lost cause. I foresee late night/early morning googling on toddler sleep, upper respiratory infections, and separation anxiety in my immediate future - mixed with a healthy dose of "lay down" calm and comfort sessions. I am sticking to my guns, she's staying put. She can be as stubborn as she wants to staying awake for whatever reason she is, but I am twice as stubborn and those crib walls are keeping her firmly planted there come hell, high water, or daybreak.


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