Every few weeks Lily has a night when she just isn't sleepy. Tonight is one of those nights, alas, which is why she is wide awake right now one hour past her bedtime, calling out randomly from her darkened room every few minutes. "Mommy my nose is running!". "Mommy I need lotion!". Sigh. Thankfully this is only every few weeks. Most nights (knocking on every piece of wood handy) she goes down quietly around 7PM. Tonight she might outlast me.
The first time she had a no-sleep evening was one of our first as a family. The very first night she fell asleep nearly instantly the moment I started rocking her. There was no electricity in our guest house- Ethiopia, like many African nations, has spotty electricity service, especially during the messy rainy season. So it was quite dark. The first night she passed out from exhaustion- it had been a momentous day, to say the least. But a couple of nights later, she just couldn't fall asleep. Daniel was sound asleep (God bless that boy, he has been a good sleeper since day one!), and she was tossing and turning. So, we bundled her up and took her out onto the balcony of our room. It was cold; it had been raining all day. We sat cuddled up in the cold dark, admiring our cheerful smart little baby who was so charming and bright, even though she was supposed to be sleeping. Eventually she started to get sleepy, and we all headed inside to bed.
Tonight I was about to get really angry at Lily for disrupting my evening and refusing to sleep, and then I remembered that first sleepless evening together. We were so young as family, so new to being parents, that we didn't know to get upset about a not-sleepy baby. We hadn't gone through our rounds of sleep battles. We just wrapped ourselves up in blankets and sat together. I remembered that night in Ethiopia, and I stopped being angry. I picked her up and wrapped her in her quilt, and we just sat together.
Shhhh.... she's finally asleep.