Thursday, July 19, 2012

I'm Going to Complain. How Unlike Me.

I'm sitting in my bedroom, listening to Josephine talking and kicking the wall between our bedrooms. I am SOOO close to losing my mind that it's not even funny. 

I had (stupidly) come to count on the fact that Josephine had a schedule she liked and thrived on. She would get up between 8 and 9, eat lunch from 12:15 to 12:45, say good-bye to MoJo and Cleo, and then happily go upstairs and go down for a nap. Sometimes these naps lasted LONGER THAN THREE HOURS. Usually it was closer to two, but STILL. We had a little routine, then I put her down in her crib and she snuggled up and was silent until it was time to get up. It was amazing. In the past few months, it was the only thing that got me through the day. 

Since being on "bed rest" and not really being able to "rest" all day like I should, I would do my best all morning, then collapse for her entire nap to build my strength and get me through the last few hours until Jeremy got home from work, which include the most trying hour of the day -- standing in the kitchen and trying to cook dinner while Josephine wails at my feet and begs to be picked up. 

Side note: I think Josephine is actually KNOCKING on the wall between our rooms right now. Yesterday I had to take the camera from its prime location jammed between the crib and her wall, supported by a chair rail, because she wouldn't leave the damn thing alone, and kept smacking it around, laughing and shouting "CAMERA!" Now it is on the floor, pointed up at her crib, which means I can see next to nothing, but she can't turn it off or mock me through it. She must have gotten bored and is trying to signal her displeasure to me.

When she does this -- this flailing and talking and calling for daddy (because she knows mama isn't coming), it literally gets me so stressed I feel like my head is going to explode. 

Just go into another room or turn off the camera, you say? Well, I had been doing that until she fell asleep, then I would go to bed and turn the monitor on so I could hear when she woke up. Then, THEN, the other day ... she ALMOST GOT OUT OF HER CRIB. I put her down, got in the shower, and then when I got out, I peeked at the monitor just in time to see her hoisting herself up -- she had her entire body on the highest rail of her crib. I dashed in and screamed "NO!!!!!" She flung her body onto the mattress and pretended to be asleep. I told her she could never ever do that again and asked her if she understood. She said "yeah," and I proceeded to go outside her door and collapse into a hyperventilating pile of mush. 

This GD house is so old that none of the doors actually CLOSE. Now, all night long I have nightmares about her getting out of bed and rounding up the most dangerous items in the house and quietly doing dangerous things with them while I sleep, blissfully unaware. She hasn't tried to climb out again, but I know it's only a matter of time.

Thankfully, I have had help for the past week. Last Friday, my mom and sister came and helped me set up for a yard sale, then my mom sat with me all day Saturday while we sold some of our crap, and she stayed until Monday when we had to drive home to close on the house. THEN, my little sister came back on Tuesday and has been here ever since. 

I still do stupid things like tell them "no" when they ask if I want them to do something, like make Josephine lunch or make dinner for the whole group, because I ... I just can't. They do enough. I can't ask them to do EVERYTHING. I feel stupid enough sitting on the couch while they get up and scoop crayon bits out of Josie's mouth, or when I collapse from the effort of going up and down the stairs to go to the bathroom (PRO TIP: If you are supposed to be on bed rest, HAVE A BATHROOM ON YOUR FIRST FLOOR. Oh, wait, this tip applies to EVERYONE EVER. Not that I'm bitter about living in a house with ONE bathroom on the SECOND floor. No. Not me.). I can't help feeling like they think I am lazy and exaggerating and milking it, because, honestly, it's hard to believe. Just heaving yourself off the couch is causing you enough pain to cry out like you've been shot? REALLY? 

Unfortunately ... yeah. Just the baby sitting WAY too low and the round ligament pain combined make for a very special type of hell. It's horrible. And every single time I do something and it hurts, I panic -- I'm HURTING THE BABY! This is it! I ruined everything! We have a preemie because I got up to get more ice for my water! I'm the worst mother EVER!!! This line of thinking ... it doesn't help.

I think what I set out to say here is that I am so lucky that my mom and sister have been here during this time because Josephine's schedule has gone all to hell and it is causing me stress. I have lost my stress-free nap time, and by the time she gets up, I am more frazzled than when she went down. Plus, I am at the magical time in my pregnancy where I cannot sleep comfortably at night and once I DO fall asleep I wake up about every half hour ALL night having to either go to the bathroom or flip over and try to find a comfortable position (which is impossible). If I didn't have them to help out and send me upstairs to rest occasionally, I would have been done by now. Just done. 

But her nap schedule. GUH!!! Get this: She will flail and talk and sing and sometimes freak out in there, sometimes for TWO HOURS, then all of a sudden she will just fall asleep, and take a normal-length nap, sometimes LONGER, then go to bed at her normal time, like it's no big deal! WTH, kid? 

I know what people will say: 

Maybe she wants a later nap. I can see that, except that she is EXHAUSTED when she is finished with her lunch, and she still says "nap" and says goodnight to everyone, all adorable-like, but then she starts running laps around her crib when I put her down. Plus, there is not one consistent time that she finally falls asleep. If I put her down and she was staying awake until a specific time and THEN falling asleep, I would definitely consider making that the new nap time, but she has a different time every day that she finally gives up and falls asleep (which definitely makes the stress worse for me -- will it take 20 minutes? 3 hours?)

Maybe she is outgrowing naps. First of all, SHUT UP. This child will NOT shirk her naps just when I am about to bring a newborn home, so you can FORGET IT. Also, she clearly still needs a nap if she can sleep for three hours during the day and still fall asleep at 9 and sleep for 12 hours at night, you know?

All I know is, I am sticking to my plan of "this is your nap time, stay in your dark and cozy room for the entire time, I don't care if you don't like it" because ... I don't know what else to do. Maybe it is totally the wrong move, but what else should I do? Give in and go get her up after 15 minutes of squawking and miss out on the eventual nap because I couldn't handle the noise? 

I don't know what the point of this whole post was, except that I simply HAD to get it off my chest. I had to complain. I know, totally unoriginal topic to complain about, and also likely infuriating to mothers who have kids who boycott sleep altogether (trust me, I had one for an entire year before she gave in and became a sleeper), but I simply had to vent. I also fear that I am the cause of the changes in Josephine (obviously, because mothers are so good at wrecking their kids), but I fear that is a post for another day, as I believe I have just written a few thousand words about my kid not taking her naps properly and giving me rage. 

Until next time,

Veronica M.D., Crazy Lady, Nap-Lover, Writer Who Lacks Focus


  1. Can you put a gate in front of her door? Then when she does crawl out and open the door, she won't get very far.

    1. If we put the gate up, then the door will be ajar, making her room brighter and noisier :/

  2. Hey. Veronica.

    It's gonna be okay.

    I have literally nothing to offer on this parenting subject, but I want to tell you a few things:

    You are actually amazing. I remember when I first found your blog (a year and half ago?) and I read it and I was all "Wow, I want to be like Veronica. She is doing shit right, just the way I hope I will someday."

    You are my favourite kind of mom. You make decisions like I do, you get upset like I do, you do the things as a mother that I know I will someday do. Reading the things you post makes me feel sooo excited for when I get married and have babies of my own.

    So, you know, according to me, you're doing it right. You have a rocking personality, you're a great writer, you're THE BEST mom, and IT'S SO GOOD TO HEAR YOU COMPLAIN.

    Also, amen for your mom and sister. I like them, too. And Jeremy. Seriously, you sound like you've got yourself surrounded by some pretty amazing people.

    I really hope Josie starts (re-starts) napping better. Thank goodness she's freaking adorable, am I right?

    1. Congratulations. You made me cry.

      Thanks for all the sweet things you said, and yes, Josie is damn lucky she is cute!

  3. Is she eating something different? Stealing sips of coffee from Grandma? It sounds like she WANTS her nap, but can't fall asleep.

    (I totally stalked* your new house on a real estate site so I could see inside pictures. Love it!)

    *Town plus street plus outside picture was enough. Oh, and familiarity with the dratted real estate sites from when we moved the last time.

    1. No coffee, and no diet changes, but we are packing up the house and I am moving much less (i.e., I am much less fun and much less apt to tire her out before lunch). I am hoping she is not reacting to the impending changes, but I suppose she could be. :( She really does seem to want to nap, but just isn't tired enough to put herself to sleep.

      I wouldn't have told you the street it was on if I didn't assume you might go online and find pictures, so stalk away! :)

  4. Oh, no, you are doing EXACTLY the right thing. It's nap time means IT IS NAPTIME, sister. Put her in bed, ignore her shenanigans, and KEEP DOING IT. You are RIGHT. Hang in there.

  5. 1. Maybe she IS outgrowing her naps. Both of my kids were done by 18 months at the latest, but then I was able to get them to bed at 7. The early bedtime is GLORIOUS. Trust me.

    2. Maybe she's too big for a crib. It sounds like she wants to be more of a big kid, so in order to get her ready for a baby, why not get her a "big girl bed"? We did that for my daughter for her 2nd birthday- that was her gift from us- we got her a twin size bed and some cut big girl room things. (And also a foldable side rail thing so she wouldn't roll out!)

    3. Let go of the monitor. Truly. I can't tell you how freeing it was to get rid of Olivia's monitor and let her cry, scream, soothe herself to bed. Really. It sounds awful but at that point? I had a newborn who needed to be fed and I couldn't worry that her pillow wasn't fluffy like she likes it. She'll learn to fluff it. ;)

    But above all- the thing I have to say to myself (mostly when dealing with Jackson because he's my baby even though he's 4 and I want him to be a baby forever) is that I have to keep on how I mean to finish. I can't give in even though I'm exhausted. I have to be firm and sometimes mean to get him to understand that he has to do what I tell him to do. (But it sucks because again... he's my baby and then he tries to love on me and it makes it HARD).

    1. 1. She's definitely not done with naps altogether, because she sleeps for three hours during the day and then still goes to bed without much fuss no later than 9 and sleeps 12 hours, so I know she NEEDS it, it's just a matter of figuring out when to put her down and how to convince her to just sleep instead of being trapped in a dark room talking to herself. So frustrating.

      2. I have been waffling back and forth on the big-girl bed idea for a while now, but now that she is running around like a crazy person for two hours before falling asleep, I would have to completely empty her room of all books and toys and EVERYTHING so she didn't just run around distracting herself further. Plus her damn bedroom doors don't close. I was hoping to get into the new house, let her get used to the new place, then bring the bed out (and leave the crib up) and do a super-slow transition. Who knows?? I never know. I think I need to give up on planning, because it never works.

      3. If it were up to Jeremy, we never would have had a monitor in the first place. I am unable to let go. :(

  6. I like listening to you complain. :) Not that I'm glad you have something to complain about, just that I like being able to relate and nod my head in an "all knowing, I've been there" kind of way. Super glad your mom and sister have continuously been over to help you out. I know it's hard to give up control and have others help so much, but you and baby need it. Video monitors are the devil. All they do is make me freak out over every little movement (or lack there of) and keep me awake checking the screen every 5 seconds. LOL Hopefully nap time will work itself out, kids are always changing up their routines when YOU count on them the most. Go figure.

    P.S. Mothers are always to blame. For everything. Why is that??

    LUVS!! Sending destress vibes your way!! You've got a heck of a lot on your plate right now!

    1. Love that you love to listen to me complain. :)


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