young woman awaking up early in the morning

The Mombie

We are in major sleep regression mode over here. I am a zombie mombie in every sense of the word again. In every phase of sleep regression throughout my toddler’s little life, it took me a long while to figure it out. You see, I’m not that smart in the middle of the night. Who am I kidding? Or the middle of the day either.
She looks better than me at 2Am and that’s not saying much.

Here’s how the phases of sleep regression go down at the Greuter Haus:
(1) The Is-She-Sick? Phase: She never really cries out, so on the rare occasion when she did, something’s gotta be wrong, right? So I would immediately run to her room, thinking she was sick for a night or two.
(2) The Guilt Phase: Then I would feel guilty and still go in to comfort her for a night or two.
(3) The Making-it-Worse Phase: Then I would realize I was encouraging her to wake up more often, but still couldn’t help myself for a night or two.
(4) The Good-luck Phase: Then I was so sleep deprived that I’d say “Good luck to ya, lady!” and turn down (then eventually off) the monitor to let her cry-it-out for a night or two.
(5) The Back-to-Normal Phase: Just when all seems normal for a few months…rinse and repeat.

The worst was when she turned a year old. That lasted a solid MONTH of CIO CIA-level sleep deprivation torture. I wish someone would have emphasized a bit more how bad the 12-month regression would be, though I’m sure it’s in the books I’ve stopped reading. Not that I would have believed them anyway. Every stinkin’ time, this mombie has to learn the hard way as she “feeds upon coffee and survives on wine.”

That was the last time we had major issues with sleeping. Until now. At 2.5 years. So we’re on day 10ish now and I’m finally in the “good-luck” phase. I’m over it. Cry it on out, honey. I wish you the best in your endeavors. So when she started crying last night yet again, I threw my pillow over my cringing ears and rolled my puffy eyes both in annoyance and in attempt to go back to sleep. I stood firm and convinced myself, “she’s gotta learn somehow!” Yet, against all efforts, I found myself peeking through a small opening between the sheets to where her silent cries flared brighter and brighter on the monitor. No. NO. NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

(On a side note: After about 15 minutes of sob-torture, my husband wakes up, gently taps me like a woodpecker on my previously tensed shoulder, and says, “Hey, love, can you hear that? I think she’s crying. I’d go in there, but…I don’t really know your method right now.” Nice one, hun. You’re just lucky its Father’s Day or this zombie would be ripping your sweet head right off right now. Your final Father’s Day gift is the gift of sleep. Enyoy, love.)

I felt bad for her as her cries started to turn into yelps and then wails. I was going to fold. I was going to keep this cycle going one more frustrating day. When I finally open her door, guilt immediately washed over me like a bucket of cold water. Her sound machine must have turned off and back on, switching from the sounds of a serene, loving babbling brook to the scariest noise that I don’t know why is even on these damned things: a meaty, pulsing heartbeat. What.

Poor kid! That’s the terrifying sound you play at Halloween parties. That’s the nauseating sound you hear at the scariest part of a horror movie just seconds before that jerky girl crawls through the television.

I know there’s a hellish heartbeat noise in this movie somewhere.

That’s NOT the sound you want playing for your 2.5 year-old daughter who has sleeping issues. What in God’s green earth is it doing on a sound machine anyway?

I mean, is it really that comforting for a newborn to hear a pulsating heartbeat? Really? No, I’m pretty sure they can’t stand it either. It’s just practically the only thing they hear for 9 months. Okay, sure, it’s probably pretty comforting right out of the chute when they haven’t heard anything else yet, but after a while? Come on. I’ve seen those newbie eye-rolls before. They know what’s up. They’re just as annoyed as the rest of us, but just can’t express it yet.

But my sweet daughter sure could. And at the top of her sweetheart little lungs, poor thing!

After I quickly and sheepishly turned her noise machine back to the familiar sounds of rain on river, I sang her a song, had a good long discussion on why it’s (ehem, still) important to sleep on your own no matter what kind of noise is pulsating beneath your bed, and eventually put that trooper back down.

We might be reliving the effects of that night some day on a therapist’s requested drawing, but until then I will take that night as one more lesson in poor judgment parenting. Note to self: you will never have it down to a science, you twit.