I should never, ever, ever revel in something like I did in my last post.

Since then, dear sweet Elinor and I have had a sleeping … disruption. She rarely sleeps for more than three, maybe four hours in a row at night, anyway. But now that she is truly teething (two so far!), she sleeps even less. We have good days (today! I am writing as she … NAPS!) and bad days (yesterday!). But this child does not want to sleep.

Let’s see. Monday night I finally got her down around 8:30, and then I stupidly stayed awake to get some items finished on my long list of things to do. I went to bed around 10:30, but my mind was racing and I couldn’t sleep. Just as I was about to drift off ….

I went to her, followed the normal routine. Change diaper, nurse, try to put her down between breasts, but she was still hungry, so nurse the other side. Try to put her down — she’s usually pretty soundly asleep by now — she falls into a fitless state around midnight. I crawl back into bed, drift off pretty quickly. But by 12:30, she’s crying. Throw myself out of the nice, warm comforter. I try to just get her down by rocking and soothing, thinking I might be able to head back to bed and curl up next to the furnace of a husband. No go. So, back to nursing. Both sides, another hour. She’s sleeping on me, but when I put her into her crib, she cries. I rock, soothe, put her in her crib — she cries. I try nursing, but she isn’t hungry. Her diaper is not wet. We rock, I sing, and she cries, growing more frantic by the minute. I walk around with her, I change her diaper despite the lack of stuff in it, and finally I try the baby tylenol. We rock some more, she nurses some more, and she finally, finally goes down around two a.m. TWO!! She and I were up for three hours.

The next morning, she woke up at seven. A five hour stretch is not bad, but it wasn’t enough for me, or for her. I spend the entire morning trying to get her to nap. She’s obviously tired, fretting and rubbing her eyes, but every time I put her down, she cries. It’s not a little cry, either — it’s the full-blown, world-is-ending cry. At some point I leave her in her crib for 25 minutes, and by the end of it, she is wailing like a hurricane, and continues to cry for 20 more minutes in direct reproach to my callousness. I feel like a bad mother.

And then we went swimming and she was awesome.

But afterwards, she was exhausted yet again, but still wouldn’t nap. She was awake the entire day, minus two 30-minute car rides. She barely made it through dinner before I had to bring her upstairs, and she was NOT having a book read to her, per our normal routine. Instead, she nurses fully, then cries as I rock. I put her down and say hi to Chad, who’s just gotten home. He goes in to rock her, and she cries for 20 minutes on him. We switch off. She doesn’t want to nurse, so I rock and begin experimenting with different positions, thinking it might be her tummy. Finally, I have her feet at my waist, her head on my shins, and am rocking in the rocking chair as she happily farts and farts and farts while basically hanging, upside-down, on my legs. She talks to me for a few minutes, I draw her back up into my lap, and she falls asleep laying back against my arm. I put her into her crib, and she makes happy noises for a few minutes, then drifts off to sleep.

That whole thing took two full hours. TWO HOURS!

And she woke every three hours last night, on the dot, though she went down after nursing each time like a dream. Ahhhh.

I don’t know. I attempt some sleep training, but she isn’t usually crying for me, per se, but because of pain. It’s her teeth or her tummy, methinks, and it’s my job to calm them so she can get some rest. This is hard, though, and it’s wearing on me.

It’s a good thing today was good, though. I keep having dreams that I am pregnant again, and I wake up TERRIFIED. This parenting business is the most difficult work I’ve ever done, and it’s emotionally and physically exhausting, and I can’t even imagine what eight hours of uninterrupted sleep would feel like.

Oh, all of this to say that I did not finish my novel this month. I did write 30,000 words (of crap), and I am proud of that. My goal is to get the next 20K done by New Year’s, and re-assess. When she doesn’t nap all day, I don’t have the fortitude to sit down and write for the hour or so to myself once I get her to sleep. Instead, I watch TV and, last night, drink Scotch. 🙂

It’s a good thing she’s so cute. And she insists on feeding HERSELF these days, manipulating that spoon like a ninja baby. I have video of that, but not a picture, so you’ll have to content yourselves with other pictures.

She’s moving so fast after eating that yogurt, ninja-style.

And even ninjas have to stay clean. Note the samurai topknot. Do samurai and ninjas ever get along? Do they even hang out together, ever?

Who cares. She’s a happy baby ninja, most of the time. The hair is a front for her mad skills, a distraction.