Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our Daughter, The Werewolf

When family and friends or even complete strangers meet Lucy for the first time one of the first things they say is how good she is.

No doubt we can argue what a "good" baby really means (is a crying baby a "bad" baby?) but I understand their comment to mean that she's very content. I rarely leave the house with both kids but when I do Lucy requires about a tenth of the attention William needs. Part of that is their age but another part is their different personalities.

Lucy's been a Curious George since she was born. She gazes wide-eyed as we roll up and down the aisles at Target. She pulls off when nursing to see who just walked in the room. And she absolutely must touch that most fascinating object that just entered her radius of reach. Lucy will glide right past breakfast, lunch and dinner without so much as a whine if it means she can be in a new place with all sorts of bells and whistles to look at.

But Lucy's holding a secret from all of you.

When the sun goes down Lucy is anything but "good." Lately Brian and I have started howling during dinnertime; the hour the sun sets around these parts and the hour Lucy turns from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde.

Of course I'm being a bit facetious. No sweet baby is evil. But I have to admit she is a bit of a challenge.

First she's upset about her dinner. She doesn't want to have anything to do with baby food. If we're eating macaroni and cheese, she wants the noodles. If we're having tacos, she wants some too. Nevermind the fact that she's only just turned six months and has barely had any food besides mama's milk in the first place.

Then it's up to the bathtub where we're given a ten to fifteen minute reprieve of her werewolf status. Lucy loves her some bathtime. But what goes in the bath must come out and Lucy does not appreciate that concept. Kicking, shouting and thrashing about are all a regular part of getting Lucy lotioned up and into her jammies.

Around 7:00 Lucy goes down for the night.

I just laughed a little when I reread that sentence. "Down for the night." Ha! In my dreams. But I don't have dreams because little Lucy insists I stay out of that glorious only-in-my-distant-memories REM sleep.

Between 10:00 and 11:00 Lucy will make her presence known. Sometimes I nurse her and she goes back to sleep. Sometimes I'm too tired and cold so I bring her into bed with us. Sometimes, on the rarest of occasions, she will only require that her nukie be place back between her lips.

But in our bed or in her crib, nukie or no nukie, you can still set your watch by her for the rest of the night. She's up at 1:00, 3:00 and then again between 5:00 and 6:00. She's up for the day at 8:30.

We've tried many different things but Lucy wants only one thing. Boob.

"How can you blame her?" Brian asks.

Haha. Very funny.

I don't mind nursing Lucy. In fact, I love it. It's one of my most favorite things about having a baby in the house again. But give a mama a rest once in awhile, my baby girl.

I can tell, by the way she nurses, that she's not really eating. I know a ravenous Lucy girl and at 1 a.m. that she is not. She just wants the comfort.

And again, I'm OK with that. But can we cut it down to once a night maybe, baby?

Some nights, when I'm arousing to her demands from a deep sleep and it takes me longer than usual to fling one leg out of bed and then the other, Brian goes to be with her before me. This sets her off even more.

Smart girl. She knows he doesn't have the goods.

Maybe when she's three I'll miss these middle-of-the-night snuggling sessions like I remember so fondly when I stare at my sleeping baby boy who is so long past being a baby. Rarely is there ever a time a child needs his mother more than during those midnight nursings.

So, albeit a bit frustrated and achingly sleep-deprived, I'm trying to except that right now this is where we're at and that this too shall pass.

In the meantime, pass me another cup of coffee.


  1. If it gives you any consolation, my 7-month-old is waking in the night to nurse too. But you know what? I don't mind it. She's going to be all grown-up before I have a chance to catch my breath...


  2. Shes just a happy baby that needs her mommy,Lex had the same issues with her kids til they were 1 yr old or so.So enjoy it while you can and maybe nap when they do,love Nancy

  3. I know the pain. I had to cut down John from his on demand nursing to once before I go to bed and once around 4:30. If he cries, I just let him. It only lasts for two minutes at the most. I was simply having a hard time staying awake and being cheery for the other kids. Before it was like Lucy: 10:00, 12:00, 1:00, 3:00, 4:00, 6:00. I would bring him to bed and it only fed his thirst. I loved having him in bed, warm, cozy, snuggling, but I think I like a good having a good night's rest too. It was easier when it was one and even two kids. Now there are three I am finding I need my stretch of four hours sleep. Six, even better. Weak? Maybe. Selfish? Maybe. But I'm much better for the family and myself this way.

  4. Miss Madison did the same thing. Maybe it's the second child syndrome? So she's 16 months and STILL getting up at 2:30 for a little comfort. It's a little obnoxious. But, I decided until this h1n1 epidemic is over, she can have all the fluids she wants -I want her as hydrated as possible to keep any toxins flowing out! Also, I can't stand it...I really love cuddling her even if I can barely see or walk at 2:30am :)


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