Pumpkin lulled me early on into a luxurious sleep routine of seven to eight hour stretches at night. I knew to be humble about my good little sleeper - no mom pals want to hear how a two month old is sleeping through the night when their three year old is still waking up in the middle of the night demanding a blanket replacement. I knew my nights of uninterrupted shut-eye were limited, but on the inside, I couldn't help doing a little alleluia happy dance at my good fortune.
Then Pumpkin turned three months old and all our good sleeping mojo went the way of the pacifier - REJECTED. Now, at six months and change, he's still waking several times a night. I'm smart enough to know he can't possibly be hungry each time he's waking up, but what to do about the other times? We're still working it out.
We've reached the tipping point. The point where there is no turning back. The point where I refuse to whip out a boob every several hours to pacify him. The point where I ditch the swaddle. The point where I may just lose my mind!
Tuesday night was a particularly bad night. Wednesday's naps weren't much better. There was lots of screaming. There were a lot of tears (mine and the baby's). There wasn't much napping. There were cranky babies, cranky mamas, cranky preschoolers.
With the crankies came a lot of guilt. Second child guilt. With Peanut, I had this nap thing figured out by now. I knew his rhythms. I anticipated his drowsiness. I accommodated those nap needs and planned errands, outings, showers around those naps. I may have felt like a captive in my own home, but we had routines, routines Peanut seemed to thrive on. And so it went and it was good.
Now? Now, I feel like we're still a slave to Peanut's routines. There's preschool drop-offs and pick-ups. There's play dates, playgrounds and play time. There's errands to run and outings to go on. Poor Pumpkin rarely has a day where he can actually take two naps in a crib, instead catching snoozes in the car seat, the stroller, the Ergo. And while that's okay, I feel like it might be biting me a bit in the bottom right now when it comes to expecting quiet, peaceful nights.
For the past few days, I've been a woman obsessed. Obsessed with watching Pumpkin for signs of daytime sleepiness and attempting to time those with a snack and a snooze. Obsessed with any whimper in the night coming from the boys' room. Obsessed with checking his gums to see if he's teething because what other reason could he be screaming his fool head off for no reason at 4am? Obsessed with figuring out how to juggle the needs of both my kids without driving myself insane.
And one day, when it's good again (because I know we'll get there, I can already see we're starting to turn a corner), I will snuggle myself deep into the covers, fall asleep and not wake up for eight hours.
If that bed happens to also have an ocean front view, room service, a maid and champagne on ice, well, that's a dream worth dreaming.