Darth Vader’s Lullabye

Last week was brutal sleep-wise. Thanks to a certain toddler that resides in the Anxious home, I don’t think I fell asleep before 4AM any night last week.

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The poor girl is cutting two molars right now, which has made her crankier than normal and has definitely affected her sleep. And when her sleep is affected, Mama’s sleep is affected more so than it usually is. I spent many nights rocking her throughout the night, as my arms are about the only place she’ll sleep much when she’s either sick or teething.

Do not tell me to “Cherish these days now, because one day…”

To hell with that.

There’s a lot I will miss. I will definitely miss rocking Baby Girl, who has needed someone to rock her to sleep since she’s been born, but I don’t think I’ll miss rocking her at 3:00 in the morning for the third night in a row, nor will I miss not going to bed until 6:40AM. I’d probably say that I’ll miss being spit up on or plain old vomited on before I say I miss that.

(Who the hell am I kidding, I’ll probably miss it all.)

It doesn’t help that she’s so funny when I’m rocking her. She’ll pretend to snore (I took a video of her pretend snoring yesterday, see below), shush me, stick her hands out of the blanket bag thing she sleeps in to go “Shhhhh, we sweeping!” And, of course, she’s the only one making any noise.

On the last rough night, my phone died, so it was up to my singing abilities to help ease her off into dreamland. I’m not a singer. In fact, I’m so not a singer that I was given a pity spot in our middle school chorus. No solo though, they didn’t pity me quite that badly. Pretty sure this is the reaction I would have gotten as I cycled through every song that I know at least 50 percent of the words to, which is not that many.

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Towards the end, I started singing Darth Vader’s “Imperial March,” as much as one can sing that song anyway. It sounds pretty interesting if you put a lullabye spin on “Bum-bu-bu-bu-bu-bu-bu-bu-buhhh.”

Based on the last two nights — which she slept, and I actually slept for 8 hours, and it was amazing — it would appear that the hard part of her molars coming through is over. *Fingers crossed* Now if we could just get the child to, ya know, eat regular food like meat and vegetables, not punch her brother in the face, and transition from the last bottle (I swear, if anyone says she’s too old, we’re gonna have a come to Jesus meeting) and move away towards some of the rocking and get into a toddler bed. That’s my summer plans.

Speaking of summer plans, what are yours?

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An Open Letter To Anxiety

Dear Anxiety,

You’re a bastard.

I’ve repeatedly tried breaking up with you, but being the son of a bitch you are, you just keep hanging around.

It’s bad enough when you show up during social situations or other times during my waking hours (like where the kids are concerned), but now you’re coming around a lot at night again?

You suck.

For a while, we had a bit of an understanding about you staying away after my head hit the pillows. The Zoloft and the sleep pills were pretty effective at keeping you away or otherwise occupied more often than not.

But then they went away.

I’ll give you credit–you tried staying away for a little while. But then you slowly edged your way back into my nightlife. You showed up in my dreams again, whereas the (sometimes little) sleep I did get was mostly dreamless. I liked that. I’m not a fan of dreams that take me back to places I’ve pushed away to the back of my mind. I don’t like the other dreams that have a number of horrible things happening to me or my loved ones that make me wake up feeling terrified, either.

I could deal with that, since (baby stuff aside), I was doing better sleeping overall. If that was the only place you showed up at night, then I was willing to let that slide.

But that wasn’t enough for you.

Then you decided that you really missed the good old days where you had me awake for hours after I laid down. Am I really that good company? I have a decent enough sense of humor, but considering that I prefer keeping to myself to the point that my husband thinks I have a future as a recluse, I wouldn’t think so.

Whatever it is, you really like being around me now after I lay down. Even though I clutch a pillow over my head to block out all noise and light, something I’ve done since I was a little kid, you still have me hearing little noises that make me automatically think someone is either in the house or is breaking in and that we’re all about to die. Of course when I remove the pillow and look around, I find nothing. I even discover that the pillow was blocking my hubby’s snoring and the loud air conditioner, things I didn’t hear, even though I heard the other slight noise.

Another trick you seem fond of is manipulating the light. When I remove the pillow to look around sometimes, it seems like shadows change slightly, which obviously means someone is in the house and is ready to hurt us. But, of course, that hasn’t been the case so far.

I’m kinda getting sick of your company. If I’m going to stay awake for three or four hours after I lay down, I’d rather be doing something useful or fun, like reading. Mostly, I’d rather get a good night’s sleep so the next day isn’t off for me, so I can be the mom and wife I need to be. But you’re a greedy little bastard, aren’t you? I (unwillingly) gave you an inch, and you took a mile.

It’s time to break up again, and this time for good. I’d love it if you would not only take a hike at nighttime, but if you’d leave all other areas of my life as well. You see, I know these little fears you plant in my mind don’t make sense, that certain fears happening aren’t probable, even. Since being fairly smart is one thing I’ve always taken pride in, you being around and making me think things that aren’t remotely logical absolutely eats at me. If you can’t leave on your own, then I’m gonna let the psychiatrist know that you’re up to your antics again when I see her in a couple of months.

And it’s not you, it’s me. I’m just not the kind of person who responds well to things like you.

E

How to Avoid Sleep

Most of these tactics are only effective if you’re a baby (or toddler). If you do some of these when you’re older, then you might find yourself in more than a swaddle wrap.

1. Lick any and everything. That’s what clothes are there for, right? And when it weirds out mom or dad, bonus! But at least this has daddy making sure he puts a sure on before rocking you.

2. Talk and laugh. You know that you’re precious. More importantly, you know that we think you’re precious. So anything remotely cute elicits a smile, even if we try to hide it because we know that you’ll take it as your cue to double up the cuteness and not go to sleep.

3. Spit. This one is a new part of the routine. Little Man did a lot of things to avoid sleep, but he didn’t freaking spit on us. Spitting comes in two forms: spitting as one who dips would and spewing, preferably with a mouthful of milk. You find it hilarious. We did, too, at first.

4. Thrust about angrily. This happens when you’re finally beginning to realize that you aren’t getting out of this. So you glare at whoever happens to be rocking you and start trying to break free of your swaddle wrap.

5. Yell. This could happen during the thrusting or by itself. The cute babbling turns into what sounds like be cursed out by a baby. It’s kind of frightening.

6. Scream bloody murder. This is your last course of action–high pitch wailing. I’m surprised you haven’t caused our eardrums to burst yet. This one makes mom and dad really want to drink–preferably while rocking you, but we haven’t. Yet.

What this boils down to is a battle of the wills. This afternoon, my will was stronger.

(If I ever have another baby, I’ll NEVER ask the doctor if she’s sleeping too much or tell anyone what a great sleeper she is, ever. Don’t do it, parents-to-be. Just don’t.)