Peering At The Backside Of The Moon

June 20, 2007

I kept my mouth shut for a reason. I figured, if I never, ever discuss that fact that WonderBaby is both sleeping through the night and napping every afternoon, in her crib, I will never have to answer to the gods for impertinence. I figured, if I never speak of it, I will never tempt them to relieve me of this great gift.

So I never spoke of it. After months and months and months of kvetching about WonderBaby’s wakefulness, I simply went silent. On the day that she finally started napping – April 2, 2007 – after a seven-month nap strike, I went silent. I swore that I would not speak, nor write, about her sleep. The gods are impetuous, and fickle, and they would, I knew, take me from the gift of sleep as quickly as they had given it.

But the temptation became too strong. My secret was too sweet – she sleeps. She sleeps! I began to whisper it: she sleeps. Hand cupped to mouth, eyes raised heavenward, hoping that the gods be distracted by demi-gods taking their women or mortals stealing fire: she sleeps.

And then I began to gain confidence. Surely it was I who had brought about the sleep; surely it was my commitment to schedules and rituals and my persistence in trying, always trying, to bring about the precious sleep that had won me this victory. Surely this was my accomplishment, mine alone. Surely I could sing my own praises. Surely I could say it out loud: I have won her sleep!

I forgot the gods. I sang openly of my accomplishment. I waxed philosophic and pragmatic and prudential. I speculated upon technique. I regarded the nap and the easy bedtime as works of art, crafted by my own will. I displayed them proudly, and announced them to anyone who drew near. These were mine, I said. I made these.

I was prideful, hubristic. You know, then, how this story ends.

Sleep has flown, been snatched away, is gone. The naps are sporadic, bedtime is a battle, our nights and days have become long, too long, far too long to bear. The wax that has held the harmony of my days has melted, and I am falling, have fallen, into the sea. Is this the gods’ vengeance, or did I simply reach too high, too far, too soon?

If only it were always this easy. If only.

I am peering at the backside of the moon.* It is dark, and it is pockmarked, and I would give anything to feel the sun again.

(*Undying respect and big geek high-five to whomever can tell me the source of this line.)


I lifted my skirt and… what? Whaddya think? Check it out, and tell me that you love it over here.

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    Mommy off the Record June 21, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    My son is generally a good sleeper but just started to have trouble at bedtime. Gah, it sucks so bad. I feel ya.

    Slackermommy June 21, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    My kids were good nappers until they turned two then the nap was gone forever. I’ve always envied moms who could get their kids to nap regularly after the age of two.

    I love the sleeping photo. They certainly are angels when they sleep.

    Fairly Odd Mother June 21, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    Sigh, I forget about the sleep gods ALL the time too. You’d think I’d learn but they jinx me every time! Hope you get back to sleeping better soon!

    Jaelithe June 21, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    I second Madame M regarding the possibility of teething. I seem to remember my son getting some molars in for, oh, a month or so when he was right about WonderBaby’s age.

    In case you have angered the sleep gods, however, it would seem to me that such a situation would certainly call for libations. Lots of libations. One drink for you, one for Hypnos. Two drinks for you, another for Hypnos . . .

    gingajoy June 22, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    oh god, you poor woman. you poor poor woman.

    is it tempting fate to say *three nights of hotel sleep with no children?*

    yeah. i thought so.

    Staci Schoff June 24, 2007 at 1:34 am

    Thank you for proving what I already know. Rational mind or no, to achieve the best outcome, always remain superstitious!

    mo-wo June 25, 2007 at 2:04 am

    I know that hubris. Why do we make them if it is for the winds and sands to in fact grow them up?

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