Hmmm. Silly, silly me, because no sooner did I flaunt my hubris to the Gods of Baby Sleep than Julia embarked on a pretty serious poor-sleeping crusade. Last Thursday, when she was sick with a cold and after I had seemingly been awake the entire previous night listening to, alternately, her cough over the baby monitor and the cursed wind of Northfield rattling our entire house, Julia actually refused to nap. AT ALL. I mean, she laid in her crib and talked and played and yelled and sang her ABC's (quite correctly, I should add) for an hour, and then bellowed to get up, having had enough. I'm sorry, but an hour of listening to her protest her nap over the monitor, thus preventing me from being able to nap myself, and culminating not in a second hour of actual sleeping but instead in her demanding to get out of her crib and be crabby the rest of the day does NOT a break for Mama make.
I bring this up today because we seem to be headed in that same direction again, despite the fact that Julia is clearly enormously tired from over a week of sleep deficit and the after-effects of a busy and stimulating holiday weekend with Grandma in town. As I write this, Julia has been in her crib for 55 minutes and so far instead of blessed silence, I have heard the ABC song again, various grunts, groans, and sighs, the rattling of crib rails, an indecipherable monologue seemingly related to her activities of the day so far, and a long stretch of mysterious construction-like noises, which culminated in urgent cries of, "Mama, fisk it! Mama, fisk it, fishie moo-git broken!" Upon hearing which I went into her room and found her standing up in her crib, holding distressedly in one hand the strap from her Fisher Price Aquarium crib toy, which plays music ("fishie moo-git") and which she had somehow managed to wrest free of the side of the crib. Now she is crying and saying, "Mama coming.....Mama coming...." which is never a good sign, people.
[Note: I just went up to check on her, and she was wailing hysterically, holding up her hand for me to see, begging me to intervene in the current crisis. No, she wasn't bleeding or otherwise hurt. She had a piece of black fuzz from her Ernie doll's hair stuck to her palm. You heard me. Fuzz.]
In addition to her nap strikes, Julia has also begun a long painful nightly ritual of bedtime rebellion, which really hasn't been typical since the dreaded pseudo-"sleep training" we did when she was about 7 months old. Most of the time since then, she has gone to sleep at bedtime fairly easily--unless sick, scared, or traveling--having learned to put herself to sleep without nursing, rocking, etc. But lately she talks and cries and fusses and whines for at least an hour after going down before she falls asleep, no matter how ridiculously tired she is. We've tried even earlier bedtimes than she normally has (and she's an early-bedtime baby), we've tried humoring her and keeping her up a little later, we've tried running her ragged during the day in hopes of wearing her out...but right now, none of the above is working. We've settled on a non-rigid approach of actually going back in a few times and talking to her quietly about all her friends and relations who are going night-night too, rubbing her back, and turning on her music box again. Totally indulgent, but anyone else who cares to say so can keep it to him- or herself, because if there's one thing you learn once you're a parent, it's that no one else will ever know better than you what works for your own child.
But, so anyway, bottom line is that sleep in this house is not going well right now, whether due to 2-year molars, 2-year-old independent streaks, summer heat, summer light, or some other unknown toddler variable. I feel like I'm living in the insomniac household in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's dreamy novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude. Maybe, in the end, this is the universe preparing us for the arrival of the new baby in 3 months? Which reminds me of our news: the C-section is set for August 25th. Of course, New Baby Tassava may decide to begin her journey into the world before that date (please, no!), but those doctors, they refuse to humor me and schedule it for a day sooner than 39 weeks.
Until 8/25, sleep tight, everyone. And watch for 2nd-birthday tales coming soon. For all her sleep challenges, Julia Charlotte is the sweetest, smartest, most lovable sweetheart baby in the entire universe, and she's having a birthday! Now THAT'S dreamy.