And then came the awkward silence…

January 14, 2007

So I asked – nay, demanded – that you all come out of the virtual woodwork and introduce yourselves, insisting that this whole virtual salon/discussion-circle/cocktail-party blog thing will be oh so much more fun if I know who you are, if we’re all just a little bit more acquainted, and you all (most of you – yes, I see you black-clad, anti-social lurkers over there in the corner smoking your cigarettes and trying to be invisible) gamely stepped forward and submitted to the cute-but-sort-of-annoying little party game that was National Delurking Week, and then what?


I, your hostess in the HBM-corner of this big blog-party, have nothing to say. And now we’re all just standing around uncomfortably, the big hey-how-are-ya! grins plastered awkwardly on our faces and I’m supposed to say something, post something, anything, to keep this conversation going but whaddya know? I got nothin.’

OK, maaaybe I’ve got a Gratuitous WonderBabyPhoto ’round here somewhere…

To be more precise, I’ve got nothing that I can summon the energy to offer. Tell a story? Share an anecdote? Make an impassioned/reflective/pedantic argument about life, the universe and everything? Sorry. Can’t. I’ve got plenty that I could talk about, but we’ve been following a strict no-sleep regimen around here (the better to keep up with the short-burst baby races and the long-distance speed-toddling and the free-style table climbing and all the other events that fill our napless days) and I’m really only capable of sotto voce cursing and muttering and, for variety, threatening my husband. Motherhood – or what seems to me to be extreme motherhood – is, at the moment, turning me into a cranky, sloppy, sleep-deprived bitch.

And nobody likes a bitch. At least, not up close.

So I’ll spare you. I’m going to excuse myself from the party for a night or two to (try to) catch up on my sleep. While I’m gone, discuss amongst yourselves one or two or all of the following:

1) Tried and true methods for getting turbo-charged babies/toddlers to a) nap, b) sleep through the night, or c) both;
2) Tried and true methods for getting Mommy back to sleep after baby has woken at 1am and demanded, successfully, to be moved into the parental bed and is kicking Mommy in the head with restless baby feet and/or is thumping Mommy on the head with grotty stuffed frog and/or is yelling Hi! Cat! Hi! Cat! at Daddy’s hairy feet;
3) Warm milk/hot bath, liquor or sleeping pills?
4) Britney Spears: comedy or tragedy?

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    Jenn January 15, 2007 at 12:41 am

    sleep deprived and sotto voce? my dear, you’ve got restraint… :P

    I can’t help alleviate it, but if my baby was in the bed yelling Hi! Cat! at my husbands hairy feet, I’d be laughing my ass off – and certainly not sleeping!

    and #4: I vote tragedy. The comedy ended a while ago.

    something blue January 15, 2007 at 12:57 am

    How about shaving husband’s feet?

    I suggest warm milk for WonderBaby and a night cap for you.

    If that fails share a somewhat comic tragedy tale of the life of Ms. Spears. With stern warnings that if she does not go straight to sleep, momma’s going to go party pantiless with a Hilton sister.

    Mrs. Chicken January 15, 2007 at 1:53 am

    I think The Poo and Wonderbaby are somehow related. We’ve been crib-diving today, and then staying up to watch the late show.

    Ain’t motherhood grand?

    Izzy January 15, 2007 at 2:00 am

    It must be in the air or something. Mine isn’t napping for shit this week. It BETTER just be a phase…

    Oh and warm milk does work for the wee ones while liquor works well for mommies. but I prefer bong hits. Choose your poison :)

    Mrs. T January 15, 2007 at 2:41 am

    Warm milk/hot bath work for the babes. Cut back on the nap time, too.
    Britney is indeed a comic tragedy, or perhaps more of a tragic comedy.
    I think I’m delurking, but may have come to your party before.

    Joker The Lurcher January 15, 2007 at 2:50 am

    the sleeplessness thing being widespread – maybe the comet that’s passing (mcnaught)?

    it does get better – my son now has to be woken up in the morning! i used to sit him in front of whatever was on the telly in the middle of the night so i could nap in the chair – in the pre digital days it was usually horror films but by then i was beyond caring about his psychological welfare!

    Anonymous January 15, 2007 at 8:13 am

    This is motherhood at its finest. It does pass. The smart and healthy ones sleep the least. Don’t fight it…have a party with Wonderbaby. Dr. Pearlman said it was okay to lace warm milk with a little something for mother and child.

    Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" January 15, 2007 at 9:37 am

    1) a)b)c) TYLENOL.
    2)Nyquil (But why would you want to miss “Hi Cat” at daddy’s hairy feet…that cracks me up!
    3)all four.
    4)Tragedy, sadly enough.

    Beck January 15, 2007 at 10:20 am

    1) Put on sleepy music and rock with them before tucking them into bed b) Have daddy handle the bedtime routine AND be the get-up-and-pat person when they wake up. He’s much less emotionally charged than mom for the baby.
    2) Don’t move the baby to the parental bed. We’re going through this right now and the baby just writhes around kicking and chatting. Give the Daddy-get-up-and-pat the baby thing a whirl.
    3) Warm milk, hot bath, dumb magazine.
    4) Tragedy. Sad, sad tragedy.

    metro mama January 15, 2007 at 10:25 am

    1) For us, routine is everything. Plus, plenty of outside exercise. Make her exhausted. (I find the fresh air helps me sleep too).
    2) Keep baby out of the bed.
    3) Plenty of liquor (nothing with sugar in it though – skip the port).
    4) Trainwreck

    reddragonsangel January 15, 2007 at 10:53 am

    I feel your pain- we have a strict no sleep regime here as well- the only solution is to sleep with me ( sigh)which – leaves me sleepless and sore as well- when she is totally out I transfer her to the crib- only to be woken by shouts for mommmmeeeeeee- and we go back to me bed- I know I suck – but dammit I am tired too- and bitchy- lol !

    Iris January 15, 2007 at 11:50 am

    UGH…….well, significant other is always saying, “RUM” in thta quiet, eery way when he hears the kids acting up. RUM works well for mommies too.

    The warm bath and the rum are good together, but I wouldn’t throw in sleeping pills, unless you don’t want to wake up until Wednesday, no quarantee what Wednesday it will be.

    Britney Spears??? MAJOR Comedy with a side order of tragedy for her little babies.

    T. January 15, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Well, I’m a big believer in the mommy juice.

    But I think that is an established fact. And chicklet, I can’t wait to meet the hubs. The first thing I’m gonna do is ask to see his hairy feet.

    Because I think we are related….

    Hang in there. In a blink of an eye, Wonderbaby will give you a whole new reason to morph into a bitch. Again.

    Gotta love motherhood.

    nomotherearth January 15, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Very much like Metro Mama here at Casa Earth:

    a)Routine, routine… Warm bath, one story, say goodnight to toys and go to sleep.
    b)No naps after 4pm, even if he hasn’t slept all day.
    c)Fresh air and exercise as much as possible.
    d)We use a sound machine for bedtime, too, but we’ve done that since the early days.
    e)Liquor for Mummy. Sad, but true.

    Poor Britney. Yes, that is a tragedy.

    soleclaw January 15, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    I agree with no mother earth…some sort of white noise has always worked for E. She listens to instrumental lullabies every night. But we, too, have been doing that from day 1 in the crib.

    And a warm bath using anything of a lavender nature usually works wonders for us. By the time E is dried off she’s rubbing her eyes and yawning.

    ali January 15, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    is this all because you don’t know what an asshat is?? kidding.

    britney = both comedy (because she cracks my shit up) and tragedy (those poor, poor children she brought into this world)

    Her Bad Mother January 15, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    Thanks for all of the advice so far. For the record, we do employ a solid routine every night, and she does go down in her crib without *too* much trouble. Problem is, she wakes around 1am and WILL. NOT. BE. CONSOLED. Hub goes in to soothe her but she escalates the crying within minutes and won’t stop until she’s curled up on someone’s chest. Which is lovely, in a way, except for the part where she’s the only who sleeps…

    Oh, The Joys January 15, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    I’m from the “cry it out” camp. (…and anyone who wants to throw rocks at me for it take note that I am blindfolded with my fingers in my ears.)

    Amy Jo January 15, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    1)We are also not sleeping through the night, but we never have been. And the boy has been up in his crib for 40 minutes at this point babbling to himself, so I guess I have no methods.

    2)Again, I am a clueless wreck. I can only offer empathy.

    3)My MIL used to give my husband some Harvey’s Bristol Cream at night…

    4)A comedy of errors, perhaps.

    kittenpie January 15, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Once Pumpkinpie was mobile, she never slept in our bed again (save one night where she was so sick I wanted her where I could check on her often). Instead, I have a futon in her room and, if necessary, I’ll go sleep in there instead, near her but not actually sharing a bed and being kicked. Seems to work well most of the time. And – it usually passes in a week or two, just when you think you might actually go psychotic from lack of sleep. Hang in there!

    Adn you know how sad I feel for poor, misguided, not-that-bright BritBrit. Sigh.

    Anonymous January 15, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    ah yes, extreme sleep deprivation. spirited babies don’t seem to need much sleep and letting them cry it out, which works great with some kids, is utterly useless with babies like wonderbaby and my bug. they will scream for hours on end, every night, for weeks on end. it just doesn’t work and no one gets ANY sleep. bring her in the bed if it works (by works i mean better than listening to them scream relentlessly) and don’t fret it. i’ve got three and each one spent the first 2 yrs in our bed and now the oldest two fall asleep on their own in their own beds and sleep through the night. the baby is still not there yet and she’s the spirited one. it’s hard with those buggers…they don’t sleep peacefully and they don’t sleep through the night, sometimes for years. Hang in there. i’m sure I didn’t say anything that makes you feel any better, sorry. it will get better and of course that means nothing when you’re exhausted, bitchy and fed up.

    britney- at what point does child protective services intervene?

    Lawyer Mama January 15, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    Ooh, I wish I had a solution for 1&2. When one of the H’s is determined to be awake, there’s nothing I can do except rearrange my schedule the next day to include a nap (for me).

    Lawyer Mama January 15, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    Ooh, I wish I had a solution for 1&2. When one of the H’s is determined to be awake, there’s nothing I can do except rearrange my schedule the next day to include a nap (for me).

    Mimi January 15, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    I absolutely cannot ABIDE to miss sleep. So I’m very sorry for you. I just posted about this too the other day …

    Maybe CIO: seems like Wonderbaby is happyish to go to bed at night, but just not to stay there unentertained until morning. Which she’s gonna hafta learn to do, non? I’m thinking: she’s crying because she has a need, right? Not hungry, not poopy, not sick, not scared. She needs a midnight snuggle. But: is this a need you can continue to fulfil in the long run, or even the short, without some kind of breakdown on your part?

    If it helps, I say to you: WonderBaby needs to learn to stay quietly in her crib at night. You need to sleep. The current practice is untenable. Maybe you or hubby can go in every so often while she’s hollering to remind her she’s not been abandoned, but she’s not getting out of that crib. Might be an awful week of even less sleep, but it should sort itself out.

    I’d rather talk about Britney though. She is a trainwreck. I thought she was turning it around with the nice new hair and the no more K-Fed, but I’m disappointed all over again. And those poor kids.

    Sandra January 15, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Hey there. Oh you … I can relate to the exhaustion thing … I haven’t slept in a week … get some rest my friend. Lots and lots of rest.

    I have missed your words … off to get caught up.

    rachel January 15, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    1 – run them hard, then lay down with them and play dead.
    2- if you lay there long enough
    3- all 4
    4- both

    hope you can enjoy some sleep. My kids let me sleep in until 10:30 Sunday morning, with only one wakeup at 7am to let the dogs out.

    eastcoastelle January 15, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Delurking again… a new record!

    I say hot milk for mama, and a shot of something stronger for the baby :)

    I am impressed that the swearing is sotto voce. I have to admit that if my baby were to start speaking tomorrow, her first words would likely not be as benign as mama, dada or cat… It is amazing what several nights of little-to-no sleep will turn you into :)

    Oh, and Britney – definitely a tragi-comedy.

    Naomi (Urban Mummy) January 15, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    I’d leave a witty comment about exhaustion, but I’m just too exhausted. Seriously.

    Lisa b January 15, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    my only suggestions in the baby sleep department are prayer and childcare.
    for #3 I promote all of the above
    Spears I will have to ponder a little longer. We don’t sleep much around here either. My first thought was both.

    NoodleMonkey January 15, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    De-lurking to share my sympathy and to say that we suffered through the wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-thing with my first. Finally, after several weeks of mommy not sleeping (and snarling at my husband every time he looked at me), my husband turned off the monitor after I had fallen asleep and shut our bedroom door. I woke up in the morning sure that the Noodle had slept through the night. In actuality, she had been up screaming for about 45 minutes (according to The Husband, who had felt so much guilt and apprehension that HE couldn’t sleep) and I had slept right on through it. I was pissed as hell at The Husband, but at least I was well-rested (and far, far easier to be around.) The next night, she screamed for about half and hour, the next night, for an hour and then….(drum roll please) not at all. I’m not advocating this method necessarily, but it worked for us.
    Brittany Spears: tragedy. Who, as someone else said, cracks my shit up.

    Bethiclaus January 15, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    Oh, poor Britney Spears. Clearly a tragedy. That girl just needs a friend to shake her.

    Lance January 15, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    Hello Bad Mama! Or is it Professor Bad Maam?

    FishyGirl January 15, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    Don’t remember if I delurked before, and I guess technically it isn’t true delurking because I’ve posted before, but hi! I can only have sympathy for the sleep problems but no solutions, because when you take reflux out of the equation my monsters are great sleepers, as long as I wear them out during the day. Sunny does still do nightime visits, but I just pick her up and put her back in her bed and she goes right down. On the rare occasion that doesn’t work, I just go sleep in her bed. My SIL has resorted to benadryl after a particularly bad week, though. Your choice who you give it to.

    Definitely a tragedy for Britney.

    sweatpantsmom January 15, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    I’m about as far from a granola-vegan-nature person as you can get, but the only sleep-aid that truly works for me is a huge cup of chamomile tea with a teaspoon of vanilla (non-alcohol kind is fine.) Go figure.

    (I seemed to have totally missed de-lurking week, as I do most things…)

    Anonymous January 15, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    1. Am kidless, and will accordingly save ass-vice to the people who can more appropriately give it.
    2. Am not so big a jerk as to have laughed at the Hi! Cat! part. Definitely not. Have you tried the kick husband to take over method?
    3. All four.
    4. A little from Column A, a little from column B.

    dorothy January 15, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    Mmmmm? What happened? Did I miss the party?

    Haley-O January 16, 2007 at 1:00 am

    Hmmm…. Britney Spears, comedy or tragedy? Excellent question…. Well, as always, you got me thinkin’! ;)

    wordgirl January 16, 2007 at 9:58 am

    Britney Spears is a tragedy that makes me laugh. Sorry I’ve been scarce lately. Sick as a dog. I’m better now.

    HomeFireBlue January 16, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    1) Stop trying. Be content (and ENFORCE) that she is in her room and relatively quiet during set hours. Sleep will come when it will.

    2) See above. Purchase earplugs to drown out sorrowful weeping/vengeful howls of rage. She’ll settle after a bit.

    3) Alcohol. Definately alcohol.

    4) Unfathomable mystery.

    Lydia January 16, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    I read all the comments hoping for answers… Jake goes to sleep after the “routine” then around 2:30am realizes he is alone and makes a beeline for the parental bed.
    Where he stays because we are MUCH to tired to argue.
    I figure… he won’t want to do that when he’s a sullen teenager… so I’ll tough it out.

    britney? Poor babies.

    Mommy-Like Days January 16, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    This *is* a fun party.
    1)Baby 1 slept through the night on his own; Baby 2 not sleeping through night, so what I thought was *my* good technique, clearly isn’t.
    2) I can’t co-sleep either.
    3) Warm bath–who has time for that?
    4) Britney was a comedy until kids became involved.

    Mamalooper January 16, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    The sleep thing – one of those “it depends” items – depends on their temperament, depends on the developmental stage, depends on whether the Canucks make the playoffs.

    I read recently that half of toddlers are still not sleeping through the night – that can be ENcouraging or DIScouraging!

    Monkeygirl started waking up again once a night recently and I have been working at that. YMMV, etc. I go in and pat her and reassure her and tell her that it is still sleep time. I don’t pick her up. I then wait five minutes and go in again and do the same thing. You get the picture. It took initially three nights and then she was fine. The most she cried was for 25 minutes.

    The whole idea is to reassure them that you are there while also helping them get themselves to sleep. Monkeygirl REALLY wanted to nurse still and it was all about cuddling rather than hunger or thirst.

    It’s explained better in Harvey Karp’s toddler book (he of the 5 s’s). I also really like Ann Douglas’ Sleep Solutions book. Both carry you through toddlerhood. The former has other topics in addition to sleep.

    Good luck HBM – I know you will figure out the right formula for Wonderbaby. We are all just feeling around in the dark.

    Kirsty from France January 16, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    This is my first ever comment on a blog! Wow!
    As for sleep deprivation, well, I have a 5 yr old daughter who sleeps as soon as you put her in her bed, and an almost 3 yr old daughter who is driving me insane and turning me into a totally bad mother – I try being gentle like her doctor suggested, but that doesn’t work at all. It’s only when I get really angry (shouting in a whisper so as not to wake her sister) that she stops squawking. It was 10pm tonight when the screaming stopped. She won’t nap at all here at home and is currently a truly Terrible Two.
    Can’t think what would help me, other than 2 weeks’ holiday with no kids in some kind of spa resort. Can’t bear alcohol, Squawker won’t accept anything resembling warm milk, baths make no difference, we’ve used a routine since she was born and just have to face it that she’s hideous about sleeping (and eating vegetables, not getting her way…*sigh*).
    Am seriously praying that things will improve when she turns 3 in April!
    Love this blog – makes me feel less evil, less of a failure!
    Hope I’m not too late to avoid the brimstone and fire promised to undelurked lurkers!
    British living in the south of France

    Jenn January 16, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    I got nothin’ on the sleep issue.

    But tragedy. All the way. Shakespearean levels. Poor Brit-Brit, and worse off, Bit-Bit, her dog. I can’t even get into her kids or I’ll cry.

    Mom101 January 16, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    I thought I had the sleeping thing down until last night. (The canines are coming! The canines are coming!) I’m thinking pills plus booze. One for you, the other for the kid.

    creative-type dad January 16, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    I wish I’d never have sleep. I would get so much done…

    Britney is on crack.

    scribbit January 16, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    And if that doesn’t force out the lurkers I don’t know what will :)

    Gina January 16, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    I have the 1am problem too. “Put the boob in or I’ll go nutso on you by ramming my head into my crib rails again and again!” Then again at 3am and 5am. I have a 14 month old newborn, that throws fits in the night. By day, perfect angel!

    I am sorry I have no advice as I am in the same sorry boat!

    ewe are here January 16, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    I hear you on needing some more sleep! As for today’s ‘hot topics’…

    1. Well, you might consider knocking out the nap if it’s not working. Might get her to sleep through the night…?

    2. Nope. I refused to co-sleep. MF had to be able to put himself to sleep and sleep by himself. Otherwise, I figured we were all screwed. But that’s just me.

    3. Liquor! Well, for you. Sadly, I’m still pregnant. (out!out!)

    4. Both. A constant trainwreck – of a train full of clowns.

    m January 16, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    I haven’t read through all the comments, though I should in case someone has a brilliant idea about the sleep thing. We’re hurting here, too. Does sleep-deprived-lunacy like company? If so, here I am.

    As for Britney, well, I guess we’re just going to have to see how it ends (oh god, please let this end!) to know which mask she’ll be wearing.

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