Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Counting Sheep

The Raggedy kids are known to be poor sleepers but good eaters. It seems you can't have both.

Ann was a baby who simply did not like to sleep. For a while, it seemed like she never slept at all. There were novels that I started and finished in one long night while I stayed awake nursing her and taking care of her.

For the first two years of her life, I taught on Sundays and also two afternoons a week (big thanks again go to my mother who rearranged her part-time schedule around mine) RaggedyDad's hours back then were better and he wasn't in school. And baby Ann did not sleep.

Before becoming RaggedyMom, I didn't have much experience with babies or children, so I thought this was a cruel joke no one had told me about. We were the first ones in our neighborhood chevrah with a baby. Some of them were expecting soon, and I wondered, "Should I tell them how insane this is?"

During Ann's babyhood, there was a period of time when RaggedyDad would come home at around 8 p.m. and we'd do a 10-minute version of "hi-how-was-your-day?" and then I'd go to sleep. My shift of sleep was 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. and RaggedyDad would sleep from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. Then it was time to be awake and start a new day all over again. If either of us got the baby to sleep during our 'awake shift', that was a bonus. Life continued this way for a while. As difficult and cranky a newborn Ann was, she turned out to be extremely sweet and good-natured.

Andy was the only baby to take a pacifier. He slept a lot better than Ann did, and all those extra hours of sleep helped him prepare for his current role as the lively, hungry two-and-a-half-year-old creature he has become. Part Curious George, part Animal from the Muppets, Andy adds a lot of, um, fun to our lives.

Little Rag is his own unique brand of Raggedy. But his sleep habits definitely fall along the lines of another Ann. He thinks that the big kids are cute to look in on when they're sleeping and he enjoys having another supper time with RaggedyDad. He's very close to being a year old (!) and sleeps more poorly than some 2 month olds I know of. Sigh.

We still check on the big kids several times a night. Watching them sleeping is one of the few quiet enjoyments out there. Ann's gangly arms and legs inevitably sprout their way out of the covers. Andy's pajamas twist, or he is halfway off of his little toddler bed. As for Little Rag, when he's actually asleep, he is firmly in tush-in-the-air territory.

I do try to tell them how much they'll want to sleep when they get to be teenagers. But for now, they don't quite seem to believe me.


SaraK said...

My nephew is a poor eater and only a so-so sleeper. Apparently I was the perfect baby, a great eater and a terrific sleeper!

triLcat said...

Kinneret's a great eater, and a reasonable sleeper.

the past 3 nights, I've managed to keep her bottle-free all night! (too bad it took 'til she was 1, but still...)

RaggedyMom said...

SaraK - Being that you're generally so cooperative, I can believe that you were a dream baby!

triLcat - Let's hear it for a good night's sleep! Go K!