Saturday, October 24, 2009


Kryptonite doesn't sleep willingly.

Part of the problem is she's teething, so getting to sleep is a challenge. She's been as clingy as English ivy.

Kryptonite eventually falls asleep in my lap. I carefully lay her in her crib and slowly begin to extricate my arms from beneath her body. "NGNGNGNGNGNGNGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

(Edited to add: The "ngngng!" of her scream sounds something like a revving ninja bike.)

How does she do that? How does she know? Her bedsheet is fleecy, so it isn't cold bedding against her skin shocking her to wakefulness. It's like she can smell my pending departure.

I pick her up and the crying immediately stops. (Phew! The Oracle has to get up at 5:30.) Within seconds, she's asleep in my arms. I rock her until her breathing slows and try laying her in the crib again. This time, however, I try to be sneaky and lay her on her side instead.

(I used to lay her on her side all the time, but I moved away from the practice because Kryptonite can roll onto her belly, but she can't yet roll from belly to back. She doesn't quite crawl yet, either, so she winds up scooching backward on hands and knees and getting her legs trapped in the crib bars or entangled in the afghan Aunt F. made for her. Laying on her side exponentially increases her odds of rolling to her belly in her sleep and getting stuck.)

I quietly drop the side rail, count slowly to ten, and begin lowering her into the crib.


Aw, come on!!!! What is it??!! We are still six inches away from touching the mattress. Is the air that much thicker when we decrease altitude by one foot? How. Does. She. Know?

Up we go again, and I sway from side to side to help her along, because this time it takes her a couple minutes to go back to sleep. She drifts off, however, and I stop rocking. I stand still, waiting for her deep breathing to come. My back is getting sore and my arms are going numb, but I'm not putting her down until I'm sure I can walk away.

Finally, my back and shoulders are screaming for relief. I make another attempt to lay her down. I put her on her side and she stirs, so I stay there with my arm sort of under her knees and my "free" hand stroking her hair. My cheek is against hers, and I sort of croon/talk her back to sleep. My lower back has joined the protest, and now I have to pee. I slowly slide away, praying that she stays asleep. I tiptoe out of the room.

I make my way to the bathroom with a sigh of relief. About midstream I hear "NGNGNGNGNGNGAAAAAAAAAAAAH," but there's nothing I can immediately do. By the time I wash my hands, The Oracle is awake. Kryptonite is wide awake. There's no cheating her back to sleep now. I take her out to the living room. (Why her crib is still in our bedroom should be explained, but this is long enough already.)

I park on the couch in the dark with Kryptonite on my lap. She stretches and flails and complains, "NGNGNGNGAAAAAAA!" She's mightily pissed, so she started coughing too. The coughing is an odd trait, I agree. Now it sounds something like, "NGNGNGNAAAAA! KA! KA!" She's stretching like she wants to lay down, but she won't lay down in her crib. She won't lay in my lap, on the floor, in the playpen. She doesn't want to be on my shoulder. She won't sit and play, either. What she wants, to put it delicately, is to nurse, but she's drained me just about dry already. At this point, all she'll do is swallow air and get belly gas. It's a giant wrestling match until we both drop off to sleep on the sofa.

I wake up an hour and a half later. My butt is numb from sitting on the sofa for so long, and my arms are asleep from holding her in my lap. All I want is my bed. Kryptonite is in a nice, deep sleep, so I sneak into the bedroom to put her in the crib.

"NGNGNGAAAAAAAAAAAH!" Kryptonite is having none of it. The cycle starts anew.

I'm utterly exhausted and ready to cry. All I want to do is stuff her in her crib and let her scream herself to sleep, but I can't do that with a houseful of people who have early starts in the morning. I plead and cajole and remind her that this sort of nonsense is why babies get shaken, but she won't listen to reason.

Finally, my body and my brain can't take any more. I surrender. I lay Kryptonite between The Oracle and me. He senses our arrival and moves over, but our queen-sized bed isn't enough space for three, even if the third person is an 8-month-old punk. She falls asleep within minutes. It takes me a little longer because my butt is hanging off the edge of the bed and my back is protesting the position, but my tail hurts worse from sitting on the couch. I really only doze, but it's better than nothing.

Yes, I've created a monster.


--V said...

Oh, dear. So sorry.

Being single and childless, I have absolutely no advice to give, just sympathy

Cort said...

Oh goodness! I wish I had advice, because you always have some for me, but I have yet to deal with this. In eight months I'll be asking YOU for advice for the same issue, I'm sure.

I hope you get some sleep soon!

Anonymous said...

During the day does she nap? If she does put her down just as she's dozing off. Stand by and rub her back if she needs comfort but avoid picking her up at all costs. If she freaks when you lay her down, try to remain calm and just talk sweetly and rub that back (or whatever comforts her).
Since I cherish sleep I probably would have dragged the crib out into the living room by now and let her cry it out at night. I've never been good at that middle of the night comfort thing. The kids have a nightmare and my answer is: it's not real go back to sleep, if they are really afraid I tell them to go get their pillow and sleep on the floor next to the my bed, I'm almost always back to sleep by the time they get back with their blanket and pillow. So maybe I'm not such a good person to ask :-) E

Just Me said...

She naps just fine during the day. In fact, she just woke up after a nice 2.5-hour snooze.

I thought she might be afraid of the dark, so I tried leaving the light on when I put her down. That didn't work.

I'm trying to decide which is worse, letting her cry it out and dealing with a houseful of crabby, sleepless people, or hoping she outgrows whatever this is.

Thank you!