Baby Stephanie is normally such a great sleeper that we don't talk about it. We are afraid the karma gods will hear us, think we're bragging, and knock us down a few rungs. For almost a year now, she has slept 12-13 hours a night, plus a daytime nap lasting between 1.5 and 3 hours. Amazing. So it was most noticeable when last night was not like that at all. She woke up every hour (or less) starting around 10pm. The 11:30 call was accompanied by worries of a "Spider!", which we couldn't really follow since her room is quite dark. We assumed it was a dream, snuggled her down, and resumed the pattern. Only the "Spider!" grew more worried, more weepy, and more upsetting. By 3am, I was beyond exhausted and near tears myself. I turned the lights on and sat with her in her room, after looking together for (and not finding) the fearsome spider. In a last attempt to get some semblance of sleep, Markus shifted into Ellie's room, and Stephanie slept in our bed with me. She kept a tense grip on my finger until she fell asleep, but she drifted off without any more worries or tears and slept until 7am.
This morning, Baby Stephanie was a little baby whoopie cushion, so we assumed the problem last night was gas...only maybe it wasn't. At naptime today, she was completely toast...and terrified of her bed. "SPIDER!", she started screaming in terror as soon as I shut the door. For the record, I cannot find a spider. When I ask her to show me the spider, she tells me it's gone. This does not affect the terror, whatever its source. This is so unlike her that I believe there must have been something that triggered this, but what?
Markus and I have decided to use this as the opportunity to change her room set-up. If the spider (or whatever) is in her bed, it's time for that bed to go. When he comes home today, he'll erect the baby gate in her doorway and disassemble her crib. We're going to toss our spare queen-size mattress on the floor instead of a single, so it will be easier for us to snuggle her down while she makes the adjustment (we put it on the floor instead of a frame so there isn't much falling distance just in case).
Ellie has been wonderful today. I have never handled sleep deprivation gracefully, but she has made today seamless for me. She read peacefully to herself in the playroom until Stephanie and I got up at 7 (Ellie was up with Markus before 6). She watched a video quietly in the living room while Stephanie (ever the light sleeper) napped in my bed. She hasn't given me a single moment of fuss, and I am ever so grateful. Today has to be pretty boring and slow for her. It's 40 degrees again (Celsius--that's over 100F), and we are trapped inside in the shade. But she has been fantastic. I am so proud!