Monday, October 18, 2010

She Who Does Not Sleep

Observe one of the only existing images of the rare Sleeping Veda.

Simply put, Veda doesn’t sleep. On the bright side, that’s how I’m able to write this blog. After her brother has gone to sleep, Veda and I sit in the living room. I do all of my computer business and bounce her, usually until I go to sleep myself. She spends her time fussing/staring into space/babbling/drifting off. And, yes, I did say bounce - not rock. When they were both little night owls, I couldn’t rock them at the same time, so we came to rely on the bouncy seats. Consequently, one of the things about the singleton experience I feel I’ve missed out on the most is rocking my babies to sleep. Maybe I’ve idealized it a bit, but the idea of cradling my little one in a still, dark room, slowly rocking him or her off to sleep sounds absolutely heavenly. But we got used to the bouncies, so that’s what we do.

Since she sleeps less than Linus at night, you might expect that Veda would be a champion napper. No. No, no, no, no. She almost always goes down for her naps later and wakes up sooner. Don’t even get me started about the days when they take staggered naps. Those days. Are. EXHAUSTING.

When it’s time to turn in, Ray will take over for a bit so I can brush my teeth, take out my contacts, do all of those bedtime chores that seem so dreadful when you‘re drowsy. And then I’ll carry Veda up to bed with me and nestle her next to me. Linus is content to sleep alone - prefers it even. But for this time in her life, my little girl wants me close, needs me to help her feel safe enough, buttoned up in love enough to drift off. There are plenty of “experts” who would tell me to let her cry it out. In fact, a pediatrician did. We didn’t see her again. In just a few years my little pearl of great price will marvel to her friends at my behind-the-times ways and think I’m rather foolish. I know these things; I did teach high school. But I’ve had enough time to myself and did crazy things to my body in order to not have the rest of my life to have too much time to myself. She will have plenty of opportunities to cry it out: when her heart is broken, when she finds out that wanting something isn't enough, when she learns that everything ends. For tonight it’s me and my girl, and I know how to fix it...
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  1. We don't really cry it out either. I let Isabella cry for a minute or two when I first put her down. Many times she cries for about 30 seconds and then falls asleep. If she doesn't, I scoop her up and put her in my bed. We cuddle for a few minutes and within moments she's asleep. If she wakes up in the middle of the night, I just rock her or even spend the night cuddling with her in the guest room. The crying it out thing didn't really work for us. She didn't fall asleep, and we couldn't sleep through the screaming. What was the point? Isabella self-weened in August, so now Bill and I can take turns with the soothing, rocking, early morning wake-up calls.

  2. That doesn't sound so bad. The past several nights she's been sleeping for a little bit after I nurse them down before she wakes up. It's progress. I think what's going on now is the result of normal separation anxiety/the move, so I'm sure it won't last forever.


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