How Does One Do This?

Children. What the crap you guys.

This is me confirming that vacation seriously screwed everyone up and is totally not worth taking most of the time. Blah.

We took a little longer to drive to Shelby’s parents’ house than usual. Hannah was mostly OK, but syncing up bathroom breaks, gas fill-ups, diaper changes, and food requests was surprisingly more difficult than it should have been. I stopped to fill up the car and no one was hungry, so then I’d get on the road and Hannah would almost immediately destroy her diaper. So I’d pull off again and change her, try to pick up a little snack or something. But inevitably, 30 minutes to an hour down the line someone was hungry or had to have an emergency bathroom break. It was just weird. But we got there. Late. Since Hannah napped the last few hours in the car and we had just arrived in a shiny new place with shiny new people, I was pretty sure that trying to put her to bed was going to be an exercise in futility so I let her stay up until about midnight.

When we visit the in-laws in summer, we have to sleep in the same room with our delightful and beautiful young offspring. That first night, I waited until almost 2:00 to go in the room out of fear of waking her and setting our whole vacation off to a horrendous start. But she slept. I mean, only until like 8:00 the next morning, but she slept through my re-entry and bed squeaks and stayed in her portable crib the whole time. It gave me hope. Maybe she was old enough to get this travel vacation holiday thing now and sleeeeeeeeeeep. The second night, she also slept straight through. In her crib. It was amazing. And awesome. And I let my guard down.

And then no matter how worn out we tried to make her throughout the day, she never again slept through the night in her own bed. She napped well. She napped hard. We played in the pool, ran in the yard, took walks, went shopping, went out on the boat, played with toys, watched her favorite TV show, usually accomplishing all of those things once before each nap and once after. She was tired. But she wouldn’t sleep. Sometimes it was her usual brand of “nap time’s over! I’m UP! LET’S PLAY!!!!” Sometimes it was just a constant wriggling and low level whine. Sometimes it was full out screaming. Sometimes it was midnight – 4. Sometimes she just woke up at 5 so I would take her down for MeMe to play with her and she would fall back asleep for an hour or so and then her nap and sleep schedule went all bonkers and then we all suffered.

But we did have fun. At least I did with Hannah. There were certainly moments I wanted to just throw her at another adult and slam pillows over my face and just sleep until the sun went down, but there were a lot of fun moments too. Watching her play in the pool. Seeing her confidence in wandering a speeding boat and sitting right up front. Her excitement at the mud puddles the days it rained. Her delight at the bubble machine and how quickly she put together her new puzzle. Playing with my parents who came out for a quick visit. Accepting my brother in about 12 seconds and not crying when he held her and smooshed his newly bearded face on her cheeks. Offering kisses to literally everyone at the table and running to hug people’s legs. I’m so glad she is such a sweet and happy girl.

But now that we are back home, her sleep is still fairly erratic. She has slept through the night I think twice since we came back. Last night was the hardest. Last night was one of those nights we couldn’t figure out what was wrong. We each tried holding her, rocking her, singing to her and trying all the usual soothing techniques. But her body kept tightening, completely rigid while she shrieked in the highest pitch I’ve heard in awhile. And then she would flop around and try to wriggle out of our grasp and slam part of her body on something hard that would set her off again. She bit her lip playing in her stroller after dinner, and one of her particularly floppy times she slammed her mouth on my collar bone which set off a siren of cries that were definitely pain driven. She was tired. Not particularly interested in playing. Just crying. I wasn’t going to be able to sleep anyway, so I sent Shelby away to rest in case this went on all day. I would rock her, distract her, get her settled. We’d lay down together and I could hear her breathing slow. I could tell she was almost asleep, and then she would shake herself violently, as you or I might if we were falling asleep at the wheel, and then it would start over. Growing pains maybe? Her mouth still hurting? We were both there to tuck her in which is a usual trigger, so I don’t think that was the problem. I just don’t know.

Also, in other scintillating news, we are rapidly approaching the terrible twos. Hannah was informed of this milestone a little early it would seem as she is being a veeeeeery stubborn little thing, and asserts herself at every opportunity. But even THAT she is doing super cutely. As an example, she has taken to helping herself from the pantry. I’ve seen her come out with a bag of her cookies, and bag of chips, a box of crackers, and a tube of oreos. When we catch her, we tell her she needs to ask dada or momma “please?” and then we usually give her a taste of whatever she came out with. But it usually takes a good three minutes of her trying to get into the thing herself complete with whining and flappy arms and refusing to say please before she gives up, says “peet” while handing over the bag/box and then smiling very sweetly and hugging a leg. Sometimes she’ll frown and put her head on the ground BEFORE running over to hug a leg, but she always hugs a leg. Because it is cute. And it works. And she KNOWS it.

Anyway, this has gotten long and boring enough that I should probably stop and get some work done. Or take a nap. Yeah, let’s take a nap.

 

 

 

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