When Keith and I fight (which happens infrequently, but certainly more often now that we are parents than before!), inevitably he brings up that I get to nap during the day – every day, if I so choose. And it is true, more days than not, I choose to take a nap. And here is why.
Almost 19 months of sleep deprivation would be a highly effective method of torture, I am convinced. Just when I think we have conquered yet another sleep issue with Little Man, another one pops up into its place. Last Tuesday after nap began our latest round of battles. Tuesday’s nap was fine. Bedtime resulted in screaming. Screaming. So we rocked him for over an hour, he gave up and slept. Then he woke up screaming multiple times during the night. When I called the pediatrician, she suggested separation anxiety and cry it out (which had, albeit limited, success when he was younger).
CIO is hard at our house, because Keith is a truck driver. I don’t want people who are tired driving semis – do you? So I get up and rock or feed or whatever it takes to keep the kiddo quiet so Keith can sleep. Well, until I can’t handle it anymore.
I attributed the screaming then, on Tuesday, and Wednesday’s, Thursday’s, and Friday’s horrible sleep episodes, to separation anxiety. Those days if I so much as left the room to pee, Nathanael went insane. So I thought he was scared to be alone. Friday he fell out of his crib trying to get to me, so Saturday we put in a crib tent (he is SO not ready for a big boy bed). The weekend was better, and I attributed that to both Keith and I being home with him. Comfort. Sustainability. Routine.
Monday I tried to put him down for a nap and he screamed for over an hour. I called the doctor and was there within 20 minutes, wanting to rule out medical causes.
Huh. Now, the doctor did say it could have popped up over the weekend, but I think his ear hurt for almost a week before we got him on drugs. So now he’s on an antibiotic and a propped up pillow. Is it better? Eh. He only cries for about 3 minutes every time we lay him down. But he is still up, screaming and crying, 2 or 3 times a night. So when he naps, I nap.
Because I am tired.
Because when I am tired, I am grouchy.
Because when I am tired, I have limited patience.
Because when I am tired, I find myself yelling at my baby. Yelling.
Because when I am tired, I have little to no control over my tear ducts.
Because when I am tired, I make poor choices in terms of my health, especially because I choose not to exercise and I eat whatever sounds good (and chocolate frequently sounds good!).
Because when I am tired, I am not the wife/woman/mommy I want to be.
Because when I am tired, the world seems hopeless and lonely.
So when Nathanael takes a nap, so do I. At least for a little bit. I don’t think it truly makes up for my lack of sleep, but every little bit helps, right?