Where have I been for the past 2 weeks?
In New Baby Purgatory, otherwise known as 4-Month Sleep Regression, otherwise known as the Land of the Barely Living. Our anthems? "Stayin' Alive" and "I Will Survive." Maybe a little Aretha, if I'm feeling sassy (and really, when am I not?)
What is sleep regression? It's when your adorable, chubby, sweet little bundle of eyelashes and spit bubbles basically acts like a bit of an asshole. For weeks.
He won't nap, but he'll be super pissy and cry for an hour. This doesn't mean I can sit in the glider and scroll through BuzzFeed's latest must-read list (15 Ways You Know You Went To Boarding School in England). Oh, no. It's an hour of standing up, bouncing, swaying, praying, shushing, rocking. His little baby-radar goes off as soon as I try to get comfortable (how does he KNOW when I'm sitting down?) I swear, my butt-cheeks start to quiver as they approach the couch. Feed and repeat at the next naptime. Long walks in the stroller? Nope. Wide-eyed and full of wonder, he'll happily stare at every freaking branch we pass, but God forbid he closes his eyes for longer than a blink. Actually, is he mocking me? I swear he didn't even blink. It was like his eyes just took turns blinking, so yeah, a series of winks. Lest he actually fall asleep. When he does deign to sit, it won't be in his bouncer, rocker, or any of the baby accoutrements we were suckered into buying, instead insisting on sitting upright on my lap, just so, mind you. A degree off here and there will Set. Him. Off.
So what is the big deal? Well, naptime is when I eat breakfast - shower - write - take a full breath - think. It's when I collect sanity for the next few hours. Especially for bedtime.
Bedtime. It used to be so simple. We had a whole bedtime routine. Bath, feed, sit in bouncer, swaddle, sleep. Now it's Bath, feed, moderately successful burping effort, and the second his sleepy, heavy body touches the bouncer he is up again. With a vengeance. As I helplessly watch his placid, sweet little face turn bright red with anger and his eyes glower with rage, it's kind of hard not to take this personally. When he starts to roar at me for DARING to put him down, and punishes me for the next hour by continuously crying ("See? I'm rocking you now...like a maniac...doesn't this make you happy with me?" "Bitch I'll teach you to put me down like that again...") all he needs is a tiny little PimpCup and a cane. I'm in uber-exhausted mode. We're both crying and screaming.
Right now I'd settle for the lack of R-E-S-P-E-C-T to get some S-L-E-E-E-E-P.
When he finally does suddenly fall asleep I'm such a bag of nerves that all I can do is zone out for an hour and then fall into my bed, teeth unbrushed (I know, it's so awful, don't judge), living in fear of when he will next wake. The nightmare isn't over. He'll be up multiple times, at which point I'll cycle through patting&shushing (squinting without my glasses in the dark, to ascertain whether we are about to enter the "feed me now or you'll regret it" phase), rushing to the living room with a sleep-sacked baby over my shoulder, while simultaneously popping buttons on my pajama shirt, desperate to pull out the boobs before the shit hits the fan, and then sitting in the dark for 45 minutes until he digests. Because if I put him down to sleep too soon, I'll have a crib full of congealed breastmilk to deal with. And even though I seem to bathe in it, I do not like congealed breastmilk.
I know I owe you recipes, a Favourite Thing, and a story...but have pity patience. I'm working on it!
Oh, how did we get through the sleep regression? I'll let you know when we get there. Still cursing about 16 hours a day, sleeping about 4 hours a day, and somehow eating cookies 24 hours a day.