I am not in my twenties; let’s get that out of the way. I am in – gasp, my thirties. Early thirties, whatever leave me alone. My twenties were reserved for staying up too late and watching too much television. I used to start a show and follow through to the very end. And because there were no real streaming services until my late twenties, I began a lot of series, because I had to wait a whole week for the next episode. A whole week.
But then at 27 I got pregnant and three days after I freshly turned 28, I gave birth to my first child. The end of my twenties was not roaring, not jazzy, but exhausting. However, the cruel joke is that since then, I have not had one proper night of sleep. I wish I were being dramatic or hyperbolic about this. I am not. Val entered this world in May 2016 with her own flair for the dramatic and has not slept since. She, like me, can hang all night watching episode upon episode of Bubble Guppies, or her new and strange favorite, Peter Pan. If an image of Elsa or Anna comes on the screen, we are in for a long one.
She never once made it through the night in her crib. Again, I wish I was exaggerating. By age two and a half, I finally said enough is enough. Nighttime is the most exhausting time, let’s get her a princess bed. So, Santa got her the most enviable princess bed, with a beautiful pink canopy that my younger [and early thirties self] me was so jealous of. The first few nights she was skeptical. Then, sweet sleep came for roughly two months. Of course, the universe is nothing if not hilarious. When I gave birth last February, the oldest was down in her princess dream bed, but the new one was up and thus the fight for crib domination began again.
I have spent the greater part of 2019 mastering the crib and I will let you know, most battles I have won. The war may need to be ended with a treaty, but I think Roni likes the crib and that’s more than Val can ever say. Val has since decided she hates the princess bed. “It scares me.” I think the canopy creates shadows. She spent two very long months only sleeping if the chandelier in her room was on. This is her ceiling light, like the one we use to light her entire room. It was rough. Then progressively we got her down to one lamp, which is where we stand today. This has been going on since last summer.
She then decided she was going to sleep on this very hard “couch” in her room. When I say “couch” I mean the thing you use at the end of big fancy beds as a seat of some sort. Her little body can fit on it and that’s where she slept for three full months until she fell off, because it’s the width of half a yoga mat. My husband and I, we did what any parents without sleep would do. We gave her the full-size mattress that was in her sister’s room where we slept when guests came over, because we don’t have a guest room. We added some pink sheets, got her a large Minnie Mouse body pillow and now she and our dog have the best bed in the house! She has slept through the night – mostly every night. (Granted it’s been a week).
2020, I see you clearly now. For you mamas, if this is your first time being pregnant or you are a seasoned professional, you know sleep is crucial, fleeting, temporary and oh so craved. In the meantime, all you can do is throw on something comfy to lure sweet sleep your way and hope it stays with you all night.
Sweet dreams. Happy napping. Here’s to 40 winks for 40 weeks.