If there is one thing about mothering that truly kills me, it’s got to be sleep.
Fussy eating, whining, screaming, bad behaviour, violence, all I can take.
Sleep – or rather, the way that little children want to be put to sleep - I can’t.
I’ve said it before: How I hate with a passion the lying in bed, faking sleep every night for up to 1 ½ hours each time, before the baby drops off into a sleep deep enough for me to creep out unhindered.
For a while, after our return, we thought we had nailed it with Dee.
We’d just read her a book, sing her a song, give her some love, turn off the lights and walk out shortly after. Two to three minutes of squalling and she’d be out, by herself, a short while later.
She probably wasn’t feeling as ecstatic as I was, but honestly, without the prospect of having to suffer to put her to sleep, I was seriously happy.
Then, as with babies, it all changed a few days ago.
The afternoon naps were still fine, still easy. But not the nights.
Suddenly she refused to go to sleep on her own. She needed me as her bolster.
Rocking doesn’t hasten her sleeping process. Neither does patting.
Worse, sometimes my presence seems to act as a stimulant and she stays up for an hour or more chatting to her still mummy, looking out the window and generally making a nuisance of herself.
Tonight was the pits.
Having woken up from her afternoon nap at 2pm, I was dead certain she would be tired by 830pm, her official bed time.
KK stayed with her for an hour. I stayed with her for another 30 minutes.
10pm I walked out in a huff and she screamed herself hoarse until 1030.
My dad kept commanding me to go in and silence her. Problem is, what she’s grown to expect over the last few nights is that the longer and harder she cries, someone will come.
So we just shuttered our ears and ignored her.
She’s got to learn. I absolutely cannot live with Fake Sleeping anymore.
And truth be told, I think we have managed her entire sleeping regime, from the time she was born, deplorably. At times our hearts go soft and when we are driven to desperation, we turn military. Very inconsistent.
We should probably let her scream herself blue in the face for as long as it takes.