I haven't been posting a whole lot the past couple weeks, you may have noticed. And I know you have, because I'm your crack. Or, rather, I'm your brand of heroin, for you Twi-hards, right? Right? I thought so.
Anyway. The reason I haven't been posting as much as I want to is because Sarah has suddenly reverted back to her infant stage of vampirism is up all.night.long. She's five. And I feel like I have a newborn. I'm stumbling around the house during the day starting multiple activities, only to be distracted by some small thing, like oh, a horizontal surface. Then I forget what I'm doing, start something new and by the end of the day I have a three loads of half folded laundry, the dishwasher is open and might be clean -I'm really not sure -- and I'm desperately trying to get everyone in the car for some after school activity. And she's five!
Our first night home from the hospital we knew something was up with Sarah. She screamed and turned tomato red, then burped this man burp that had that smell. The smell of reflux. Thus began eight months of Sarah sleeping on me. We medicated, we thickened her formula after I had to stop breastfeeding, etc etc. The only thing that worked was her sleeping on me. At about a week old we dubbed her 'Vampire Baby.' The name has stuck.
My husband would come home from work and I'd literally meet him in the kitchen, Sarah in my arms. I'd be covered in puke. Dinner may or may not be cooked. I'd hand her off, run screaming for the stairs and fall into bed with the sound machine at full volume. He'd feed himself and Violet, attempt to feed Sarah, put Violet to bed, then begin to walk Sarah around the house. And around. And around.
At midnight he'd come in our room and dump the Vampire child into my arms. I'd stumble down the stairs and set myself up on the sofa with the vacuum within reach (really), a sound machine, the remote, two or three bottles, the birth ball and a good book. Sarah and I would begin our night together bouncing on the ball. She was born in November. By March I was pregnant (yeah, you read that right) and had killer thighs. Thank you birth ball. Then we'd move to the sofa, where she'd lay on my chest and begin a cycle of sleep - cry - sleep - scream -sleep - eat all night. We rotated through the the vaccuum, static on the TV and sound machine to keep both of us calm.
[caption id="attachment_826" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="This? Not happening."][/caption]
And now, five years later? She's at it again. The sun starts to set and her eyes get big. The tears well up. Her face gets red. The screaming starts as soon as the word 'bed' is uttered. So do not prep her for bed -- that just means the freak out begins earlier. We've been spiraling down for about a month, and this past week we hit rock bottom. We, for an instant, revisited spanking. At 11 o'clock, after three hours of screaming --from Sarah, we've been very calm -- my husband spanked her. One swat across the bottom, with a warning before hand. She looked at him, said, "You spanked me." He said, "I did. Go.to.sleep." And she did.
The next night, after hours of the screaming, again, a single spank. 15 minutes later? Fast asleep. Then next night -- the same thing. Then he went out of town, and I did not want to spank her. Oh, the screaming. And the jumping on the bed and the slamming of fists against the wall. So I spanked her. One swat. 15 minutes later she was asleep.
The next night I decided that I wasn't waiting until 11 o'clock for peace and quiet. So I explained to her that instead of turning off the radio, the night light, etc, I was just going to spank her when she started to scream.
She looked at me and said, "That's the worst thing you can do. So what will you do after that?"
Cry. I cried.