Because what the internet needs is more wittering about rubbish parenting

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For...

I don't know if I've ever talked much about The Toddler's early days on here. She was not an easy baby. While my friends had lovely little things who stared at the ceiling and gurgled contentedly, I had a screaming, writhing, red-faced bundle of horridness. She suffered from colic and silent reflux, which was worst in the evenings, so from the hours of 5-9pm, there was nothing for it but to pace up and down the house with her and listen to how unhappy she was with her life.

She did, however, sleep from at least 11pm-6am every night from when she was about 5 weeks old. This was a complete shock to me, as I was expecting some kind of karmic retribution from my own babyhood (I didn't sleep until I was 2. At all, by the sounds of it). But while my friends struggled by on 2 hours sleep per night, I often said that I would gladly swap one of my unbroken nights, for one day when my baby didn't seem utterly miserable.

Well, I got my wish. She abruptly stopped her miraculous sleeping at the age of 5 months, for no apparent reason, and since then wakes up anywhere between 2 and 790 times per night. But she is much, much happier. And the happiness seems to be proprtionate to how little sleep she has. Take yesterday. The Toddler was GORGEOUS. She was smiley and lovely, ate all her meals with minimal fuss, behaved herself all the way through my work Secret Santa present-giving, and was generally a joy to be around (apart from when she threw her pyjama bottoms down the toilet). The night before, she woke up at least once an hour (and for once, I'm not exaggerating, honest). Last night, she woke up for half the night, then slept for the other half, so I guess I'm in for split-personality Toddler today.

On reflection, I think the deal I would have made in those early days was the right one. It's amazing how quickly you get used to being tired, but it's much harder to get used to the sound of your baby crying in pain and misery. If you'd asked me at two o'clock this morning, I might have said something different, mind.

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