Category: Sleep

To Dream Perchance of Sleep

There’s something about lack of sleep that puts me in the blog-mood. My baby will not sleep at night, and apparently is also refusing to sleep during the day. He’s in the sling right now, lazily chewing my hair and stuffing banana-scented fingers up my nose with a look of supreme exhaustion upon his gorgeous features, hanging on by the sheerest of threads to consciousness. Of course, if he does decide to fall asleep, I will have to wake him up anyway to get to Fooey’s afternoon “recital” at her music class.

But it’s my own sleep deprivation, not his, that makes me want to type. I’m too tired to analyze the whys and wherefores, though I’m sure something applies. I was up approximately once an hour last night with this child. He refuses to nurse during the day unless he’s beyond starving and nothing like a banana is in sight, yet at night he seeks milky comfort to lull him back to dreamland … last night I saw midnight, 2am, 4am, 5am, 6am; those were the ams I recall seeing, anyway. By 7am the whole house was up, woken by Apple-Apple’s surprise nosebleed. Did I mention we also had a child, who shall remain nameless, pee on top of the toilet lid last night? That was my second unexpected opportunity of the evening to really clean the bathroom. The first followed a series of reckless baths. I’d no idea what had rolled under our tub since the last flood. Apple-Apple asked whether I’d found a dead mouse. Nope, just a giant fuzzy hairball.

You can thank me for that image later.

I’ve just laid CJ down, awake, protesting but weak. If he falls into sleep now, I’ll be dragging him out of dreamland in, oh, twenty-seven minutes or so. I run on precision timing.

Was just packing the diaper bag for aforementioned outing, and discovered an old cloth diaper lingering, shall we say, in one of those handy stuff sacs. Maybe we’ll go disposable just for this event. At the rate this day is going, I anticipate solids arriving somewhere mid-performance. And no, he’s still awake. His howls just took on real drama. Twenty minutes till departure.

I’m going to go pick him up now.

Early Bird, Wha?!

This is the second day in a row that I’ve made the choice to hop out of bed, brush teeth, and start the day earlier than required. I’ve never been a morning person. Bed has always called louder than anything else, so the thought in my head this morning as I stood looking at bed, still in pajamas, debating, was, “Why aren’t you calling me?” Habit made me hesitate, confused; is this what morning people feel like? Like extra sleep wastes time that could be spent awake? The sensation was unfamiliar, baffling. My instinct was not to trust it. But then I thought, maybe this is some new and entirely unanticipated early bird phenomenon working its way into my system. And I went cheerily off to floss.

Maybe that tincture from my naturopath is working miracles. Maybe the new haircut has me feeling bouyant. Or maybe it’s CJ turning eight months. (He’s eight months today! Insert a paragraph of exclamation points here signifying immense disbelief). Maybe it’s moving that much further from the exhaustion and blur of those early baby days. Maybe it’s getting out to a reading, and then, later, for a drink. On a Friday night. Maybe it’s all this walking we’re doing. Or the great enjoyment I take from my kids. Or something hormonal. Who knows.
But I’m going to make a pot of coffee right now and savour the grey morning. As soon as I’ve moderated the smallish battle (ah, siblings!) going on behind me.
[Have to add a PS. I just re-read and edited this post about four hours later, and must note that though I may feel fabulous at 7am, I really really should not be writing for any form of publication at that hour. The post was full of errors and repetitions and clumsy rhetorical attempts. Brain not quite up with body, at that hour, apparently.]

Bedtime Cheese

I am eating cheese and crackers right before bed. This is probably ill-advised, but I am SO HUNGRY. The past two nights have been off-the-map bad for sleep, basically in ruinous desert territory where sleep is a form of creative drifting, of falling into shallow pits in the earth and being clawed back out and flung onto the sand. How’s that for metaphor. Don’t answer, please. CJ has a nasty snotty cold and has been unable to sleep in his playpen (at least at night) at all, for two nights. He crawls around screaming and crying as soon as we lay him down; ergo, we don’t. Ergo, we hold him and walk him around (Kevin) and hold him and nurse him (me). Constantly. I had these early morning dreams of eating vast trays of sweets, candies, cupcakes, sugar-topped rolls, gorging on them till I woke feeling guilty and … hungry, apparently.

It felt like I slept no more than twenty minutes at a stretch last night. Kevin said every time he woke, he’d hear or see CJ sucking away at me–that, or whimpering, choking on snot, and trying to crawl blindly off the bed.

It’s late, and we can’t get CJ down again tonight. And he’s still sick, so we can’t let him cry anything out, assuming anything could be cried out. People do this, right? People let their babies cry? I have very little resolution and strength on that subject. I am weak weak weak with compassion and desperation to sleep NOW in the middle of the night, which may explain why our baby is still mostly in bed with us, seven and a half months on.

I’ll tell you what last night reminded me, though. It reminded me that you don’t really know tired till you’ve been wakened all through the night feeding a baby, on consecutive nights. I had to nap today, seriously no choice, and I was crashed out cold (Fooey watching TV; CJ taking a proper nap in his playpen–why, oh why does he like it during daylight hours??). That was what life was like every single day for months after CJ was born; and now it already seems rare–I’d already forgotten that must-crash-out sensation.

Okay, I’ve eaten enough cheese. This should hold me through the night.

Work for Peace

Want to note that CJ has been sleeping much better (at night) in the past couple of weeks. This is the sort of news I hardly want to mention, for entirely superstitious reasons, of course. So touch wood. And rejoice. What happened was that after we returned from our Halloween weekend at Kevin’s mom’s, CJ had gotten pretty comfortable spending all night in our bed, and was waking soon after being put to bed at night, just so he could come and cuddle with his mama. I have only a vague sleep-deprived memory of the magic moment, but what I recall is going to bed early (because he’d woken and wouldn’t go back to sleep otherwise), nursing him off and on till sometime after midnight, CJ remaining fussy and restless and miserable, and finally turning to Kevin and saying: “My tank is on empty. I’m going to let him cry.” So I laid him back into his playpen, tucked him in, and let him cry. I patted him a couple of times, and he cried for a full fifteen minutes, but that was it. Fifteen minutes of suffering and he fell asleep. All by himself. And it’s been much easier getting him into his playpen since then, and he sleeps longer when he’s initially put to bed, too.

But he is right now downright miserable in his giant bouncy device, probably hungry, and the living-room is filled with children playing Playmobil (playdate). So I should really, er, get off this electronic device and attend to some non-virtual needs.

Oh, and I had the kids wear the Mennonite Central Committee Remembrance Day button to school today, a red button with the words “To remember is to work for peace.” We had a fairly long talk about it before school this morning, and at the end, Albus said, “I think it would be easier to just wear the poppy.” I told them they could also wear a poppy. I hope I wasn’t overstepping parental bounds by asking them to wear this pin, too, especially because I wasn’t entirely convinced they “got’ it. But I have deeply ambivalent emotions around Remembrance Day, having been raised a pacifist. To me, wearing the button isn’t about standing against people who offer their lives to serve our country, but about being aware of the effects of war, and imagining more peaceful solutions … but I’m typing one-handed … and my children are behaving most unpacifistically all of sudden.

Food, Not For Thought

Today’s our Thanksgiving feast. I’m keeping it simple. Right now, I’m roasting a whole smallish pumpkin (CSA) in the oven, because, gosh darnit, my kids want a pie, and I’m going to try. We also have two chickens, six pounds, and seven pounds, respectively, thawing in the fridge, which I plan to stuff with a traditional bread stuffing (chopped apples tossed in for fun), and roast according to my Joy of Cooking recipe. Lots of salt rubbed on the skin, shallow pan, breast up. It’s going to smell good in here. Additionally, I’m planning on boiling, then roasting some brussel sprouts, if Kevin finds some good local ones at the market. Boiled, smashed potatoes (CSA) with garlic and butter and mmm. Perhaps a balsamic-honey-dressed green salad, depends on what Kevin finds at the market; apparently “spring” mix is newly seasonal right now.

Am I forgetting something? The squash will be in the pie, assuming that works out.

Baby CJ got his six-month immunizations yesterday and has been ever so fussy. On top of his stuffed nose, he’s pretty miserable, poor bab. He spent the night cuddled in our bed, again, nursing off and on. This is beginning to take a toll on my dewy-fresh complexion … Yes, I’ll blame it on that.

Kevin’s family has arrived. Everyone is off to market, except for napping baby CJ and me (for some reason, he’s happy to nap in his crib during the day; it’s only at night that he wakes instantly and screams and hollers upon being extracted from a loving parent’s arms).

To offer an update on Nina’s buying club: It remains alive, popular, and subversive. Who knows, it may be a catalyst to change local food policy and by-laws in exciting ways in the coming months and years. Meantime, it sounds like we will continue to be able to buy at least some of our food through Nina, though today, for the first time in at least a month, we had our groceries delivered by Grocery Gateway (that sounds decadent, but hear me out: none other than George Monbiot, author of Heat, advocates online shopping and delivery, more efficient than each of us hopping into our individual vehicles and tooling around town picking up one item here, and one item there. The delivery cost is $10). Generally, I wait to make the Grocery Gateway order till some heavy things have piled up on my list, which would be difficult to transport all at once in the jogging stroller (aka my shopping cart/bundle buggy).

Thanks for your support re this weekend’s familial turmoil. An update on the subject may or may not be forthcoming, depending on how confessional my mood becomes. Today I’m focussed on cooking and hosting, good and occupying tasks. Just remembered what menu item I’d forgotten: YAMS! They didn’t arrive at buying club yesterday, and I neglected to add them to my market list. Too bad. Baby CJ probably could have tasted a smackerel too. Maybe I’ll save out a bit of pumpkin to mash and cool and serve to him. So far he’s eaten nothing but expressed breastmilk mixed with brown rice cereal. Pumpkin/squash is a pretty safe early food, right? Allergenically-speaking?


Obscure Canlit Mama sits before her computer on giant blue ball (instead of chair; supposed to be more comfortable, improve core strength; maybe does), with chattering baby underfoot (literally) and chattering toddler imagining with Little People (behind). Office doubles (triples?) as baby’s changeroom, and toyroom. Computer and writing life is an afterthought. Ball takes up way less room than proper chair would. Plus core strength, abs, et cetera.

Obscure Canlit Mama has virtually no brain power this afternoon due to a collision of experiences, main one giving birth almost six months ago, and several other times previously in the past seven years, compounded more immediately by enjoying two hours out with sibs last night, way too much fun, such that OCMama returned home feeling invincible, and therefore slept poorly. Invincible perhaps wrong word choice. Maybe there’s not a word for it. That feeling that comes from conversing with fellow adults for two whole hours without interruption. That feeling of being reminded that one can parry conversationally, with humour! with what passes for wit!, and that the topic of choice is politics and not people’s heads being eaten up (a favourite with AB for reasons unknown and quite possibly unknowable, though perhaps psychologically interesting).
F is hungry and so OCMama will drag herself downstairs to seek sustenance and nurse baby who is now in arms and hammering upon wrist with small plastic figure.
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