It's time to wean the Chou off her middle of the night/pre-dawn nursing. It's been time for a few months now, actually, but we (mostly me) just haven't committed to getting it done. She's more than ready, having proven she can go five, six, even seven hours without waking to nurse on occasion. The problem is, in order to wean her off the boob between the hours of 10:30 and 6 a.m, I need help, and I'm not getting it. Mr. Wumpus is a wonderful husband, a doting dad, but he's working more hours than a child labourer in Taiwan and I simply don't feel I can ask him to step in and rock a screaming baby for the three (or more) nights it'll take to get Chou to push her nursing to the daytime hours.
Most of the mums tell me I'm being to easy on Mr. W, that Chou and I both deserve help and more sleep, that we simply have to mark the calendar, make our plan and stick to it. I know all this. I agree with all this. But at 1:30, when she starts calling for milk, it's just so much easier, faster and quieter to pop in booby and get back to my warm bed. That said, when she then wakes at 4, 5, and 6, I'm pooped. This doesn't happen every night, of course, and her top teeth are coming in, so it's hard to know where habit ends and teething starts. What I do know, however, is that her average night is: 7:30 sleepy, 10:30 wake to feed, 2:30 wake to feed, 6:30 wake for the day. If we did that every night we wouldn't be having this blogversation. But we are because other nights it goes like this: 7:30 sleepy, 9:30 crying fit, soothed back sans boob, 11:30 feed, 1:30 feed, 3 am feed, 4 feed, 5 fuss/soothe, 6 feed, sleep until 645 or 715. See? Not enough sleep for either of us.
And here's where the poor timing comes in. Yes, the daddy is working a lot and needs to sleep, and yes, the mummy is past the point of caring and just needs to teach her baby to sleep...but the stupid mummy booked a month trip to various frozen tundra cities and any sleep training we do now is all a mute point once we a) switch timezones b) switch sleeping areas, houses and routines and c) switch more timezones d) don't have a daddy for a month.
It means another week of just muddling through and then, then I'm on my own. Which, truth be told, we've done before and have managed just fine. But now we're going for an entire month. I'm daunted, I'll be honest.
Mummy Vegan Brownie (named because that's what she's amazing at baking) had a great suggestion this morning. They did a two week timezone hop before Christmas and decided that on arrival back at home the new routine and habits started on night one. Their plan: Baby is put down in usual routine, fed at 10:30 wake up (he had the EXACT pattern Chou does now), and between the hours of 10:30 and 6 am there is no booby, and only daddy to comfort and soothe. It took them only a few nights and wee baby E is now snoozing happily from 10:30 to 6 almost every night.
I can do this.
But I guess not until next month.
And then there's all the other good, but poorly timed, stuff going on Chez Wumpus (excuse me while I go on a wee tangent). The horsey farm I've been working at offered me a full time job in March. Yes, something darn close to my dream job has floated up in front of me, mine for the taking, but you know, not one part of me is entirely disappointed that it's not feasible right now. Sure, I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to do it, I do. But I also have something that takes up my heart and soul right now, wee Chou, and that's not going to change in the next month. She's my one and only and will likely be my one and only forever. She deserves to have me for most of her waking hours every day while she's still a baby, and I know that that's possible (it's not for all mums and I know I'm lucky that we're financially stable enough for me to only work part time and care for Chou most of the day).
But part of me couldn't help but marvel at the ridiculous timing of it all - I've waited and searched and volunteered my way into barn after barn, just content to spend my time smelling sweet hay, warm ponies and green grass, and now, I find one barn that's not only looking for full time people, they want ME. And me? There just isn't enough of me right now to give them. Chou's got the monopoly, at least for the next while. And that "while" could be three months, six months, two years, I don't know, but it helps to make passing up this opportunity a little easier.
Oh, but don't think I'm passing it up entirely, I'm not that strong. I will be taking on part-time hours there, probably two to four mornings a week, depending. But only while the Chou is at daycare. And then in the fall, who knows. It'll all work out in the end. I think.