A few weeks ago, Sandy and I were discussing Ezra’s nap and sleep schedules, and we realized we don’t really know what they are. It’s all just kind of a feeling. This week I feel like he’s not sleeping that well, but is it really true in comparison to last week or the week before? Sandy suggested the logical solution: keep a log. And I laughed at him. I used to be a middle school teacher, and I’m pretty sure I’m not exaggerating here, my inability to keep logs was like 60% of why I got out of the profession. Star charts, quiz grades, who turned in field trip slips. It was a nightmare.
So, I have no idea if I’m accurate in saying that Ezra is suddenly a pretty lousy sleeper. I also don’t know if I’m accurate in recalling that there were a few shining weeks when he was amazing. I can only tell you how I feel.
I feel tired.
It’s not quite as exhausting as those early days, where the real trauma was not that he was up so often, but that he was up for an hour every time. I battled through it by watching a ton of TV. Now, he’s up for much less time, and he’s also way more distractible, so there’s no way I’m going to haul him into the living room for an adventure involving sound and light. We nurse quietly in his room, in the rocker or on the futon, and then I shuttle him back into the crib and hope he stays asleep for at least a few hours before the next wakeup call.
If it were just one or two times each night, I really would be fine. But there have been nights in recent memory that have involved four, even five wakeups. Some nights I’m sanguine about it, but some nights I feel a sense of dread every time I wake up to his insistent cries.
Maybe he’s teething, maybe it’s a growth spurt, maybe it’s his four month sleep regression, maybe he just wakes up because he knows I’ll come cuddle with him and bring those delicious boobies with me. I keep asking him to just tell me what the problem is. He just yells “aaaaaaaaahhhhhh” in his hilarious new hoarse lion roar voice and starts sucking on my chin again.
There are no simple solutions. Or, actually, there are a million simple solutions, all of which contradict each other. I’ve been trying to figure out if it’s time for us to try letting him cry it out, but it’s complicated. He goes down for the night pretty easily most nights, so it’s not like he’ll be crying at 8 when Sandy and I can watch a movie together and try to take our minds off it. No, he’ll be crying it out at 1am, or 3 am, and I’ll be up by myself in a cold house listening to a wailing baby who would stop wailing if I just nursed him for a while. Maybe it will work, though, and he’ll start sleeping six hour stretches again. I’m having trouble finding the courage to try it.
In a few months, all this will have faded into hazy memory, and we’ll be working on a whole new set of issues as he starts teething for real and crawling and everything else. I kind of like not having a log. Next spring, when I think back fondly on his early months and think, “I guess there were a few nights when he woke up a lot, but it was no big deal,” no record of events will be there to remind me that it was more than a few nights, and seemed like a pretty big deal.
Except for this blog post. Stupid internet.