Monday, February 4, 2013

Sleep, Mime Ow, and God's Sense of Humor

This week has been a trying week, to say the least. I think Ella is doing her very best to ensure that she is an only child. I can't think of any other reason she would possibly be wearing my patience down by 11am, or have me groveling for sugar and caffeine (after kicking both habits one month ago), unless it was to guarantee her spot as the eldest - and only - child in this house.

Let's talk about sleep for a moment, shall we? She's never been a good sleeper. You know those people who tell you that their 10 week old is sleeping through the night? Yeah, we weren't one of them. Our 16-month old is still not sleeping through the night. And if you are one of those people I mentioned, no need to comment and remind me that there are, in fact, babies out there who actually sleep. We've had moments of decent sleep. As in, a handful of nights where she's only woken once, or woken at 4am, nursed, and gone back to sleep until 6 or 6:30am. But, more often than not, we're up two, sometimes three times per night ... yes, even at 16-months old. And we've never, ever, not once, had a full 11 or 12 hours straight of sleep without a wake up somewhere in there. The bags under my eyes have taken up permanent residence and I don't know that they would go away even if my kid decided one day to start sleeping through the night. Lately? Lately it's been going to bed at 7:30pm (after about an hour of fighting her to sleep), waking up once between 10pm and 12am, waking up again between 3 and 4am, then up for the day at 6am. Sometimes, she goes back down easily. Sometimes, there is lots of screaming and crying in protest. One thing is for certain: my child is consistently inconsistent.

And discipline. Ohhhh my discipline! Who knew that discipline started so young? I mean, really. We implemented "Time Out" this week. Or, as Ella will tell you, it's called, "Mime Ow". And every time we walk past the Time Out Corner, she points and says, "Nnnnno mime ow!" To say that she isn't a fan of Time Out is putting it lightly. But to say that Time Out has worked insanely effectively in a short period of time is the truth. I'm all for gentle parenting and natural consequences. The hippie in me likes the way those things sound. The realist in me simply does not have the time, nor the patience, to allow my child to continue to eat crayons, throw food on the floor, or crawl out both doggie doors and into the backyard in five seconds flat, leaving me to run around the house like a crazy person, screaming her name and imagining that someone snuck into my house, stole her, and she was long gone. {Though, I will be the first to admit that is both a nightmare and a fantasy, at times}.

I'm raising Miss Independent. Who can also be called Miss Too Smart For Her Britches. So I realize that all of these hard-headed, stubborn traits I'm up against will be really good ... when she's older. But for now, they stink. And they test my patience and make me question my ability as a mama. And they also make me do a whole heck of a lot of praying and repenting. Oh, Lord, is this child giving me a run for my money. When I relay stories to my mom about our daily struggles, she laughs. She tells me that Ella sounds exactly like another little girl that she used to know.

When Mr. Lukie told me that I gave birth to my clone, he wasn't joking. The worst part is, I know these are the easy times. Because I remember what I was like during those adolescent years toward my mom. Just one more reason I believe God has a sense of humor.


  1. the only thing I could think while reading this post is that she is "consistently adorable". Sorry she is giving you such a run for your $$, Sarah. :(

  2. I feel bad for kind of chuckling at this, because I remember how much of a little snot I was, telling my mom when I was 4 "you're not the boss of me!", and running outside naked when it was time for a bath, and oh man, the teen years!

    I hope Ella gives you a break soon, mama.

  3. Ugh! Tell that little Miss enough is enough! If it makes you feel any better I went 2.5 years without sleeping through the night. Granted, I had two children super close together and they were both crappy sleepers! But, I agree with Lori, she is consistently cute!

  4. Oh, girl. That last paragraph is TRUTH! I used to think THIS IS SO HARD, and now I'm realizing it really only gets harder and the pressures are there even more. I mean, we're supposed to be raising the FUTURE of the WORLD ?!?! ;)

    Sure, certain aspects get easier, but as a whole, children require more effort as they age. I feel like I've been tricked. Hahaha!

  5. But OMG, she is so cute!!

    Being a parent is hard. It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job Sarah!

  6. I'm a mom of 3 - 1 yo (17 months old), 2 yo, and a 5 yo. I let them cry it out on their 9 month birthday, and it worked great. I'm a tough momma - life isn't easy and everyone is happier and healthier with a full night sleep. They are also not allowed out of bed until 7am. So she is up looking to cuddle and feed, so if you just stick to your 'britches' and let her cry it out, she will catch on. Good luck!

  7. I know this season is hard, but remember that when they are little, they have little problems. As I now have a 14 year, 12 year old, 9 year old, 7 year old, 5 year old and 3 year old, I find myself enjoying that little one a whole lot more. The 14 year old crushed my heart last year. Big kid, BIG problems. My three year old does not bring me that kind of pain. Yes, a pain at her screaming, whining and trying of my patience, but not that soul-crushing "how could you be so stupid" kind of pain as you watch him suffer consequences of his choices. I am learning to enjoy each and every season, especially when they are little. They bring such joy to us and children are a blessing from the Lord.

    You are a good mom, and what you write is very normal at this stage in your parenting.:)
    God bless you!

  8. Oh man, mama...I feel ya. You and I got dealt some spit fire girls, huh?! At least they are cute! (No, seriously, Ella is SO STINKIN' adorable! She also got that from her mama ;))

    Hang in there. You are doing great!


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