Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sleepless in Upstate NY

Well, my little one was up to her "old" tricks again! Two more nights of the Late Show, live from my little girlie's crib! Last night was better, so I'm hoping we're on an upswing again and that I can catch up on some more sleep tonight!

Three nights ago my husband had to work late, unexpectedly, yet still had to be up at 2:45am to be at work by 4am!! And that, of course, was the first night the my little one started the late night routine again. It had been a chaotic night at our house with my husband at work and me trying to get dinner made and kids ready for bed and lunchs made and toys picked up and school bag packed -- I'm sure you know the drill! Anyway, when I was trying to get the girls ready for bed I realized that all of my baby's warm pj's were in the wash! So, I'm running around trying to get my older daughter (who's been fighting a cold all week) to bed so that she could get up for school the next morning, and at the same time I'm running around trying to find something warm for my younger daughter to wear. And I swear, at some point during that 15 - 20 minute whirlwind, she went from tired to overtired. If you have kids, certainly you have experienced this phenomenon. They can be tired, and you push it just a little farther than you should -- you don't get them to sleep during that tired window of opportunity, and then BOOM -- now you've done it, they're OVERTIRED and there's very little you can do to rectify that. Some kids just get completely miserable at that point, some kids catch a second wind and won't/can't fall asleep.

Overtired is a big thing in my husband's family. At some point a number of years ago (after my first niece was born, but before my kids came along), the "Great Overtired Debate" began. I'm not even sure how it would come up in conversation, but it came up fairly frequently, and the two sides were my mother-in-law and her sister completely understanding the concept of a child being "overtired" and my brother-in-law (my husband's sister's husband -- does that make sense?) pooh-poohing this idea. At the time he thought it was ridiculous -- you're either tired or you're not tired. You can be REALLY tired, but what the heck does OVERtired mean? He just did not get it. There were others of us who agreed with Mom and Aunt Nancy's side, but we tried to stay on the fringes of this debate. For quite some time, there was no winning my brother-in-law Joe over to the other side. And then something changed -- his daughter (my first niece) got a little older, and then came her sister, and at some point there the light switched and Joe was introduced to the overtired experience. He's a firm believer in the concept now!

Anyway, my baby girl was just WIDE awake -- she had caught a second wind and was ready to play all night. I would lay her down in her crib, she would immediately pop right up on her feet again and walk around her crib, talking, laughing -- everything but sleeping! The next night we tried again, and my husband had put her pj's in the wash (5 pairs) that morning and yet neither of us remembered to put any of them in the DRYER -- what were we thinking?! So again, this dawns on us at bedtime last night and he runs down and throws a pair in the drier and we wait for it to finish, hoping that we will not round that bend of overtired again. We get her dressed, I lay her down, tuck her in, and she seems like she is off to sleep -- hooray!!

Until I am heading to bed an hour or so later and I am in my older daughter's room trying to wrestle her legs back under the covers (honestly, there could be a blizzard in her room and she would still want to sleep on top of the covers!) and I'm not making a sound when I hear from my little one's room, "HEY! HEY!! Ya-Ya! Ma Ma!! HEY!!" (She sometimes calls her sister Ya-Ya) And that was it, she was up. And as tired as I was -- overtired, one might say -- I had to stifle a laugh because it was so funny to hear that loud "HEY!" break the silence. I tried to get her back to sleep and I'm not sure who fell asleep first -- probably me, because the last thing I remember was hearing her laughing hysterically -- in her crib, in her room, in the dark -- and I couldn't imagine what she was finding so funny in there! She definitely cracks herself up -- and me too, even in the middle of the night!

I have to say, no matter how tired or crabby I feel, it's so wonderful to be able to listen to her or look at her and to almost feel this light turn on inside of me. She is such a great spirit-lifter -- a very sweet soul in a cute little package!

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