the baby who wouldn’t sleep

ramona is finally, FINALLY napping. jared had an easy enough time putting her down for her morning nap, but this afternoon has been a disaster. i gave her some diaper-free time because she’s getting a little rashy, & she proceeded to spin herself 180 degrees while my back was turned & then she peed all over herself, her sleep sack, her rattle…& then she was enraged because she was covered in pee. i got her all cleaned up & into a fresh outfit, but she was too angry to eat & only wanted to scream & scream & scream: the national song of the over-tired baby. jared tried to trick her into sleeping using his bedtime routine, but it didn’t work. she did chill out for a while & she had a bottle, but then she started shrieking again. i finally put her in her stroller & took a walk, little as i wanted to because my allergies are raging even though i’ve been in the house all day. now i’m even more stuffy & itchy. but she’s asleep. hopefully she’ll be a bit more cheerful when she wakes up.

sometimes she has days like this. i don’t like them, but they are even worse when jared is home to witness them. because it’s memorial day, he didn’t bother going up to school. so he’s been here, watching me struggle all day.

lately ramona has been staying up later & later at night. she still sleeps through the night once she’s asleep, but i do not care for her going to bed at 12:30am. i personally would prefer to be in bed by 10pm. jared puts her to bed every night, but i always feel pressure to stay up until ramona is down, just in case she’s especially difficult & he needs a break. plus, jared is teaching again starting in august, & right now, it looks like his schedule will necessitate him being up on campus by 8am on weekdays. it doesn’t really work to be up until after midnight trying to coax a baby to bed when you have to get up for work at like 6:30am. & i CANNOT do her bedtime on top of taking care of her ten hours a day. it’s just not an option.

so i have been saying that we should start figuring out how to shift her bedtime a few hours earlier. my dream would be for her to go to bed at like 8pm or 9pm, so jared & i can have a bit of baby-free time to spend together before we turn in. not that i know how to make this happen. we already won the baby lottery, having a six-month-old that sleeps through the night. if she doesn’t sleep until midnight, that does seem like a small price to pay. but other people who have to work at like 6am or whatever have their babies on an earlier schedule. why not our baby?

granted, i don’t know how to do this. i just have ideas, like not letting her nap after 8pm, & making sure she’s in pajamas after that so she can be put in her crib if she does fall asleep. i have no idea if that would actually work, but it’s worth a shot, right? i thought so.

jared has been really resistant to all of this though. to the point where we have actually fought about it. it’s amazing to me that there are people out there who think having a baby will make their relationship stronger. the fact is that you will just fight about stuff you never imagined it was even possible to fight about, like whether or not a baby should be changed into pajamas at 8pm. & you will never have time to actually resolve it because you never had a baby-free moment to spend with your partner. ever. for any purpose. which also begs the question, how does anyone have siblings?

turns out jared was upset about my earlier bedtime suggestions because he thought i was implying that there was some easier, surefire way to get ramona to go to sleep. & he felt that that dismissed the work he does getting her to bed every night. regular readers may recall my post about the awful day we swapped jobs & trying to get ramona to bed reduced me to a sobbing, hysterical puddle on the floor (seriously). i definitely don’t think putting ramona to bed is easy. but the corollary to that is that jared sometimes acts like he deserves a national medal of honor for putting her to bed. i mean, i’m glad he does it, i don’t want to do it, but it’s worth remembering that he puts her to bed after i have been looking after for the ten most active hours of her day. i’ve been the one getting puked on all day, sitting on the floor trying to get her to roll over, spending hours on end reading to her or waving rattles at her when god knows i would prefer to be reading “the new yorker” or eating lunch.

the point is that i especially hate when he is around to witness a rough day with ramona because i feel like it reinforces this weird belief that he is great at his job–getting her to bed, eventually–& i suck at mine.

she’s awake again, by the way. she slept for like ten minutes. she was indeed more cheerful when she woke up, but i was really hoping for something more like an two-hour nap. instead she woke up, sucked down a bottle, giggled a lot while she practiced sitting up, & then puked on our couch. i remember when the neighbors tried to sell the couch to us for $125. (they wound up leaving it behind when they moved & that’s how we came to acquire it.) no one would be spending $125 on it now.


Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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