Monday, January 5, 2009

saturday morning

bebe marie's Great Sleep Experiment continues onward, with new developments daily!

yes, folks, it's true! with this new and improved formula, bebe marie will get more sleep, more sleep, more sleep! she will soften your clothes, remove tough stains and odors, and you can throw away those dull blades you have lying around because she is guaranteed razor sharp for ninety days or your money back! act fast, because the first fifty callers will also get a discount coupon good for naked bottom time- daily! that's right! not yearly, monthly, or even weekly! you can expose this soft pink tush to the open air once every day! she slices, she dices, she cuts through this aluminum can, and then juliennes these potatoes with ease! thanks to recent scientific advances in non-stick technology, we here at Burgilbank industries are able to offer you the latest easy to cook, easy to clean surface that even beats TEFLON! you read that right!

um, sorry. got a little carried away there. but after some trial and error it would seem we've broken through to the next level. on the one hand, it's becoming increasingly obvious that this kid just does what ever she wants. we are clearly along for the ride, with little or no say in the matter. i think she's a little young to be driving (as previously posted, third grade is an acceptable time to begin learning the proper respect for automobiles and the rules of the road), but drive us she does. about all mommy and daddy can do is turn the windshield wipers on and off. big whoop. i keep asking if i can sit on her lap and at least turn the steering wheel, but she just gives me that look and assures me that i am not ready. what does she know.

what i'm really trying to say here is that my morning cup of coffee has gone straight to my head. and beyond that, what i'm really trying to say here is that while there are good and bad patterns to our baby's sleep schedule, there is no constant. as far as the answer to the question at the end of the previous paragraph? she apparently knows more than we do about her own healthy sleep habits.

if we were to back up a little bit, the last time i discussed her sleep was to call bullshit on the book that was guiding us so "helpfully" in those early months. since then, bebe has gotten much better at night, usually only waking up once for a feeding that everyone tells us is unnecessary at this point. our medical experts tell us, well, mommy really, that if we want her to sleep through the night, she should not be nursed when she wakes up. but try telling her that.

it would seem, at this point, that her sleep does not work in what we would call a consistent manner. simply put, she has her good days and her bad days, and about the only thing we can hope for is that there are more of the former than the latter.

one thing that has been consistent, though, is that sleep begets sleep. if she has a good night's sleep, she takes long, wonderful, refreshing, luxurious, freeing, beautiful, invigorating naps that she wakes easily and happily from. the time spent between these naps is cheerful and bright. on these days she also naps more often.

on the nights she doesn't sleep so well, the naps are forty to forty-five minutes at best, and we're lucky to get two all day long. she's crabby and fussy and cranky. with this as an incentive, we tried various techniques to ensure that she would sleep well at night: we tried moving her bed time up, we tried pushing it back. we tried wearing her out and waking her up from longer naps, but in the end it was up to her. there was no rhyme or reason to her sleep schedule that we could discern. and then the four-thirty wake-up calls started.

every morning at four-thirty (or five at the latest) she would begin to make noise. we tried the tough love approach of letting her cry for a while, but her creaky little moans turned to cries after ten minutes, and those turned to wails after ten minutes, and five minutes later she was full-on shrieking and what's the point? she's so pissed/upset that she's not falling back asleep even if we go get her. crap.

we thought the cat was waking her up with his mewing and meowing, so we put him in the back stairwell/basement, but don't worry, only on the really cold nights. she still woke up before the sun. mommy tried nursing her, not nursing her. all to no avail. finally, in a tearful act of desperation, mommy went and got her as she stirred, and brought her back to bed with us. on the weekends we had made a habit of snuggling, family style, in bed. but only after everyone was up. this was something new. mommy would get her, nurse her in bed if she seemed hungry, and then lay her down between us. and she fell back asleep.

now, it's not ideal. some days we get an extra hour, maybe an hour and a half. but when the difference is between four-thirty and six, it may as well be weeks. plus, there are the rare mornings she sleeps past six, and when she does wake up, she wakes up with mommy and daddy and smiles and raspberries and spittle and laughter and did i mention the smiles? she loves to roll from one side to the other, batting each of us in the sides of our heads until we open our eyes. we can put an arm around her, hug her, kiss her, snuggle her, all without even opening our eyes if we want. bebe wakes up better, and mommy and daddy wake up better. eventually we'll have to make other arrangements, and we still have no idea why she's up so early every day, and at almost the exact same time. she's got a crazy little built in alarm clock i guess. but for now, we can deal with some more mornings in bed:

yay! for extra sleep. woo hoo!

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