After a little more digging, I realized that somehow I had only paid 2/3 of February's credit card balance. We always pay our balances in full, and I always do so by clicking the "pay statement balance" button on the bank website. How did I somehow change this amount? How did I not notice this?
I'm noticing more and more strange things like this. Things put in strange places, words that just can't come to mind, ending up in places in my house, holding things that don't make sense and not knowing why... but what is far worse are the times when I blow pass the exit I was supposed to take, or miss a turn to a place I know well. I'm trying to drive slowly and to never tailgate because I know my reaction time is not ideal... but can I guarantee that I'm always remembering to do so? And what about those times when I find myself creeping up on the car in front of me because I've become inattentive?
Last night was a pretty average night. I nursed Hannah, then put her in the crib at about 9:30. She woke at about 11, then I nursed her and brought her into bed with me. She was awake again at about 1, then 3, then 5, then up with me at 7. She's 16 months old. She slept better when she was four months old, and then it gradually got worse until it settled into this sort of pattern in October or November. Some nights are better, it might only be two or three times... but then other nights are worse.
Do you see a problem here?
I've come to realize that even though I have five children, I never really learned how to handle infant sleep. Not that they're all the same, but my strategy has long been to suffer and wait it out. And eventually they do learn to go to sleep alone, and to sleep through the night. Some learned at around 16 months, and others took until 2 or even two and a half. We're not one of those families where all the kids are in and out of bed with us all night, or up half the night asking for a glass of water. Everyone else sleeps in their own bed and sleeps through the night without any hassles. Everyone but the
But you know what? I'm tired. Really, really tired. I'm not sure I have it in me to wait it out again. I'm not as young as I used to be, and maybe that's part of the problem. But I'm also really stretched right now too, far more stretched when there were just little people around. Right now I can go from a conversation about the probabilities of extraterrestrial life and if such life would have a soul to the latest and greatest plans for the drawbridge outside to "Mom, can I have a snack?" to "Mom, will you read me a story?" to "Ahhh!" with little arms waving in the air.
All in about three minutes.
And while I'm trying to make dinner. I think. At least that's what it looks like, because there are veggies everywhere and I'm holding a knife. But I have to search my mind pretty hard to try and remember what exactly it was I was doing. Or making. And I've become too tired to try and focus enough to follow a recipe most nights. I just cook by instinct. Thankfully I've been cooking long enough that my instincts are pretty decent. And people are still eating and complementing me on their dinners, so that's a plus.
Ages and ages ago, back when our thirteen year old was a wee little one who never wanted to nap or sleep at night, I read a lot of Dr. Sears. And I'm starting to think that perhaps that was a mistake. I know they had a gaggle of kids - more than me, if I remember correctly - but somehow I can't help to think that I've been led astray. Or at least my memory of those books has led me astray? Entirely possible.
But I looked at his site a little while back, and I was struck by how much fear-mongering there is in what I was reading. Do these things, or BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN! Subtle bad things that you won't notice or realize until it is TOO LATE! I'm simplifying and exaggerating, but nonetheless... my impression of what I was reading is vastly different as a mother with thirteen years experience than that brand new mom over a decade ago.
And I'm left wondering... perhaps there are subtle bad things that can happen to a child if you don't co-sleep and nurse all night long on demand and all that sort of thing. But aren't there bad things that can happen to my marriage because I'm so tired all the time? Bad things that can happen in my relationships with my other children, because I'm forgetful and short tempered and inattentive and sometimes just can't get up the nerve to gather all of those energetic little bodies together and try to do what I'm supposed to do with them? (And what was that anyway??) And what about all these little lives who are trusting me behind the wheel as I try to get them to Atrium and clay class and field trips and the grocery store?
FOLLOW-UP: Things got better!