I have to watch it. Besides making me grumpy and unable to remember anything, intense sleep deprivation also tends to make me malleable. When my mother says, “Leave her in her room to read books, she’ll go to sleep eventually.” I do – despite it being true time and time again that if Small Z has some weirdass renegade nap at any point in the day, she will not go to sleep until after 9pm.
When M says, of Small DB, “She’s tired. If you’re going to get her down you should do it now before she goes spare.” I try – and an hour of valiant non-sleeping ensues, ending with me palming her off on to him and cursing the fact I knew she wasn’t truly fried and didn’t say so.
When you’re this tired, it’s easy to not dredge up a more time consuming response than, “Oh, OK.” Like when M asked me how today went (I attempted to visit L with Small DB, having dropped Small Z with my mum to go to the beach), I said “Oh, fine.” Which it was. In comparison to the Queensland floods, or the US health care system. OK, so there’s some slight exaggeration there, but why does this parenting thing keep kicking my arse? No one else seems to find it this hard. Or maybe they’re just not saying…
I have to remind myself of the good things. I have to remember that at this point (four months old) Small Z would scream during all car trips longer than 20 minutes. She would take FOREVER to get to sleep, waking up like a pop tart when put down at night.
I am typing this right now in the calm that descends when Small DB is put down for the night. It’s her longest ‘downtime’ for some reason – and she’s been sleeping valiantly while Small Z screams incoherently from her room, where she can’t sleep (because she went to bed and…popped up like a pop tart* an hour later) and wants someone to read her books. After the day I’ve just had, she’s lucky she’s still got a room and hasn’t been farmed out to the shed to sleep somewhere between the beer fridge and the suitcases.
Looking back at this time the first time around, it was definitely harder. This time, I have some of the same issues, but I am more relaxed, and Small DB is not as demanding – whether this is a result of me being more laid back or just her own little personality, we do not yet know. But THANK GOODNESS because three-years-old is proving the most challenging age yet – and so of course I go back to consoling myself by reading all the comments on this subject at AskMoxie. And here too. I love you Interweb.
*Despite the whinging about Small Z here, generally she goes down at 5.30pm every night in her own bed and only wakes once in the night. We’ve had a Stay-in-your-own-bed-all-night sleep chart going for a week now… but that’s a different post.