Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Go Ahead. Scream it Out.

Our sleep schedule the last two days? You guessed it. Crazy!

On Monday night, Eliza was up for the day at 2 AM. She saw that Nathan and I were awake with the babies and refused to sleep. I begged her to lay down with me and tried every trick in the book to make her sleepy, but nothing worked; she was wide awake.

At 7 AM, I woke my mother up and asked her for help. Nathan and I were desperate for sleep and eventually crawled into bed around 7:45. Eliza was still wide awake and showed no signs of slowing down. She kept yelling at Nathan and I to wake up and get out of bed. My mom eventually had to drag her out of the room because she refused to leave. Her endurance is impressive!

I woke up a couple of times to feed Ezra and Elliott, but went back to sleep each time until 2:45 PM. After sleeping all day, I felt like I had maybe taken a 45 minute nap. Day sleep is the worst kind of sleep, and my body did not appreciate the abuse.

After a sleepless night, Eliza took a five hour nap and went back to bed at 9 PM. I fell asleep tucking her in and said prayers Ezra and Elliott would also sleep.  An hour or so later, I awoke and went to feed the boys. They were fed, changed, and swaddled tightly. The lights were off and the conditions were perfect for sleeping.

To make a long story short, Nathan and I got into bed at 5:35 AM. I brought Ezra to bed with us and tried to soothe him. He fell asleep on top of my chest, and I was too scared to move him. What if he woke up? For 2 hours, I laid motionless on my back and played Bejewled on my iPhone (iPhone = sanity). Around 8 or so, I heard Eliza running around and managed to get out of bed. I slid Ezra off my chest and tucked him in next to Nathan.

I remember thinking, "I can sleep now! My mom is awake. Help is here!"

Eliza had different plans, though. She wanted to lay in bed with me, she wanted to pat my face with her baby hands, she wanted to "brush" my hair. At 10 or so, I finally told her "thanks for the love, but no thanks" and sent her to play with my mom. I slept until the boys' next feeding and then tried to put Eliza down for a nap. I could tell she needed to sleep.

Eliza and sleep in the same sentence is seriously a joke. We went through our nap routine, and I told her I was going to lay down with her. I was almost asleep when I felt her knees hit me directly on my neck. She then sat on my head and counted (poked) my eyes. I was so tired that I could honestly not defend myself. I knew she was playing, but this "attacking mommy" act was not okay.

So, I did what any mature parent would do: I played dead (or asleep). I curled up into the fetal position and somehow fell asleep with her jumping on me.  When I woke up a couple of hours later, I told Nathan about Eliza's behavior. I was awake enough to address the situation, so we decided to talk with her about "hitting mommy."

She looked at me and said, "I'm sorry, Mommy." She then said, "I need time out" and started heading towards our bedroom (where time out is). She turned around and said, "I didn't mean to be mean, Mommy." A few seconds later, we heard our bedroom door shut; she had put herself in time out.

As soon as the door shut, Eliza immediately let out the loudest primal scream. The scream lasted for several seconds, and Nathan and I found ourselves hysterically laughing at the ridiculous situation.

Our daughter puts herself in time out...and then is unhappy about it.

Just a moment later, the door opened and Eliza rejoined us. She joyfully announced, "I'm happy now!"

Feelings of sleep deprivation, exhaustion, and hopelessness momentarily vanished. Nathan and I couldn't stop laughing. Being a parent is hard work. Constantly giving all day is hard work. After days of feeling downtrodden, I couldn't believe I was capable of laughing so much.

I was reminded of the "Come What May, and Love It" talk given by Joseph B. Wirthlin at one of our church conferences. In it, he says: "If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness." One of the ways we can make it through some of our toughest trials is through laughter. Elder Wirthlin goes on to say, "The next time you’re tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable."

Thank you, Eliza, for today's laughter. I think it was worth the abuse earlier today. And, in the future, feel free to scream it out.

My mother suggested I should follow Eliza's example because, just maybe, it'd make me feel better.

I think I'll refrain for now :)


  1. Sometimes, I think sobbing is the adult woman way of screaming it out. It's still a release right?

    Oh Eliza, whatever shall we do with you? I love that she's smart enough to know girl need her some time out. Haha.

  2. For Eliza:


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