Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Good, The Bad and the Sleeping*

Good morning. (I am typing this at 6 am.) You might ask: why are you up and conscious enough to be blogging at this early hour? Good question! I am up because Miss Congeniality (formerly and no doubt again soon the Snotmaster General) woke up for the day at 5:20. I nursed her in bed for a while, but (unlike her brother) Mira does not like to drift off to sleep after nursing. (When she agrees to nurse at all.) The girl is still a little testy about taking milk from the source sometimes, but this morning she was hungry and decided to cooperate. So she nursed. And after a half hour, she was ready to face the day, or at least go downstairs for a diaper change and some quality time with her giraffe rattle toy.

BUT. She woke up for the day at 5:20 for a reason. That reason is: she slept all night, from about 5:45 pm until 5:20 am without eating. This is not to say she did not wake up at all. (We are currently trying to train her not to wake up every time the pacifier slips out of her mouth, with at least some limited success.) But she did not wake up after 2 am, which is our current marker between "too early to feed you" and "okay fine we'll get up and deal with your pathetic cries." This is great, right? We are on our way to happy sleep-filled nights, right?

Oh, except for one thing. There is a brother. And Ian's sleep patterns are not exactly aligned with hers. Another fantastic element of our glamorous life with twins. Even when Ian sleeps until 7, which he seems likely to do, having woken at 4:30 for a bottle, at least one parent is up way too early with Mira. I'm not even sure which kid to praise, the one who did not wake us during the night, or the one who let (one of us) sleep in a bit. (Or would have, if Chris hadn't needed to get out of the house early today. And for the record, Ian slept until 7:45. Wow.)

This not-eating-all-night was first for Mira. Usually Ian wakes up to eat, and a short time later Mira rouses and is fed. Very often Ian is the first to wake in the morning, but as he allows me to take him into the bed for nursing (and then we both drift into sleep for a while), a 5:30 wake up can turn into a 7:00 get up. (Occasionally it is even later, but I won't dwell on this for fear of depressing Chris, who - due to his total lack of nursing ability - never gets to drowse in bed with Ian. He definitely gets the short end of the stick on this.)

Yesterday I complained on facebook that Ian was refusing to nap for longer than a half-hour. Whenever people ask me who is my favorite, I reply "whichever one is sleeping better." Needless to say, Ian was not winning any popularity contests yesterday. Today? Today he's going for the gold. It is now 2 pm and Mira and Ian have done a personality swap today, apparently. Really - this morning Mira had a half-hour nap, while Ian snoozed nicely.  Crazy.

I guess that shows me for thinking I know something about these two. Sure, Mira smiles easily and Ian makes funny noises when he's annoyed. But what do I really know about them yet? Once they are more able to express themselves, I am sure Chris and I will look back and see their personality traits in their baby selves. But while they are inhabiting those baby bodies, it is still a bit hard to know what is going on.  I need to remember not to label them as "the good sleeper" or "the funny one." It always comes back to bite me in the ass, and in the end it does not mean much anyway.

*I considered using the title The Sleeping and the Dead, but that seemed a little macabre.


  1. i look back nostalgically on my babies but, the truth is that they became much more interesting once they were a little older. and now i have one on the cusp of adolescence and am losing sleep for entirely different reasons. feeling nostalgic for his infancy some days.
    i wish you a nap today.

  2. Having been down this difficult road, I know how you feel this morning. Hope some coffee and naps are on your way.

    We finally decided to wake the sleeping one when the non-sleeping one woke. It goes against everything I ever read about not waking a sleeping baby but we could not deal with the inconsistent sleep from 4AM to 8AM. It made us crazy and cranky and resentful. So if one got up (and by one, I mean Nate) then we woke Alex and fed him too. Worked for us, well except for trying to wake a sleeping baby! ha!

  3. Oh this brought back the memories. Abel and Ilsa were NEVER on the same sleep schedule. I did eventually get all 3 of them to nap at the same time, but it took a very long time to achieve that. (It was great while it lasted though)
    A & I used to basically switch. They exemplified team work, so that neither of them got too exhausted but they managed to keep me on the knife's edge for over a year :)
    This too shall pass. They both sleep lovely now, at 12 1/2. ;)
    Sorry I haven't responded to your tag yet. I do plan to, insha'allah.