October 31, 2007

Sleep Training Week 2007, Day Uno

It took two hours with my arm draped numbly over the side of her crib while Annie alternated between screaming, smiling, and silence to get her to fall… ah forget it, in the time it took to write that she woke up. The point is that my daughter does not like to go to sleep. Her constant struggle against it has become the only issue in my life. I have no clue about the outside world anymore. A point that my mother-in-law made clear to me the other night when I hadn’t even heard of the outbreak of MRSA staph infections going on around the country, despite that fact that a cousin of ours was one of the afflicted. He turned out to be one of the lucky few, as I found out after watching my first newscast last night in months.

Because Annie’s sleep issues are mine I need to get a better grip on them. She does not seem as affected by them as I am though. I walked through today like a zombie. She giggled the day away in her, cute as a button, Halloween cow outfit. My eyes haven’t stopped burning since the time I woke up 13 hours ago. And it’s only 6 pm here. It seems that five cups of coffee and two shots of espresso are no match for four hours of sleep. Maybe they would be if those four hours came in succession, but not when they are broken up by an hour and half soothing Annie back to bed.

All of this comes during what I will call Sleep Training Week 2007. I have embarked on a mission. The objective is to get Annie to sleep for eight to ten hours every night…in a row. I am told by plenty of other parents that their children do it, so it is time for me to stop spoiling and start sleeping. The truth is, the reason I am so lenient about Annie’s wakefulness is that it is easier on my nerves to sooth her instead of letting her cry it out. I am doing myself the favor, not her. From what I am told, about of week of progressively longer crying intervals should cure the beast of her insomnia. Last night was the first, and the interval was five minutes. Small, I know, but it is a start. Tonight we up the ante to ten minutes, then 20, then 40…anything after that is like pondering the end of the universe, or how I got through four years of high school Spanish without learning more than ten words.

I will keep ya’ll posted on how we progress. By this time next week I should be sleeping like a, ahem, baby. This should have far reaching ramifications on the rest of my life. I may even get a chance to fold the laundry that has been piled on the couch for the better part of a week. Here’s to hope.

By the way, I have noticed that my posts often take a negative slant on childrearing. For those that know me, know that essentially I am fine. The bottom line is that I write what I know, and right now I know the pain and heartache of sleep deprivation. So hang in there with me and we should get through it in about 22 years when Annabelle Harper Poulas is part of Stanford’s class of 2029.


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