Thursday, February 9, 2012

Life of a Catholic Librarian, an overnight and morning

Anne is nearly 9 months old, and I like to keep it real on here. :) She's the cutest baby on the PLANET, but no, she does not sleep through the night. I know many of you that read this blog also have babies or young children, so you know what I'm talking about. But so many people that ask me about how Anne sleeps seem flummoxed that she still wakes to nurse in the night. I give these people the patented Tiffany Is Dubious So I'm Giving You A Pinchy Expression, but they seem oblivious.

So, last night Mike and I go up to bed. We read, and breathe a sigh of relief that Anne has not woken already by time we shut off our light. Within 1 hour, right when we're falling into a deep REM cycle, we awake to a baby crying.

We lie there in denial for a few minutes, because you never know. Maybe she'll go back to sleep. The fact that that has NEVER happened does not deter us a single bit. After about 5 minutes, Mike gets up to change her diaper and bring her to me in bed. I pop her next to me to nurse, and drift off.

I wake up again about an hour later and carry Anne back to her crib. Sometimes, she will wake up and refuse to go back down at this point, but usually not. Thankfully, last night she went right back to sleep. I go back to bed.

Around 5 am, we hear a baby crying. The same denial cycle begins again. This one is particularly bad because it's so hard to get back to sleep at this time, but yet we're still really tired. Mike goes and gets her, changes her diaper, and brings her to me (don't I have a wonderful husband?) I nurse her, and hustle her back to her crib as soon as she's done so that I can try and grab just a hair more sleep before I have to get up. Lately, we had a lot of nights where Anne has been up 1-2 additional times, and I've been *dragging* at work. I barely made it through a meeting of the university faculty senate the other day. The opportunities for embarrassing falling-asleep-in-public scenarios are prolific.

Usually at this waking, Anne is ready to be up for the day, but I absolutely INSIST that she reconsider this. So, inevitably, I lay her in her crib, and she sits up, looking pissed. I hand her a lovey shaped like a duck, and she'll look at it, and then me, with nothing short of righteous indignation plastered on her face. I kiss her and leave the room, and then she'll howl. But she only howled for 5 minutes, and then fell asleep, so you see? SHE'S STILL TIRED TOO. Why she insists on trying to fight this is a total baby mystery.

Mike and I toss and turn until 6:20. He gets up to take a shower and I lie in bed and try to convince myself that I still have plenty of time to rest. Mike comes back up and hustles Hank out of bed to get ready for school. While he gets dressed, I glower to myself, because I'm tired and cranky, but force myself out of bed shortly thereafter. I get dressed etc., while Mike and Henry eat breakfast downstairs. I always feel better as soon as I'm out of bed.

Sometimes Anne wakes in the midst of all this, sometimes she sleeps in. Today, blessedly, she slept in. I quickly eat and pack my lunch while Mike and Henry got his school bag ready. I then commence a confusing conversation with Henry in which he insists that the sandwiches that he can buy at school are better than the sandwiches that we make him at home, so he wants to buy lunch. Since we pay tuition, I like to keep the lunch buying down to a minimum to save money. I don't mind paying for him to have a hot lunch a few times per week, but a bologna sandwich? Seriously. We don't need to pay $2.25 for that. And why are these sandwiches so special?

"They use white bread, Mommy."

Yes, these sandwiches are revered because they are made with Wonder Bread. Will wonders never cease?

At this point, it will take far too long for Henry to get his coat and shoes on, and I send him into Mike's capable care so that I can go up and fetch a now awake Anne who is standing up in her crib trying to screw with her window curtain which is *just* out of her reach.

I change her and get her all freshened up, and then nurse her. She's happy as a lark. While I'm feeding her, Mike is trying to prepare for the morning class that he has to teach. I get her set up with her Fisher Price Noah's Ark on the floor of the office so that I can leave and kiss them both goodbye. As I leave the room, Anne is gnawing on a peacock (were there peacocks in Noah's time? I suppose there were) and has a camel in her fist, next up for the slaughter. Noah is there, but his wife is conspicuously missing from the set, although there is a picture of her up on the wall of the ark. I always wondered what fate had befallen her. Was Noah a widow?

Ok anyway, I digress. I got off to work, stopped for gas in my car, and was in my office bright and early with the task of creating and editing several (sorry, I have to say it *boring*) documents on my to-do list. Ah well. It's almost time to go home, and I can't wait. Sleep-interrupted nights and all.


  1. Eh! People who think babies sleep through the night are nuts.

    HB didn't until he was a year old and he still woke up for the day at 5:30.

    I didn't sleep through the night until I was three.

    And if you read Mama K's blog, she'll tell you that her 4 year old wakes up in the middle of the night wanting an extra meal.

    People should give up on that whole notion altogether. I think every mom would be happier for it. No one wants to sit through a lecture or questionnaire about our child's sleep.

  2. I have a friend who says their 6 month old son sleeps full 9 hours at night. But as she said they "trained" him. I should post on this. I don't think my daughter is a puppy and I refuse to let her cry it out. So I wake up and feed her. Most times she is genuinely hungry. Anyways, I have a more natural parenting inclination so although my waking every 3-4 hours sucks, I deal with it because I think it's what my daughter needs right now. Sometimes it's a blissful 6 hours, but then it's back to 4. Yeah, some babies do sleep through the night, but it shouldn't be expected, and those of us who do have babies who wake shouldn't be made to feel any less of a good parent or that it's less superior somehow. Not all parents with babies who STTN act this way, but there are some people who do. Just like a lot of parenting things!


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