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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    Sarah June 20, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    The sleep gods (they are definitely NOT goddesses) and I are not really seeing eye to eye right now. They have been depriving me of my nights as of late, and my husband seems to be inkahootz with them.
    Bat Rastards.

    Madame M. June 20, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Hmm…. is she teething?

    Teething has been my archnemesis for months and months.

    Good luck, and may you find yourself a Teiresias to keep you focused next time. Not that it did Oedipus much good in the end, but you never know.

    Jennifer Playgroupie June 20, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    I completely jinxed my daughter’s sleep by telling of her two hour naps and six hour stretches at night.

    Never again.

    My lips are sealed.

    Jessica June 20, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    I want to go in a corner, rock back and forth and cry now. You are supossed to say there is a light at the end of the 12 month tunnel (Oct. 12!!!)!! I’ve been holding on thinking when this magical age came so would an 8 hour night of sleep. I think that the Gods are exceptionally cruel to give us the occasional full night to snatch it away again. OK, let me stop now before I really start rambling in my sleep deprived state.

    Oh and yeah, Stella is 8 months and has been teething for at least 2 years…

    Heather K June 20, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    My first was a horrid sleeper, but now I can gloat that I have her (now 3) and the 1yo both on the same 1-4pm nap schedule. For now at least!


    Laural Dawn June 20, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    I’m so there with you!!!
    We have 3 beds in my son’s room and he sleeps on NONE of them. I’m beginning to accept that my child can run on very little sleep. Much less than me.
    He is 3. I am exhausted most of the time.
    You know, though, these will be the teenagers who can’t get enough sleep!!!

    Chaos Control June 20, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    Welcome to my world, sister!

    sam June 20, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    Sooo cute that WonderBaby!

    I hate talking about sleep. Every time I open my mouth, he does the opposite.

    But I do have to say (and this will probably bite me in the ass this weekend).. Carter has been napping for three to four hours on saturdays!


    J June 20, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    Anyone who even questions whether sleep deprivation is a form of torture should check out the mommy blogs–starting with your picture of that poor carrot.

    Great post–hope you get some sleep!

    AndreAnna June 20, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    I just started bragging about how after a year, my baby is finally sleeping through the night and napping in her own crib after 5 weeks of silence (and fear of the almighty jinx).

    I pray I do not have a similar ending to yours, because the whole world cries when I am tired. :)

    Good luck!

    Maggie June 20, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    That’s how it goes, isn’t it? Which is why I am not even going to mention how our sleeping is going … however much I want to. I won’t. Does thinking about it make it happen too?

    Oh, The Joys June 20, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    K and I CONSTANTLY try to appease the sleep Gods. They ARE fickle. -Sigh-

    I know the wee early mornings all too well.

    kgirl June 20, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    Oh, I so feel you. It so sucks. It’s so exhausting.

    Weaning taught me one thing – I am a one trick pony. I have no other method to get Bee to go to sleep. And Chris has been working weekends. Sigh.

    This too shall pass, mama. It has to.

    MsPrufrock June 20, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    Ah yes…I am well-acquainted with the cruel mistress that is baby and toddler sleep. P wouldn’t nap in her crib until a few weeks ago at 10 months. I was blissfully happy for but a moment, wondering what I could do for these spare couple of hours every day. Alas, she has since discovered that naptime is for wussies and the inactive, so out the window that has gone.

    Good luck. Oh, and those are some freakin adorable pictures.

    pgoodness June 20, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Sleep? What’s that?!
    Lately, Matt has been saying (over and over and over) I’m not ready yet! when it comes to bed time. SIGH. What about when I’M ready? LOL. The sleeps gods skipped our house completely. Such is our life – bed is a fight, naps are non-existent and there’s always one kid, if not both, up in the middle of the night. I look forward to the teenage years for the sleep alone.

    AbbysMomma June 20, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    Ahhh…sleep deprivation is surely a form of torture…Seriously!

    I feel for you…the gods must be pissed…my normally easy to sleep 4 y.o. has been a pain for weeks now…

    Hey, did you put the air conditioning on recently? DD slept well from 3 mos. to 6-8 mos. and then was a pain…it took us 2 mos. to realize it was the a/c. I put warmer jammies on her and saw improvement.

    dana June 20, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    It’s not Pink Floyd, is it….

    That’s in my head now!

    I’m sorry about the disruption of sleep over there. Dawson will sleep, just never in his own bed. I can’t stand it!

    rachel June 20, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    The Clouds, no?

    Julie Pippert June 20, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Teeth, growth, development.

    It’s actually not random, I’ve learned, nor governed by fractious gods with a sick sense of humor.

    It’s tied to an Event. Which will strike just when you are at the end of your sleep-deprived rope.

    Hang in there until the phase is past. Lots of luck. I recall that no knowledge whatsoever is any consolation to me at the time.

    kittenpie June 20, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    Have hope, HBM. We have periodic disturbances of a week or two when I nearly lose my mind, but she gets back on track, just when I’m dangling on the ege. This is a test. I repeat, do not adjust your set. This is a test.

    nomotherearth June 20, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    We call it the “Kiss of Death” over at Casa Earth. It is a topic of which we don’t speak, therefore I cannot speak about it (or risk the Kiss of Death).

    We are here for you, though, if there is anything we can do to help. Know that. You don’t live far.

    pkzcass June 20, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    They just suck the life blood out of you, don’t they?

    My 10 year old still sometimes wakes me up to tell me he can’t sleep. I threaten to kill him if he doesn’t get out of my room right this second!

    Backside of the moon, hmmmm, Shakespeare?

    crazymumma June 20, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    Impudent and arrogent human.

    How easily the gods laugh in our faces when we are prideful. Perhaps a small sacrifice to gain their favour again?

    Wonderbaby sounds wired JUST like bigirl was.

    binkytown June 20, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    This is a tidal/moon phase kind of thing I am sure of it because as someone else mentioned, just when I think I can’t possibly take one more day (and night) of not sleeping, the spell breaks and he sleeps gloriously for weeks sometimes at a time.

    Then we find ourselves right back there again. I’ve found it’s easier to surrender and not try to fight it or beat my chest in frustration or even attempt to determine the cause. I simply shrug my shoulders and hope for the best.

    Lawyer Mama June 20, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Ooooooh. You had to go and tempt fate, didn’t you? I will never mention the S word on my blog for the same reason. Sleep, she is a fickle mistress.

    crazymumma June 20, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    I am going to go mental if I do not find out where the quote came from. I am thinking shakespeare but a google search raised a electronic album, not Pink Floyd.


    Dawn June 20, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    If you find the right sacrifice, please notify me. I will fire up the backyard pyre and get to burning.

    Emily started a new sleep strike two weeks ago. And she’s nine.

    11 am to 2 am seems to be the best time to tell me how she can’t sleep.

    Kyla June 20, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    Aristophanes Clouds?

    I hope you sleep again soon, HBM!

    Jen June 20, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    Those gods punish me in different ways…my girls – they sleep. Long naps and early bedtimes every day without fail. So how am I punished, you ask?

    The little one eats so poorly she occasionally ends up on laxatives and stool softeners to get things moving.

    The gods are fickle and even though I have not had to use medication in months and the fact that Rosebud has pooped on our potty many times now, I have blogged about it a bit.

    I just don’t dare.

    Austrian Dyspeptic June 20, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    Calling Prospero? Puck? What to do? Play CDs of falling rain? A couple of martinis? (Just kidding)

    Hubris? It’s not like you’re King Lear. You were pleased with the little bambino’s streak of embracing sleep. That’s all. Nothing wrong with that — celebrating those little victories.

    Love the photos of WonderBaby drifting off.

    Have you considered t-shirts of WB and her carbohydrate adventure?

    Magpie June 20, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    It ebbs and flows, the sleep thing. Mine now just won’t go to bed. In her bed. Or in mine. Just wants to be up. And then she’s so tired she can’t get up in the morning, when we need to fly out of the house to daycare. Someday, she’ll be in college and I won’t have to worry about her sleeping. Or, her erratic sleeping will be happening elsewhere and I won’t have to think about it.

    Mamalooper June 20, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    Sounds like you ran smack dab into the 18 month sleep regression…it apparently gets better at 20 months. So I hear. And am counting on…

    Mimi June 20, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    Gah! Cute photos, baaaaaad story. I’m such a wreck when we don’t sleep. It’s kinda nice being in Victoria now, because even though I’m working like a dog and staggering through the time change, at least I can sleep. All Night. Every Night.

    Very, very cute photos. When she’s alseep, WB looks like a baby still …

    Her Bad Mother June 20, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    Kyla, Rachel, Heather – big geek high five. It is inded the Clouds.

    And Madame M? You get a geek high five, too, for invoking Teiresias.

    jen June 20, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    um yeah, Bad. I know.

    I know. i have some extra crow over here, want me to heat it up for you?

    Catherine June 20, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    The exact same thing happened to me. I finally couldn’t take it any longer; I wrote a post BUT DID NOT POST IT, hoping that it would alieviate my desire to shout to the mountains without angering the gods. But even with it sitting in my draft box, the damage was done, the sleeping was over. Defeated, I posted it weeks afterwards, with the original date. I got a few congrats and didn’t have the heart to tell them that it was over…

    I won’t even open my mouth to say how he’s sleeping now…

    Beck June 20, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    The Baby is having a miserable time right now and getting up multiple times a night. Of course, I sleep like a baby (one who DOESN’T sleep like a jerk) because my husband is the lighter sleeper of the two and gets up with her.
    I don’t remember where I was going with this….

    painted maypole June 20, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    i feel your pain. my child never slept when she was young. I had a friend say to me “my child is sleeping for 4 hours every afternoon, should I be worried?” AFter restraining myself from decking her, I told her she should be throwing a party, and cooking dinner for ME!

    Naomi (Urban Mummy) June 20, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    Ah yes. The first time The Weed slept through the night I (foolishly) proclaimed it to the masses.

    It has never happened again.

    I hear you.

    Teething. Oh, and those incredibly long days – my toddler doesn’t go to bed until almost 9 now!

    flutter June 21, 2007 at 12:04 am

    Taught you, now didn’t she?

    Major Bedhead June 21, 2007 at 1:04 am

    The Bug has slept thru the night once. She’s almost 11 months old. I despair of it ever happening again. This is why I stay up until the wee hours – if I’m not in the room, she stays asleep. As soon as she hears me, though, she’s up and wanting to nurse. All. friggin’. night.

    I had Aristophanes, but I was beaten to the punch.

    Lady M June 21, 2007 at 3:32 am

    I had a high school friend who had a superstition about driving across train tracks. You had to lift both feet off the floor of the car, cross your fingers, touch the ceiling, and say, “Peanut Butter.”

    Which I think affects your luck about as much as anything you do to keep your child napping.

    Shiri June 21, 2007 at 3:50 am

    The first rule of nap club: you don’t talk about nap club!

    Did you know that you come before Aristophanes when googling that phrase? That should make up for the lack of napping, no?

    Mrs. Chicky June 21, 2007 at 8:30 am

    I will not comment on this subject for fear of retribution from the gods of sle….. Uh uh. Not even gonna say it.

    TB June 21, 2007 at 10:10 am

    I feel this pain. I feel it. At 7 weeks, we are lucky to get Myles to nap for more than 15 minutes at a stretch during the day and man the days are LOOONNNGGG.

    ewe are here June 21, 2007 at 10:26 am

    One of the reasons I don’t openly celebrate our 15 week old’s sleep patterns, too much….yet…. :-) don’t want the sleep gods to punish me!

    Bloor West Mama June 21, 2007 at 10:55 am

    I find it that now with it being light outside until 9 or so, Isa is awake in her crib for much longer. I have to go and buy myself some blackout curtains.

    I hope that WB finds sleep again. The only tip I can give is to still be consistent with your sleep routine.

    metro mama June 21, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Oh, fack. I’m so sorry HBM. I hope it’s just a phase that passes soon.

    crazymumma June 21, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Thank god I know it is the Clouds now. Who the hell are they? I came back just to find out. How sad.

    Ya Metro, suuuuurrrreee you’re sorry with your perfect sleeping child.


    crazymumma June 21, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    no I am not stalking. oh my god. I asked if The Clouds was a band, then I googled. Ancient greek stuff.

    skulking off in embarassment.

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