Jesus, what a fiasco. Since the dentist told us ten days ago that Child Harbat’s pacifier had to go we’ve been a world of withdrawal. Without her familiar soothing mechanism, CH has been on a ten-day bender, all manic with no depressive. Last weekend she didn’t take a single nap. During the week at school she maybe got 1. This past week she didn’t have one Thursday. Or Friday. Or Saturday. On Sunday she finally fell asleep a few hours after naptime. Last night I put her to bed a little early and rounded up the day with the usual routine: book-reading, stories, snuggles, songs, placations, promises to check on her, a second visit to the bathroom just to be sure, a ten-minute Be Quiet warning, another visit. Two hours after she got in bed she was still wide awake, talking to herself in a loud and awake voice, not a hint of drowsiness. Lord help us, this can’t go on. Add up the missed nap and delayed bedtime and she’s short at least three hours of sleep. How can it go on?
When she was a baby we read that babies have to learn how to fall asleep—they simply don’t understand that tiredness can be alleviated by closing your eyes and drifting off, and they often fight it for no reason. Now as a young child our daughter is once again learning that sometimes it’s good to just shut your mouth, stop doing gymnastics on the bed, and close your eyes. But I fear for the future. In college I’d go on road trips with my band that sometimes stretched late into the night. While we rolled down the highway at some godforsaken hour there was always that manic girl who couldn’t shut up even though everyone was red-eyed and trying to duct tape a pillow over their head. Please, please let my daughter not be the manic girl.