Friday, March 4, 2011

The shifting patterns of sleep.

If you're a parent, you know what I mean when I use this phrase.  I think it's the biggest adjustment of having children; sleeping less.  Quite often it can be a battle.  There's always something that disrupts sleep: nursing, teething, illness, nightmares, bed-sharing.  The list could continue...

Watching our favorite book on bookflix - Chrysanthemum.

The most recent shift in sleep patterns has been Cally's.  Only a few posts ago, I wrote about how she'd slept through most of the night in her own cot rather than coming into our bed in the middle of the night.  Well, as with most things related to sleep, that didn't last long.  She's back to her old ways of getting up (these days by about 11 or 12) and she's into the bed with Joey and I for the night.  I still prefer this to trying to get her back to sleep by sitting in her chair with her (and inevitably falling asleep and spending the better part of my night there).  I think knowing she's our last little one helps Joey and I not get too stressed about this.  She'll sleep in her own bed eventually, and when she finally does, I'll miss these days.

Cally reads along.

But here's the new thing...

In the last two weeks, she's decided that when I put her to sleep, rather than singing to her (and the three lovies - Deary, Mao mao and Etta - and her drink of water) in her chair and snuggling till she drifts off to sleep, she would like to lay in her bed.  It started when Joey was in Guam.  She pointed to the door and said bed!  Thinking she wanted to start her night in our bed, I quickly refocused her and suggested she lay down in her cot.  She liked that idea and quickly settled in with her lovies around her and the banket covering her.  I, of course, was skeptical about if she'd actually go to sleep, but after having a little chat, patting her legs gently and singing our usual night time songs, she did!

Little did I know that two weeks down the road, I'd still be doing the same thing.  Let me recap.  Each night she asks to be put into her bed.  She points to her banket and asks to be tucked in with her lovies (and sometimes a lucky extra joins the gang of three).  She makes sure she has her water and then sits up and pats on her legs to signal me to pat them for her.  Then she proceeds to be very chatty about all her people - Lala seeping, Buddy seeping, Yaya Dodo do home, see mowow, etc - before asking for me to sing Mummy Daddy (what she calls Gundagai, our night time song).  To do all these things, I have to hunch over her cot and lean my head on my hands which I rest on the end of her bed.  Not the most comfortable position, mind you.

Despite looking really tired, I actually am not.

If I miss one of these steps in our new night time ritual, I am sharply reminded.

My sister and I have been having lots of conversations recently about sleep - mostly, when can she expect her son to finally sleep through - I wanted to give her a more uplifting answer, but I told her what my experience was.  I think I said something along the lines of there's always something that disrupts sleep and you'll never sleep quite like you did before you became a parent.  It was cold comfort for an over-wrought, sleep deprived, new mother.  What I should have followed up with was you'll never love the same way as you do once you become a mother and every sacrifice, even less sleep, is totally worth it.


Shan said...

This post couldn't have come at a more appropriate time for me. It's now 8.46am - Saturday - and I'm already tired. Last night Amaya came into our bed three times and after I returned her screaming back to her own bed, she returned again and this time I relented because I was too tired to give a hoot. Two hours later, I was up feeding Remy, and then my day began. To top it off, Luke is at university all day. Sorry, Naemmah, one's sleep is NEVER the same again. And, when you do get a full night of sleep, a mother always has one ear open. xo

oomph. said...

my daughter slept thru the night after one month, yay! my son is almost three and still getting up...ugh! it's always SOMETHING!

Beth said...

Oh my gosh! I am missing sleep too but it's from our cat and doggie. My children are 10 yrs. and 13yrs. old so they sleep....BUT the animals!


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