Saturday, May 22, 2010

This child is exhausting

Last year, life was different. My daughter was about 1 1/2, and having great difficulty sleeping through the night. I am not one to "let her cry it out" so I spent lots of nights trying to creatively calm her back into a deep slumber. (Thank you, author Elizabeth Pantley for the great advice and motherly support! And to Julie O. who went through the same ordeal.) Overall, I don't need more than 7 hours of sleep, with 4-5 hours a minimum for a day or two. I have had so much experience walking through the house in the dark, doing my best to avoid all the really squeaky floor boards and scattered toys, that I am amazed when my husband stubs his toe on the leg of our bed in the dark. (It hasn't been in any other location for eight years.)

Between both my children's infancy's, I spent hours of painful awake-ness (?) in the dark, praying that this crazy creature would just give in already and sleep for gosh sake. Anyone else experience that overwhelming full-body pain I felt by just being awake and trying to calm a baby back to sleep? It's insane. No one ever talked with me about it, so I can never tell. But then again, no one ever told me about all the gross things that happen during pregnancy either, so I think it just goes with being a mom. (We don't talk about that stuff because either it's embarrassing or we know that we all go through it so who's gonna care? I personally would have enjoyed knowing that "cheeseburger crotch" was completely normal before I showed my swollen cootch to my old man OB.)

Now my dear daughter is a little older than two. She is funny and smart and does so many things exactly like her dad (good and not so good) and she is so independent, during the day. At bedtime, she still requires a bit more attention than I'd like to give her most days. She cried for ten minutes tonight because I failed to put her preferred amount of toothpaste on her brush, and after she wiped what toothpaste I had put on it onto the side of the sink, I refused to reapply toothpaste. (No I did NOT give in to the diva.)

Then, she pushed her brother out of his spot on his bed while we read him a book and was unwavering in her selections for her own stories to read next to her crib. She's getting so good at falling asleep with me just next to her crib, but tonight needed LONG hand holds and lots of shushing. She seems to try my patience at my most impatient moments, and I am thankful for that - it's strengthening my patience, but MAN, it makes me reminisce about those long years of our lives before we had kids, and all that sleep I got.

My daughter is currently in LOVE with he Olivia books.
There is a line from Olivia's mother in one of the books. After an especially tiring day together, her mother gives her a kiss and says, "You know, you really wear me out. But I love you anyway." And Olivia gives her a kiss back and says "I love you anyway too."

I think my little girlie and I will have many moments like this one in the years ahead. I am so happy to be the mom of this child, but man, she really wears me out.

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