Deconstruction

I generally feel a hefty stab of guilt whenever I have a whinge here, partly because it might seem as if I am begging for virtual cuddles (and actually, I think I am) but mostly because I am starkly aware that I have nothing to moan about.  My life is peaceful and blessed, yet somewhere out there, hearts are breaking.

So, I feel… fraudulent. I’m still going to whine, you understand. I’m just not wallowing in it quite as much as usual.

Firstly, Harry has suffered a sleep meltdown, initially triggered by my bringing him to sleep with me last month when he was very poorly, and compounded when he was introduced back into his own cot upon getting over the worst. Harry has never been a fabulous sleeper, but latterly he’d got to the stage where he went down like a lamb at bedtime, and was sleeping through from 7pm to 6am, 3 nights out of 4, say. His daily nap was a little protesty at first, but generally long. The nights when he did yell, though, he tended to keep wailing on and off all night, often resulting in a bleary parent extracting him for cuddles in the rocking chair. [If you listen carefully, you will hear the sound of sleep gurus everywhere screaming No! NO! Fer the Love O’God! Not Cuddle Extraction! Maximum Danger!]

Harry was Mightily Unimpressed with spending the night alone back in his room, poor lad. I got arsey about the noise and disruption and decided that this problem boy had to be Tackled Once And For All and insisted we Get Tough. Weissbluth extinction: bring it on! I’m particularly fed up of not being able to travel outside our own (isolated, detached) home because of his sleep/screamy issues. 

Hah. Well. Since the end of last week, as a result of this method, Harry’s sleep confidence has deconstructed entirely, and he has screamed like… like… like a seethingly angry toddler, that’s who. His rages culminated all this week in at least an hour’s solid, full-on ululating protest at bedtime, and another 2-3-4 hour marathon session in the small hours. Naps became a 30 minute whimpering doze.

Secondly, John and I could not agree on a concerted technique to handle it.  Lest I make it sound as if we sat down and calmly discussed the matter: we did not. Acrimonious hisses about Giving In and Always My Turn became a blazing 3 day row. As is the nature of matrimonial rows about one topic – particularly when both parties are exhausted and stressed – it broadened in scope after a day or so of frost, and Very Hurtful Words were said.

Thirdly, this resulted in me getting shockingly upset and mortally offended (I have no idea what Hubby felt, but I expect he coped, as he’s good like that) and consequently managed to develop a headache that actually elicited proper whimpers of pain from me at one point.

And still the child screamed.  

Oh, and the internet connection started to play silly buggers, too. I was alone. Alone, dammit!

Might I remind you that this all occurred after a fortnight in which Harry fell into the stinging nettles, grabbed an electric fence, got whacked hard in the mouth, had a rotten virus, and his poor little tongue rotted away into raw meat?

I veered between feeling sadly sorry for myself (stressed, headachey, sleep-deprived and spousally-wounded) and sorry for my child; tormented with guilt that my poor little boy was suffering miseries because he wanted to be snuggling close to me, and I was selfishly denying him. That little voice of reason piping up that, Cough! Actually, Harry has never co-slept, merely co-rampaged… ummm, yeah… hard to hear clearly when it’s 4am, the clamour’s been going since 1am, and the parental duvet is being yanked back and forth in a silent, leg-lashing huff.

Anyhoo… the tough technique is doing… something. He yelled a fair while at bedtime, but slept through all last night. This restorative has repaired our collective marital sanity sufficiently to actually patch up the rift. He went down promisingly for a nap at 11am today, but after a few quiet minutes some uncharacteristic-sounding whimpers (and I’ve heard ’em all lately) turned out, upon investigation, to be the result of a cataclysmically (I use the word advisedly) dirty nappy, trousers and cot-sheet. Way to go, son! He yelled for 15 minutes at bedtime tonight – a distinct improvement – and has been quiet since. We shall see.

Just to ensure I give you a full picture of the week’s stress at Hairy Mansions, I felt my left uterus start to twitch and pull in a way I was pretty sure I recognised the night before last. I am 10 days past ovulation, or vaguely thereabouts. However, I think I managed to scare any prospective inhabitant off nicely, as I managed to send my pulse above 170 at the gym yesterday, merely by jogging for a single minute, and I haven’t felt a uterine twinge since. The peesticks – on which I can always see lines generally not visible to the naked eye – say no, too. I am not surprised, and, on the basis of my current fatness, rather relieved. Deliberately beginning pregnancy at 15 stone is a very silly undertaking, believe me. I finished the last one at 15st 7lbs, and was embarrassingly unable to reach my own bottom with loo roll for the last fortnight of it.  

While I am on the topic of things that make me mildly embarrassed: I asked John to find me a comfy saddle this evening (my [ancient] bike currently boasts a thinly-padded razor blade) so that we can go cycling this summer. Heady breezes, weight-loss, summer scents, happy toddler, wild flowers, country lanes, etc etc. The first four words of the item he has located for me made me wonder, sadly, what (accurate) search terms he must have entered.

Mind you, as long as it does what it says on the tin, I don’t care. I need the exercise. I have just re-started myself at the gym, having gained a FULL STONE since the start of December, when I was determined to, you know, lose weight. I’m so angry with myself! I can lose this weight – once I get going. I know I can, because I’ve done it twice before. Of course… that fact in itself does rather tell you something about my lifestyle and the way I feel about food. Easter! Chocolate! Sigh.

On a vaguely related note, thank you enormously for all your fabulous-looking recipe suggestions. Many look promising. It’s not until the first Saturday in May, so the fact that I haven’t collected A. Single. Thought. about the event yet hopefully doesn’t actually matter.  

Yawn. Beddy-byes time. I hope you’re all well; my inbox and blog feeds are quietly reproaching me. Tomorrow…

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14 Responses

  1. My husband and I have still not agreed on a technique for putting our daughter to bed. He likes to let her cry it out and then go and hold her til she goes to sleep. ??? How does that solve the problem? I have a good routine, but it works when he’s not home (most of the time). When he is home, we have issues. I’m guessing parents won’t admit that most divorces come about due to differing parenting techniques. Money? Ha! Work stress? HA HA! Cry it out vs rock her to sleep – well, there’s just no way to compromise on that one.

  2. Glad to hear things are getting better.

  3. First child never slept ever. I slept with him in another room quite a bit. Second child does sleep. We all co-sleep.

    We’ve recently made some dietary changes to help TBB’s behaviour and it’s actually resulted in him going to sleep a lot easier.

  4. Frankly I think you are allowed a moan. The Star didn’t sleep well for one whole night and I was a basket case. I can’t imagine what I’d be like if it was a trully regular thing.

  5. Firstly Im a truly slack shit and i know it!!! But Im trying to read more often! 🙂
    Sorry your having a crap time of it. Hope the sleeping sorts itself out soon. G has always been a super sleeper but silly old me went into her a few weeks ago because she was having a cry and i got her out and gave her a bottle!!! While i was doing it I was thinking to myself ‘well this is the most stupid thing you have ever done. lets see how sleep time goes from here on’! And I was right. For a few nights after that she screamed the place down. Good job I have worked in ChildCare and can handle a hour of ‘crying, standing in cot, being placed back down without talk, crying, standing at cot ……’ you get the idea! lol Its been fun. lol
    Oh and poor Harry. He really has been in the wars.
    The slide you got him is just what we have got G for her birthday.

    oh and remember, vent all you like. Its every wife/mothers god given right!!!

    Hugs
    xxx

  6. Yeah I can imagine being ultra tired isn’t conducive to the most rational of husband / wife conversations.

  7. I don’t even have the 24-carat-gold excuse of screaming toddler in the small hours. I just don’t sleep well. And when I don’t, H and I have horrible rows. H is always extra, extra annoying when I’m shattered. It’s H. Not me. Nothing to do with sleep deprivation. I’m not that irrational. Uh huh.

    Oh God, if I do have a child I’ll have to put the poor creature to sleep in the next county.

    Yeah. I’m supposed to be losing weight for IVF. Am I? Am I buggery. Pass the Ben&Jerry’s Chocolate Macadamia.

    What? It’s fair trade. I’m saving the planet.

  8. oh I feel for you. I am horrible without sleep. That is also why I have no sleep tips to offer as I always haul the screamers out of the got and into bed as that was the on way to ensure adequate sleep. Complete rod for my own back but at least the family remain alive….

  9. Ah yes, marital strife is so affected by lack of sleep that I don’t know if we would have fought about anything in the past (almost) three years if sleep wasn’t a factor.

    My question every time toddlers are like this is – WHERE DO THEY GET THE ENERGY? I run P ragged every Saturday and Sunday in the hopes that she will nap. I get very little return for my efforts, and wouldn’t you know that I’m positively exhausted at the end of it all. She remains running about like a chattery chattering thing four hours on end. What is their secret??

    I hope tonight goes well and now, at 11.33pm, young Harry is, er, sleeping like a baby.

  10. Oh poor you. I have to admit the sleep thing is probably the 1 part of parenting that I am most terrified of. I turn into a nasty cranky beeotch without sleep and literally crumble into a useless puddle on the floor. I have no idea what I’m going to do if this little girl I’m carrying turns out to be a bad sleeper!

    I am praying that you’ve turned a corner and will have problems now getting Harry to stay awake!

  11. We had to do CIO with our son at 18 months after we had gotten into a worse and worse rut of carrying him around for hours each night. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared but I think that was because he was almost as sleep-deprived as we were. We also had help from some local doulas which made it a lot easier. Anyway, if it helps, they had some really useful ideas about structuring the whole thing that I believe made it go better (although who knows, really). If you want any detail, let me know… However, I will cross my fingers that all is well and your night (and subsequent ones) is chock-full of sleep. Sleep deprivation is just the pits.

    December seems like a particularly cruel month to start a diet. Plus there have been a lot of stresses since then. I have full faith you will have much better success during the happy and carefree (I hope) days of summer.

    Finally, your dinner plans boggle my mind. I’m not a terrible cook, but I have never served a dinner like that in my life and probably never will.

  12. P.S. Oh and the answer to Ms. Prufrock’s question is obvious! I think about it on a regular basis! They have all that energy because they’re sucking the life out of you. I swear, I have aged a decade in the past two years, internally and externally (the wrinkles! the dry skin!).

  13. Re. sleep, you’re absolutely allowed to whinge about lack of it; it’s as necessary as water and food, after all, and living through months of meager rations is a very, very hard thing indeed.

    The new bike saddle looks fabulous. I bought one made of memory foam, the same thing that’s in Tempurpedic mattresses, and while the triathlete champion chick at the bike shop regarded me with great scorn while I bought it, it’s the comfiest damn thing ever. My poky butt bones love it.

  14. Urgh, sleep issues are the worst! Sarge started getting up with Sam in the night when he was 8 weeks old because of the crazy nutcase I became with the lack of sleep.

    That bike seat looks comfy. I need new tires…will have to have Sarge look into that.

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