We did it! We figured out Veronica’s sleep! And just in time too, as things were going pretty poorly. Ever since she’d hit the four month sleep regression, she’d been waking up all through the night and we’d resigned ourselves to the fact that the only life we were ever going to have would be indistinguishable from that of the walking dead. But then, just as nearly all hope had drained away, she did it. She slept until 5. And then the next night she slept until 5:45.
One magical night, she had learned to flip herself onto her stomach and that position is just what she needed to make it through the night.
We did it! For five glorious days, the sleep was working. Then…less so. It was a couple four AM wake ups – four AM and wide awake. Then we had a few brushes with one and two AM wake ups, making us once again feel lucky on the nights she makes it until 3 am and falls back asleep on Leah. We’ve given up and are taking taking what we can get. I suppose she probably won’t still be getting up at 3 am when she’s in high school.
But what happened to the 5 am wake up? What changed? She’s still sleeping on her stomach, still going to bed at the same time. But now she’s up at 3 am on the dot every night. What the hell?
And this, this is why having kids is maddening, especially for people of a scientific persuasion. We assume that we can figure something out – solve it – and then move on. This is fine when dealing with the laws of nature, but the laws of the newborn are much more frustrating. It’s an experiment conducted within a universe where the fundamental laws are flipped on their heads every two weeks.
We’ve worked bedtime around to what I believe is now the third iteration of sleep arrangements between Veronica and the elders, the iteration that got Veronica sleeping through the night for five glorious days. The only iteration with any proven success.
- Veronica gets a bath right after dinner while Lucy practices piano and Rocky helps with the bath by dumping water on Veronica’s head.
- Veronica gets PJ’d, fed, and booked while I start the kids’ bath. Kids take a bath, screaming as loudly as humanly possibly. Tiled walls amplify sound. I figure as long as I can hear them they’re safe, so I retreat to a place where I can still hear them without blowing an eardrum (the tavern).
- Teeth! (Open wide. Wider. Don’t bite. Rocky, when you bite the toothbrush you ruin it. Yes, you have to floss every day). Okay, rinse and spit. Don’t swallow.
- Rocky bites the toothbrush and swallows a gallon of fluoride toothpaste for the 187th day in a row
- Wait a little bit, read a few books, and just generally buy time for Veronica to find REM sleep.
- And then, quiet as a band of mice, we creep our way upstairs.
BANG BANG BANG
“What the hell? Why are you guys stomping,” I whisper furiously. “Quietly, I said. Your sister is sleeping.”
“BLURGL BARG ARGGH,” Lucy screams, waving her arms in the air.
“JESUS CHRIST!” I’m no longer whispering. Veronica is no longer sleeping.
I think, all in all, the transition to three kids is going smoothly.