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Tell Me It's Over (Lie If Necessary)

Remember how I said that Cora had poison
ivy? And was teething at the same time? Guess how she expressed her
displeasure with these two situations.

Cora went on a sleep strike.

Yes, my child has been so miserable for
the past four days or so that she has pretty much refused to sleep.
When her poison ivy showed up last Wednesday, we slapped a band-aid
on the worst of it to prevent scratching and went on. She seemed to
be ok with that, and I foolishly thought we’d wandered into
just a small case of poison ivy.

Saturday morning, though, Cora woke up with fresh blisters all over
her feet and the rest of her lower legs. Yes, poison ivy is the
gift that keeps on giving: if you’re really allergic to it,
you won’t simply get the blisters where the plant touched
you, but can develop itchy spots anywhere on your body simply as a
reaction to the ivy.

Just in case, though, we ditched the shoes she’d been wearing
the day she played in the plant.

Add to that a girl who was stuffing progressively larger and more
dangerous things in her mouth in her desperation to ease her gums
– you should’ve heard her scream when I took away my
car keys – and you’ve got one incredibly unhappy girl.

So ever since last Thursday, Cora decided that the best way to
handle all this was to simply not sleep. My poor kiddo was
absolutely unable to go deeply into a sleep cycle, and I’ve
been up every three or so hours with her ever since then.
She’ll wake, screaming, at say 3 a.m. and I’ll go in to
her. And believe me, I’ve done the sleep-training thing; this
was different. The first night I left her to cry, not realizing
something was going on, and she stood in her crib and screamed for
two hours. I spent another two hours holding her before she was
finally able to sleep.

I’ve not made that mistake again – when she wakes up
really crying, calling, “Mama! Mama! Mama!” I go in to
her (grumbling, but under my breath) and hold her. We sit in the
rocking chair, humming and rocking, for an hour or two.
She’ll go to sleep and I’ll count to 200, then make a
move, but likely as not the minute I put her down in her crib she
begins moaning, “No, no, no, no! Mama, no!” And I pick
her back up and start over.

I tried everything: nursing, not nursing, reading, being quiet,
Motrin, Tylenol. Nothing worked except putting in the time. For
whatever reason, Cora’s needed a huge dose of Mommy to make
things right and I’m gritting my teeth and saying it
can’t last forever. Right?

It wouldn’t have been so bad except that she’s not
napping either; she abandoned her usual 2-hour nap, opting instead
for the 22-minute power nap. So she’s been cranky and in pain
and dog tired.

And, oh yes, I have too. The only thing that’s kept me from
pitching her out the window some nights is the sight of that
pathetic little body curled on my lap, her hands creeping towards
her itchy legs, then folding miserably in her lap when they find
the band-aids.

Tuesday, though. God bless Tuesdays. I declare Tuesdays a national
day of celebration from now on. Because on Tuesday, I put Cora down
for her nap and she slept.

For three and a half hours.


Cora woke up happy and cooing (so did I), and when she sat down to
dinner she grinned a big toothy grin – toothier than it had
been on Monday. Yes, great day in the morning, that tooth broke
through. I’m hoping this means she’ll sleep well now,
and start dropping all the night wakings. I’m sure
there’s going to be some sleep-training in the near future,
but I’ve got to let the poison ivy clear out completely
before getting into that.

For now, I’ll simply be grateful for my long nap and hope the
nights get a little bit better. It’s these simple pleasures
– six hours of sleep within a 24-hour period – that
remind me that there is a God.

There is a God, and He tests me not beyond my endurance.

He does know how to walk right up to that line, though.


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