Every night as I put Emma to sleep I say a little prayer that THIS will be the night she sleeps through, which means I'll get to sleep through too. And every morning we awake to a little noodle sprawled out next to us in the middle of the bed.
I wax lyrical about Emma all the time, but believe me she is no angel. She's been known to throw her toys, literally, and I've been smacked upside the head more than a few times, for no apparent reason. She's not big on tantrums and that could be because she's able to express herself with words, but having said that, the few she has thrown have been Oscar Award worthy and well thought out.
We've never had a scene in a Makro, for example, where no one can hear her screams from aisle 37, or in a Builder's Warehouse where the machinery on display is able to mute her wails of woe. No, that would be way too simple. Emma has rather chosen to throw an award winning tantrum in Baker's Warehouse, a little shop the size of someone's lounge. The way she screamed and gouged, and wailed and wept, a tot from 'Toddlers and Tiaras' would have been well impressed. Shocked shoppers looked at us, some feeling sorry for me, more feeling Emma's 'pain'. As a white mom raising a black baby I'm invariably oversensitive to what people may be thinking, so I find myself over-compensating to make it better. I know it's my own neuroses but if I walk away from her while she's re-enacting a scene from 'Rosemary's Baby' I feel like I'm going to be judged for not caring enough. If I hug and hold her then I feel people will think I'm a pushover and that Emma is spoilt by virtue of being adopted. I don't want to be THAT mom the experts cite as a reason not to adopt across colour lines.
I know, it's my dilemma and mine own alone, and yet another thing to feel guilty about as a mom.
Raising children is often trial and error, and even though there a gazillion books on how to do things they too are written by subjective people. Different things work for different people, but what's not working for me at the moment is bed-time. I can count the number of times Emma has slept through the night on three fingers and it's taking its toll. I look like the walking dead. I feel like the walking dead. When I'm sleeping I dream of sleep and while I'm waking up I'm planning the next opportunity to sleep some more.
Every night as I put Emma to sleep I say "Sleep tight, don't let the bed-bugs bite" and mumble "If you ever slept long enough to let them bite" while I walk away. I've tried the no-napping thing, which has backfired on me with disasterous results. I've tried the limited nap, waking her up an hour or so into her snooze, which also hasn't worked. I've tried snuggling her up in blankets in case it's the cold waking her and I've taken off layers of clothes in case it's the heat.
But every morning, round about 2am or so, there's a "mommeeeeeee" from her room, which continues until I fetch her. Sometimes she dozes off straight away, other times it's a yak-fest of note with hugs, recollections of the day, kisses, more hugs, singing, laughing, and so it goes on. Until it's time for me to get up and drag myself off to work. It's exhausting and I'm not sure how much longer I can do it. Any suggestions from moms who have managed to get this right, please let me know. I welcome all advice from the weird to the bizarre, to the weirdly bizarre. I will try anything. Right after my snooze zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz