Day sleeper

It seems my excitement about Maddi’s sleep schedule was a bit premature. Perhaps it was taking her to an afternoon wedding two hours away, when she slept on the drive up, during the drive back, AND all through the ceremony and reception. Perhaps it’s because she’s picked up on the fact that I’ve been tense since throwing out my back carrying a tubful of poopy bathwater through the house to empty it in the tub rather than in the kitchen sink (but under the circumstances, wouldn’t you do the same?). Maybe, as Nana has suggested, it’s part of the six-week feeding-schedule changeup babies sometimes go through.

Whatever the cause, Maddi has ceased slumbering for five hours at a stretch and has decided that nighttime is no longer for sleeping, but rather is a great time for several leisurely dinners. Her “big” chunks of nighttime sleep now last approximately an hour and a half. And since her sister is in town, we are spending more time than usual in the car, which means that Maddi is spending several more hours a day sleeping than she usually does.

Short of continually waking her up during the day — which as anyone who knows Maddi can tell you is impossible anyway — I am not sure what to do. Normally this is something I could think over and solve, but since I’m getting on average about four or five (broken) hours of sleep nightly, my brain is not fully operational. To give you an idea of how bad it is, Chris has had to prompt me when I’ve forgotten simple words. I can’t even remember the last time I used a five-dollar word in conversation.

Even worse, at the beginning of the previous paragraph, you may notice I used the word “continually.” This is courtesy of Merriam-Webster. Normally I would be able to explain to you that “continually” and “continuously” are not interchangeable and then tell you in which instances each word should be used. But today I could not for the life of me remember which one was appropriate to use when you are talking about something that happens repeatedly rather than unceasingly. I guessed “continuously,” but then decided to double-check myself. And I was wrong. Considering that I made a career of knowing what word to use and when, and did much of my work on very little sleep and past most people’s bedtimes, this signifies some pretty severe sleep deprivation indeed.

Despite her determination to drive me utterly mad with sleeplessness, Maddi continues to develop very nicely in other ways. Smiles now can be coaxed out of our wee daughter almost anytime. When she wakes up alone in her crib and wails for Mommy, her cries cease as soon as I lean over the crib — and sometimes, if she’s not inconsolable yet, as soon as she hears my footsteps in the hallway. She has at last discovered that diaper changes, while cold and annoying, won’t actually culminate in her painful demise. And just this Monday, as Nana was giving her a bottle, she grabbed it with both hands.

All of this is very thrilling indeed, but at 4 a.m. as I watch the first rays of sunlight begin to creep through the blinds and I’m running on an hour of sleep, most nights I would trade it for those nice five-hour chunks of slumber we were enjoying a week and a half ago.

Well, except for all the smiling she’s been doing lately. That’s too cute!

And here’s a picture of our unsleeping beauty one day before she turned six weeks old, giving one of her big grins:

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