Sometimes in the middle of the night the baby wakes up and she's just wide awake. For whatever reason, she's not going back to sleep in the immediate future. My second son used to do this too and I know it is temporary, but it is a drag nonetheless. I thought it was secondhand caffeine causing the trouble, but that couldn't have been the culprit last night.
In our house I am the Getter-Upper-In-Chief (Renee, does it make it better if you have a fancy job title? wishing you more sleep soon, my friend), and so last night when nursing and patting and hope-hope-hoping didn't work, I got up out of bed and walked the floor with my little Stella.
While I was lying in bed half-awake, I thought, "Maybe this should teach me that 10:45 is not early enough. Maybe I need to aim for 10:15. That way if one of the kids wakes up in the night, I won't be worried about being crabby the next day. Maybe I need a little more of a cushion built into my schedule. That sounds really sensible! Hey, Lord, if I'm on the right track with that, could you let me know by sending the baby off to sleep now?"
...but the baby didn't go to sleep.
As I paced the living room floor in the dark I thought to myself, "You know, there are no simple answers, no magic steps to a tidy life, when you have a baby this age. It is a messy stage. They have intense and unpredictable needs. So 10:15 is a good idea, but you shouldn't berate yourself because you haven't looked hard enough for a silver bullet."
...and still the baby didn't go to sleep.
I planned tonight's dinner: pilaf of brown rice and yummy little French lentils with carrots and onions, roasted squash, my favorite green bean dish (recipe to follow soon), green salad with feta. I decided to resubscribe to FlyLady, because even though she makes me a little crazy, our home runs more smoothly when I do the things she tells me to do. I decided I would filter the radio show announcements straight to the trash along with the testimonials.
I decided not to worry about the fact that in December I will have been an off-and-on FlyLady subscriber for TEN YEARS. You might think I'd have figured it out by now, but evidently I haven't.
...still the baby didn't go to sleep.
I tried to knit in the dark but quickly abandoned the idea. Yesterday I cast on a fun stripey sock in orange and salmon and rust and brown. (I have been making a February Lady Sweater to match Stella's sweet little February Baby Sweater and I am really tired of knitting the thing. I am half-convinced that it would be an attractive look to bind off with one elbow-length sleeve and one non-existent sleeve. You think? A little unconventional, maybe, but at least it would be DONE.) Stella alternately grabbed the cable of my circular needle and tried to fling herself backward out of the sling.
...from which you can infer that she was STILL not asleep.
I decided to pray the Divine Mercy aspiration a hundred times: Jesus, I trust in you. I thought about the image as I paced and prayed, and unexpectedly the presence of the Lord was real all around me. I knew that I was not alone in my pacing. I was so sure of it that I marched down into the basement to turn out a light my husband had left on. (Our basement creeps me out at night.) Even the memory -- of feeling comforted and accompanied -- is making me smile, though I doubt it comes across on the screen.
I thought the baby might fall asleep when I got to a hundred but...she didn't. She was awake for a long time.
You know, though, it's been a peaceful day. I was singing and making silly jokes while I washed dishes -- jokes and singing have been in short supply around here lately. (Perhaps the sleep deprivation is making this post so long and rambly. Conciseness is never my strong suit; even less so when I'm tired.) Tomorrow I am going to swing by the Catholic bookstore to pick up Advent candles and a little Divine Mercy image. Right now I am going to end this post. The baby is asleep, but that could be a temporary state of affairs.