Thursday, May 1, 2008

This week's lesson

Last week we had no lessons, but don't worry because this week there is plenty to make up for it.

This week I learned that sometimes you just have to let them cry it out. I know it may seem like a lesson I should know pretty well already, but it's not. Three days ago, Sophia started waking up in the middle of the night screaming. The first night it happened I thought that maybe she was having a nightmare. She woke at about 4 a.m., so I just brought her back into bed with me and her daddy. The next night she woke at about 11:30 p.m. and she was, again, completely freaking out. The scream was shrill, like she was in pain. We tried to let her cry, but after about 10 minutes neither my husband nor I could listen to the high-pitched scream any longer. This time he brought her back into our bed, where she slept until 6:30 a.m.

This brings us to last night, which was the worst night I've had in months. Really. Sophia woke the first time at 8:30 p.m. After about 15 minutes of her screaming, Jon went and sat with her. She wouldn't let him leave her side. We gave her some Motrin, thinking that she probably had a headache from all the screaming and 45 minutes later, he was able to sneak out of her room.

At 11:30 p.m., right as I was resting my head on my pillow, the screaming started again. After listening to her scream for several minutes, I went in and sat with her … until 2 a.m. I refused to bring her in our bed for a third night and I would not sit in her room all night and hold her. I need sleep just as much as the next person. At 2 a.m. I was frustrated and exhausted, so I just left her and that's when the screaming really got bad.

"Mama. Mama," she was screaming while smacking her crib. Obviously she was trying to make a point. She normally calls me Mommy, except over the last couple of weeks she started calling me Mama when she is demanding something from me.

And she claps.

"Mama." Clap, clap. "Mama." Clap.

I hate it.

I digress; I learned that sometimes it's best for everyone to just let the child cry it out. I felt really guilty about leaving her alone because I want her to feel secure and I want her to know that her father and I will always be there when she needs us. But I also needed to get some sleep and I wasn't going to get any sitting on the floor next to her crib.

This week I also learned that no two children are the same – not matter how much they look alike.

Sophia and Ryan, both at 7 months. I can't believe how much they look alike!

When Sophia was teething she was pretty relaxed about the whole thing. She did some extra chewing, mostly on fabric, but her mood never really changed. On the flip side, Ryan was living proof that babies feel tremendous pain from teething. He wouldn't sleep, eat and was generally in a terrible mood. He didn't want to chew on anything, all he was interested in was being held. He wanted nothing else. That is until his little tooth poked through his sore gums. Overnight he went back to being his cheery little self. I'm desperately hoping the rest of his teeth aren't nearly as painful for him.

I also learned that there are so many things I didn't know before I had children and now that I have them, I'm learning more and more about myself ... and them.