Friday, February 24, 2012


I'm a firm believer that life has seasons just the same as nature.  It can't always be a pleasant spring day.  That's not a reasonable expectation.  Besides, every season comes with its own unique set of joys and challenges.  Even the unassuming spring.  Parenthood, being a path I've chosen in life, is no exception to this rule.  Savannah is on the brink of turning two...just a short 3 months away...and despite nature's season of spring being right around the corner, I feel like I'm walking blindly through a trecherous winter forest when it comes to being a mom.

I have no clue what I'm doing.

I've said this before, but looking back, I'm not sure I really meant it.  Maybe it was just something I was saying because I thought it was the right thing to say...that admitting I had a fair amount of confidence about what to do would in some way jinx the easy-breezy mom season I was experiencing at the time.  In the grand scheme of things, I think Savannah has been a very easy child to raise.  She started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks, has rarely been sick, has a smile that could replace the sun itself, and (for the most part) is laid back and very go-with-the-flow.  She learns things quickly and is a great listener when I instruct her about her behavior. 

Lately, though, she has entered this new phase...I suppose it's the terrible-twos, but hey, what do I really know.  Cory and I are baffled by it.  We follow our gut instincts when we have to make decisions about how to handle what she's doing, but we have no idea if we're doing the right thing.  Lately, the biggest challenge has been her sleep pattern.  She's always gone to bed around 7 or 7:30, and 99% of the time, she goes down without incident.  This part hasn't changed.  What has is that she's now waking up in complete hysterics around 9 or 10 every night.  Every.night.  It's not the type of crying that I hear and think, "Oh, she's just being a brat and wants attention."  It's the type of crying that rips my heart out because she sounds so utterly distraught.  When we go get her and bring her out to the living room with us, she doesn't calm down easily...which affirms to me that she wasn't just seeking attention...but once she does calm down, she thinks it's playtime.  We put her back to bed and start the cycle all over.

Until today, this has been a purely nighttime habit.  But, as I write this, she's standing in her crib...screaming...refusing to take a nap.  She should be waking up by this time, but instead, she has yet to go to sleep.  Or even lay down for that matter.  I question myself constantly.  Is there something really wrong with her that requires my attention?  Is this a matter of willpower and I just have to outlast her to teach her who's boss?  What if has an ear infection {or any other impossible-to-really-know-without-going-to-the-pediatrician type of ailment}?  Am I damaging her in any way by the parenting choices I'm making?  What can I do to end the madness? 

I honestly feel like I'm just flying by the seat of my pants now, and I haven't really truly felt like that over the past 20+ months since she joined our family.  Or if I did, I don't recall it.  When she was smaller, despite how fragile she seemed, there were only a handful of possibilities to explain a given "struggle", and by simple process of elimination, it was relatively easy to solve the problem.  But she's so complex now.  She understands far more than she's capable of communicating.  The list of possible concerns seems endless, but she can't tell me what's wrong and I don't have very many tricks to figure it out on my own. 

Don't get me wrong, it's not all terrible.  She can still be happy and playful, but those times are fewer and farther between than what we've ever experienced before.  I'm trying not to wish this time away...I know I'd regret that somewhere down the road...but I don't know how to cope with this season.  I'm not alone am I?

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