Regression #48

We’re having yet another sleep regression around here, and this one is worse because now that Edith is old enough to do other things than just cry when she gets up at night, she can go for longer. Whereas her awakenings used to be one-pitch angry wailing until she fell to sleep exhausted, now she goes through the full range of negotiations and eventually gives up, only to fall asleep for ten minutes and then wake up, think it must surely be time to get up now, and start all over again.

Last night at 3:30, her process was something like this:

“I’m uuuuuuuuuuuuuup, it’s MORNING!!!!!! MORNING!!!! Morning?

Oh no, it’s noooooooooot (wailing).

But I’m so bored. I’m boooooored. Hey, you! HEY! Stupid! I’m bored and want to get up now!”

(more wailing, throwing self around bodily, long sighs, coughing, huffing, ten minutes of silence)

Reasonably: “How about we get up now? I waited ages. I’m in this thing, you gotta lift me out. HEY! HEY STUPID, I AM UUUUUPPPPPP!”


Muttering to self: “Just ignores me entirely. Have been in here hours, just ignores me. I’m supposed to just sit here, what, all night? Nothing in here, either. Just these stupid things.”

(sound of pacifiers hitting the wall)


And this just goes on and on. It’s been every night this week at this point. I am probably getting somewhere around six hours, so technically this is much better than the newborn months, but it feels worse, because I had those months in between when we both just slept all night. I didn’t fully appreciate them at the time!

Also, it seems like she has no incentive to stop this now — she’s older and she knows full well what’s going on, and she has a lot of willpower and energy, and can simply rage against the night as much as she wants without ever passing out.

Does this mean that it’s time for her to have her own room? Like, the one at the other end of the house next to Grammy?


After one week and a day of trying, Edith has successfully argued her case that she will not be napping in our bedroom. She has been both consistent and emphatic in her position on this issue, and her nanny and I both agree that it is time for us to accept her parameters as definitive.

So she will return to napping in the playroom when she feels so inclined, and if she does not, then she will quite simply not be napping. And we will have to respect that.

Yesterday when we were still attempting naps in the bedroom, Edith vocally declined to nap at all, and by the time her nanny left at 4, she was practically falling over from exhaustion. I don’t usually like to do naps that late in the day because I’m afraid she won’t be tired for her bedtime, but she wasn’t going to make it, so we went and took a 45-minute one and I had to wake her from deep sleep eventually.

She was not pleased with this at all, and was an absolute beast through dinner, and no matter how many times I explained that she did this to herself and it wasn’t my fault, she continued to yell at me about it and give me dagger eyes and just generally vent her displeasure in my direction.

Meanwhile, Mom helpfully explained that children blame their mothers for everything that goes wrong, and it will only get worse from here, and that she is happy I now have the opportunity to experience it.

Strange to think that a year ago, I was living alone in peaceful quiet with no one making demands or offering running commentary on the day’s events.


For a long time, I thought pacifiers were like socks and just vanished into the ether periodically. No matter how many pacifiers Edith had in her bed, they would somehow all disappear and I would be stuck hunting for them. We had tons, but there wouldn’t be any in the playroom or the dishwasher or the car or her stroller or the diaper bag.

So I bought more, and then those would vanish.

I did notice that many mornings when I picked Edith up out of her bed and brought her into mine, she scrambled to collect an extra pacifier or sometimes two. She often stuck one in my mouth, so I though this scrambling was on my behalf, that this was a companionable thing, like her showing up for the commute with two cups of coffee.

Then one day I idly looked under my bed, and this is what I saw:

Nine pacifiers (and one earplug).

So it turns out that every morning, Edith had been dropping her pacifier (or two or three if she could manage it) down behind the head board. She was scrambling to collect more so that she could have more to drop. And putting one in my mouth was just a practical measure, for conveyance.

So now every Sunday night, I get the broom out and spend some time collecting her week’s cache. As I sweep them out, Edith hovers nearby, grabbing handfuls and attempting to stick all of them into her mouth at once, then dropping those and snatching up the others like a chipmunk storing up nuts for winter.

Meanwhile I am reading a Montessori book that says that children oughtn’t to have pacifiers because it can interfere with speech development, but that it can be ok for them to sleep with one, if it’s kept in a special box next to their floor bed for nighttime only.


Usually things run pretty smoothly around here considering, but sometimes I do have the kind of days that moms in paper towel commercials are always having and yesterday into today was definitely one.

For one thing, Friday nights are always tough because I’m exhausted from a long week at work, and the house looks like a tornado blew through it right after ravaging a fruit orchard. Edith’s toys are scattered across every surface, all the floors are sticky, there are discarded dirty tiny pairs of pants and assorted socks everywhere, and the shelves, toys, and books are all covered in mango pulp and mashed banana.

So after Edith goes to bed, I do a quick-and-dirty sweep and clean up the parts of the house I stare at the most, so my annoyance levels are as low as they can be on Saturdays.

I was dreading this labor while giving Edith her bath, and she pooped the tub. This almost never happens, but it’s never a good time for it. While I was hastily cleaning that up, I set her next to the tub on the bathroom floor and she figured as long as she was at it, she’d go ahead and pee everywhere. So, by the time she went to bed and I began my clean fest, I was pretty over it.

Then, this week, Edith’s nanny and I had been attempting to train Edith to take her naps in her bed by herself, whereas previously she took them in the playroom. She had begun to resist them and many days was napping as little as 30 minutes, which really worries me for a baby her age (Mom points out that I never napped), so I thought she needed to nap more intentionally and consistently, where she sleeps at night. But Edith disagreed, and I can’t really control what happens when I’m working, so I think what really happened this week was Edith learned that if she screams long enough, someone will relieve her from the tedium of forced slumber.

At any rate, at midnight, Edith woke up crying. This hasn’t happened in months. She then proceeded to be awake at varying levels of volume for three straight hours. We had multiple types of negotiations throughout this and periods of detente, but Edith wasn’t in the mood for capitulation, so basically, I had an all nighter last night.

Then, immediately upon waking for the day for real, I got my period.

It’s been freezing all week here and today it was especially cold and rainy, so we could not go to the park, but I wasn’t going to make it if we stayed in the house all day. I could not keep my eyes open.

I didn’t really know what to do, so we went to Cabela’s.

Now, obviously I am not a Cabela’s person, but desperate times call for compromises, and the one here has multiple massive dioramas of taxidermied animals that I thought Edith might like to look at. Plus it’s big with high ceilings and I thought it wouldn’t be too congested for me to feel comfortable there? I mean, in retrospect, taking Edith to the mecca of antivaxers and antimaskers probably wasn’t the most cautious move, but I was exhausted and we haven’t left the house in a year and it was an emergency.

It wasn’t too terribly crowded at least, and Edith enjoyed being carried all around and having lots of things to look at. She kept whipping her head around to look at me with a pleased little smile that made me forgive her everything. Lots of other parents had the same idea so we were surrounded by tiny children having meltdowns. I had been wondering where all the parents of under-fives are in these parts during the winter; turns out, they are all at Cabela’s trying to keep their screaming toddlers from launching themselves into the dioramas.

Edith especially liked the aquarium, which I knew she would because it’s a lot like my phone except I was allowing her to look at it as much as she wanted. She had some things to say to the fish, and I let her get down and toddle around a bit.

This was Edith’s first time seeing fish! It was also her first time seeing dead polar bears and elephants and throngs of men in full camo, and hearing Mumford and Sons, so a real day of firsts. And it was my first time going to Cabela’s without being dragged there by an extended relative, so we are both growing.


I don’t know why, but for some time now, Edith really wants to stick her finger in my mouth over dinner. She indicates this by pointing at me and squinching her face up in a little grin, and then I lead towards her to see what she wants, and then she fishhooks my lower lip with her pointing finger. She never tires of this. I don’t know what the appeal is, or why it is specifically a dinnertime activity, but I’m just along for the ride, really.

Last night, though, she put a chunk of avocado in my mouth. This was a revelation for her, and she completely forgot about eating her own dinner with the novelty of dropping an endless series of black beans and rice puffs and blueberry halves into my mouth, or at least trying repeatedly.

I don’t love this as an activity for several reasons: her food is gross and I don’t want it. The process is repetitive and boring, especially as she’s not that coordinated yet. And finally, she needs to focus on eating her own dinner!

But my primary aim in life is to do whatever she wants and make her happy, so I’m stuck with this until she gets tired of it, I guess.

Baby Pictures

On certain days, I feel the need to put a disclaimer on the top of my post that says like, “I am aware of global and Texan events” so that I don’t seem oblivious? But absolutely nobody needs to hear me opine on these things! So anyway: I know what’s going on and am as horrified as anybody, but in this space, I talk about my life’s daily minutiae (except for on the two days per year when I actually have the mental energy to rant at least semi-coherently about reproductive rights in Texas because that is something I actually do know enough about to speak).

That said, my mother recently brought our old photographs over to this house and I was looking through them. Everyone has started to say that Edith looks just like me, and while I don’t really see it, I must admit that my baby pictures are a dead ringer for my daughter. If you have ever wondered what Edith looks like, she looks just like this:

One difference is that in this picture, I am sitting on a couch (where I would remain for the next 40 years). Edith, in contrast, doesn’t sit at all. If this were a picture of Edith, it would be a blur, or a pair of feet kicked up at the bottom of the frame.


Does Edith have a first word or not? I can’t decide.

Her nanny and my mother both say that she says “mama.” I agree she often says “mama” but I’m not convinced that when she says it, she means me (or anything in particular).

I don’t quiz her much, but we are coming up at one year, so last night, I sat her down and said, “You’re EDITH. I’m MAMA. Who am I? Edith, who am I?”

And she said, “momblurgh.”

I took that as a win, but obviously anything can happen once. The key is in whether I can get consistent results. I tried a few more times last night and was solidly ignored, but we’ll leave that aside. She was probably tired.

First thing this morning (after breakfast), I again said, “You’re EDITH. I’m MAMA. Who am I? Edith, who am I?”

And she rolled her eyes at me and muttered “mmmb.”

Ok, so she knows who I am. Right? And she knows that I’m her Mom and not the other two women who consistently care for her. Let’s go with this for now.


Edith is starting to move on a tiny bit from the oral phase. Not much! But a tiny bit. This weekend when I took her to the playground, she was actually pretty interested in playing with stuff using her hands and she went maybe two minutes before trying to put a wood chip in her mouth, whereas previously, it was repeatedly without pause. I look forward to not having to hover over her constantly swatting things away from her mouth. However, the downside to this is that when she does want to eat something, she is much faster and more decisive about it, so it’s hard to intervene in time, and also what she mostly wants to eat are acorns.

Of all the things on the playground, I fear acorns the most (second only to dog poop) because they are so perfectly designed to choke on. This past weekend, I dug acorns out of her mouth three separate times, and the last time when I went to dig one out, she resisted and then fell full out flat on her back, which panicked me a bit, because she could so easily have inhaled the acorn while startled. She didn’t, though, and when I successfully retrieved it, she had a screaming meltdown and we had to go home.

I listen to a podcast in which one of the hosts has a terrier who (like many terriers) regularly eats things while on his walks that then necessitate emergency surgery, and after a few too many of these incidents, she purchased a mesh bag that can be placed over his head on walks so that he can still see and enjoy the fresh air, but he can’t eat stuff before she can stop him.

Look, obviously you could NEVER do this with a toddler. Haha, I am just joking.



Edith is going through an especially high maintenance phase. For one thing, she has begun to throw a full-out screaming fit every time she is momentarily displeased — truly going from 1 to 11 in a flat second. It’s often difficult to tell exactly what is displeasing her; sometimes we do the “hot”/”cold” test with her screaming to solve the mystery. For example, today she wanted me to hold her and not to be set down, but she did not want to be held just anywhere. She wanted me to hold her in the kitchen, and more specifically directly in front of the sink. It took me some time to nail this one down, but once I was holding her in the exact spot she wanted, she was perfectly pleasant, unless I moved.

Also, she is all over the house. This morning, for example, after she screamed me out of bed and shouted me through breakfast and was finally quietly absorbed with some of her things, I turned around for a second to make some much needed coffee. I had only set the filter into the basket when I heard an ominous silence. She was down the hall in the powder room paddling one of her toys around in the toilet. (When I made her stop, she threw a fit.)

I’m just so proud of her! She knows what she wants and she DEMANDS it! This is a young lady who knows her mind and her worth.

Meanwhile, my mother is watching Edith for a minute, and I am writing this on my phone while I sit in a hot shower and eat tortilla chips. If anyone asks, I will be right out.


I have a lot of time to stare at Edith’s baby books, and little things about them tickle me. For example, our nanny requested that I get Edith a book about fruits, and this is the copy on the back of the book:

Here are the well-researched pictures:

I imagine they had to hire someone with a PhD to conduct that level of research!