After I officially decided to switch blogs from blogger to word press, my next big decision was the naming of this blog. I had already used “stemmefamily” for my 101 things in 2002 days blog so that was out. Other options included: “familyofstemmes”, “stemmeworld” & “snipssnailssugarspice”. I thought the last one was particularly clever, thank you very much.
I was lying in bed feeling exceptionally frustrated (Greg claims that I look “crazed” but that argument is still being debated) with my sweet daughter due to her refusal to begin sleeping through the night despite the fact that she is nearly 10 months old, and it hit me. As I stumbled out of bed and muttered to myself, “How many more of the sleepless nights are we going to have?” a lightbulb went off.
In my head.
Not in my house.
You don’t turn lights on in the middle of the night when you are trying to convince your sweet baby girl that it is bedtime & not playtime. Unless you are my husband and think it’s *cute* when she wants to play at 4am.
And all of a sudden, I knew that I had the new name for our new blog.
Many sleepless nights. Because what else can you say about the beginning, middle and end of the time when your children live with you (and for much longer past that point, I’m sure).
In the beginning, the sleepless nights are due to the fact that they were comfy & cozy in the womb and all of a sudden their world was quite literally flipped upside down and they are cold, wet, hungry and just all around unhappy. They want to be up all night because that’s what they were used to in-utero. Babies are rocked to sleep while their pregnant mommas are awake. Every pregnant woman who I’ve ever known has said the minute they lie down to sleep, the baby is wide awake and commences their Soul Train audition. After nine months of being awake at night and sleeping during the day, their internal clocks are set and it takes some time to break that habit. It takes even longer to convince them that their parents are boring and that they won’t be missing out on anything if they go to bed at 7pm and to stay asleep until an appropriate hour of the morning.
During the middle of the period of time that your children live under your roof, the sleepless nights are due to a number of things. I remember a certain baby sister of mine sleeping with my parents until the tender age of five ten twelve. It wasn’t because they invited her in. No no no. They would put her to sleep in her own bed and somewhere between the hours of 1-3am, she would (almost always without fail) sleepily wander into their bedroom, wedge herself in between my unsuspecting parents and begin her Ringling Brothers acrobatic routine. She was also notorious for sleepwalking but that is another post. Trust me–it’s a good one. If you have ever had a small child sleep in bed with you, you understand what I mean. While they peacefully slumber, you are dodging elbows to the ribs, smacks across the face and the occasional roundhouse kick to the gut Chuck Norris style.
Toward the end of your prison sentence the wonderful time that your children live with you, your sleepless nights are caused by worry. Worry that they are mixed up with the wrong crowd. Worry that they are 2 seconds past curfew because they are in a ditch somewhere and you can’t get to them. Worry that they never listened to you and forgot to put on clean underwear before they went out. Worry about any and everything that you can possibly think about until they pull into the driveway.
Since we are at the beginning of our lovely journal of child-rearing, we have not yet gotten to experience anything other than sleepless nights due to pure stubbornness in our darling children and their refusal to let us rest. But the truly ironic thing about this, is the fact that for the first time in months our sweet daughter slept through the night. Effectively giving us one of our first full-nights of sleep since she was born. And you know what? I was consumed with worry when I woke up via the horrible alarm clock sound telling me it was 5:30 and I hadn’t heard a peep out of her. I wonder if I will ever sleep unmedicated again.