Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hold On

Oh you got to
Hold on, Hold on
You got to hold on
Take my hand, I'm standing right here
You gotta hold on
-Mr Waits

Last night Grant and I found ourselves in the very tornado we thought we had just emerged from.  Sleepless nights. Neither of our babes have been great sleepers, and I think we are to blame. I really think that the babes that do best with sleep schedules, a little crying it out, and not so much rocking to sleep are those like ours- stubborn, precocious and determined. These kind of babes respond so well to knowing what is coming- schedules, routines and predictability. Now we love our crazy babies, but from the very beginning we decided that they were joining OUR family- one with established rhythms and habits. We requested they adapt to our life, not our life adapting to theirs. We try to be reasonable and fair, but there are time that schedules just don't happen. Pursy and Knox have a bedtime but if we are going to a dinner party that goes late and bedtime is pushed back, so be it. If we got an invitation to join a play date to the Children's Museum and the time was 1-3p, smack dab in the middle of nap time- there was no nap that day. We used to attend a church that met on Sunday evenings and those nights the babes weren't in bed until 9 or 10. And we have dealt with the fall out of all those things.

We have enviously watched other families take their toddlers up to their beds, kiss them goodnight and then listen to them talk to themselves in their beds until they fall asleep. Our children have been in and out of our bed, Knox slept in a bouncy seat on the floor of our room for a while, Pursy's bed time routine took about 30-45 minutes and included bath, books, rocking, singing and commando crawling out the door so not to make the floorboards creak. We have passed each other bleary eyed in the hallway while one was coming back from one child's room and the other was going into the other child's room to soothe and put back to sleep.

But last week both babes slept through the night - almost 7 nights in a row. We got hopeful. We started staying up a little later and watching ONE MORE episode of Parenthood on Netflix because we discovered that we still felt rested in the morning if we weren't waking up 3-4 times/night. Then Grant made the terrible mistake of verbalizing our reprive.

"Have you noticed both kids are sleeping through the night now?"

Every nurse reading this blog post just shook their head. He pretty much damned us to 3 Code Blues, 5 Admissions and a doctor who refuses to write a PRN for Ativan. He pointed out that things were nice and quiet.

Sure enough, last night we took turns holding Knox who cried for almost 3 hours. We gave Tylenol, homeopathic teething tabs, took off all his clothes and checked his skin, palpated his belly, changed his diaper, looked at his tonsils with my penlight and pulled on his ears to check for infection. He would fall asleep in our arms and the moment we thought about putting him down, was instantly awake and crying again. He woke up Pursy, who then spent the remainder of the night traveling back and forth between her bed and ours until we spoke the dreaded consequence of closing her door if we saw her again before it was light outside.

Because it was unexpected, both Grant and I were intolerant and grumpy. And that is the worst- when your best friend isn't on your team anymore and causing just as much grief as the other guys. We snapped at each other, tossed around reminders of who did more around here, threw off the covers while getting out of bed just so the other person knew that sacrifices were being made- in other words, we did not endure this hardship with laughter and teamwork.

So this morning when day had come and I had some coffee, we apologized and reminded each other that this is only a season. We just have to get through the sleepless nights with our marriage intact. Just keep talking, laughing when we can and when there is nothing kind to say, just reach out and hold hands.

Oh you got to
Hold on, Hold on
You got to hold on
Take my hand, I'm standing right here
You gotta hold on

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