Wednesday, January 8, 2014

rhythm of the gospel...

I give up.   I'm done.

The minute I foolishly and naively clicked on the "publish" button to announce "...And in the last week, Jameson has begun sleeping better....," I should have known.

I'm so over this.

We've endured some of the worst nights yet with that boy this week.  Awful.

Probably the main reason it's been so bad are that he's got some brand spankin' new front teeth finally, FINALLY trying to burst onto the scene.

We are in teething hell.

There is simply no other way to put it.

Add on top of that a cold that's had him coughing and kicking up his reflux choking, and you've got a perfect storm for a slew of sleepless nights.

I know this is only a small season of life, and it may seem so trivial compared to all the challenges of parenting, but um, if you're not SLEEPINGthat's a relatively large challenge, I'd say.

And I'll admit, I'm not a real gracious person (nor a good mama) when I go days on end with no sleep.

So I'm teetering on sanity a little right now.  And I'm fed up.

Jameson's gotten us into the "game" of bringing him into our bed to sleep halfway into the night. (that's a reeeeeeal fun one, isn't it?)  During our trip to Texas, we'd have to pull him in bed with us in the hotel so as not to wake up Caroline or everyone else around us.  Now that we're home, and now that he's especially in pain and not feeling well, and struggling to breathe if we can't calm him down, there's just some times he will NOT go back down in his crib.

And I'm not havin' it.  This is not a habit we're going to get used to.  NOOOOO sir.

(funny confession...I used to think getting a baby to sleep soundly through the night was soooo easy.  A one-trick formula, similar to the "cry it out" people.  I'd question other parents who had a kid with sleep issues and wonder what exactly they were doing at night.  My sleep training worked on Caroline, afterall!   And she was the best sleeper ever!  However, now I realize things aren't quite so simple in life.  And I'm alot slower to offer simple, passing judgments upon folks these days, as I'm obviously eating humble pie in this area...)

Jameson's such a cute little guy, and you can be sure there will be hundreds of lovey-dovey blog posts about him in the future.

But I can't figure this kid out.  Seriously!

From his birth, he has kept us guessing.  Not just in the sleep department.

Caroline basically followed the "how to raise a baby" manual.  She met milestones on time or earlier than expected.  And it certainly helped that she was so extremely advanced verbally.  At Jameson's age, I'd guess she was probably saying 20-30 words already.

I'm learning that Jameson, however, is just not going to be that straight forward.

He meets his milestones when he wants to meet them.  (like just getting his first tooth LAST WEEK!?)
He is eating us out of house and home.  (I am not joking-- he eats the same amount as the three of us at 13 months....)

He wants to bang on anything he can find.  The more noise, the better.  I've wondered if we have a drummer in our future.

He not only likes to hit things, but people, too.

He hits when he's upset, and as much as we're teaching him not to do that, he keeps on hitting and hitting.  I'm so tired of being smacked in the face, the second after telling him not to hit.

He's blabbering all the time, but very rarely does he form a real word yet.  (probably why he's hitting, too)  I know his understanding of language is growing by the minute, though, and he knows what we are saying.  I'm thankful he's signing some words to us to help us communicate with him.

I DID figure out one thing about him on our Texas road trip.  It was a breakthrough for me.

Though he's not making any of the sounds, Jameson's hearing and speaking the RHYTHM and inflection of words.

So if we say, "Who made you?"
He says emphatically, "GAH!"  (God)

(That one's the closest to the actual word.)  :)

"What else did God make?"
"Baaaaaaa GAH!"  (aaaaaaallll things!)

If we say, "oooone, twoooooo, THREE!"
He says, "buuuuuh, gaaaaah, GAH!"

Kinda cool, huh?  We've always thought this boy would have the rhythm in him.  :)

It was a great discovery for me, and it's helped me to listen more closely to what I thought were just random, disjointed babbles.

A few days ago, he started verbalizing in a way that sounds like an actual song.

"GAAAAAAAAAH, duh duh ga mmmm,  GAAAAAAAAAH, mmm guh ah guh,
GAAAAAAAAAAH, dah guh baaaaaaa,"  he'd "sing" as he walked down the hallway.

It's a recognizable pattern, especially how the pitch of his voice goes up higher and louder for the "GAAAAAH" part, but just like anything else in Jameson-land,

I couldn't figure it out.

Maybe some day I'll understand this child.

Last night, (or early this morning) as I frustratingly hobbled through the dark house to bring Jameson into our bed once again after two hours of Marc and I both being up and down, up and down, I couldn't keep it in.

"I am so angry with you," I began crying as I whispered into the little, shining whites of his eyes.  "I do not like what you are doing and I want you to SLEEP.  Mommy is so mad at you!"

A very fine example of parenting, lemme tell you.

I pulled the covers over us, and as he snuggled up to me, his whimpers slowly quieted down.

But mine only increased.

In the moment, it felt like nothing will ever change.  (It still does)  I began sobbing.  I was so angry, and so helpless.  SO yearning for quiet.  For him (and me) to sleep.  God, when will I ever SLEEP again??????

I can't say that I felt any better two hours later, when the alarm clock went off to get Caroline ready for school.

I got no sleep.  I'm so mad at that kid.

After getting Caroline off to school, it's probably no surprise that he (and I) both wanted to nap pretty soon after breakfast.  I was thankful for the chance to shut my eyes, even if just for a few minutes.

"YAAAAAAAHHHH!  guh duh guh maaaah    YAAAAAAAHHHHH!  juuuh duh muh gaaaaa," I heard him from the other room.  There's that "song" again.  What WAS he trying to say?

"YAAAAAAHHH!  duh guh mmmmmm....."

And then.

I figured it out.

In the midst of Mommy's gunfire of anger,
in the midst of his own physical pain,

my sweet baby was singing in his own language,

YEEEEES! Jesus loves me.  YEEEES!  Jesus loves me.
YEEEEES!  Jesus loves me.  The Bible tells me so.

Tears streamed down my face.

What a moment.

What a reminder.

Even as sweet Jameson hits,
and he screams,
and he keeps us up at all hours of the night,
and then he hits some more when we try to help him,

he is chanting the rhythm of the Gospel to me:

Yes, Jesus loves me.  Yes, Jesus loves me.

Even as I rage inwardly,
as I cry out in the night for deliverance,
as I harbor bitterness at Him,
and as I whisper hateful words of displeasure into the ear of my helpless babe,

he is chanting the rhythm of the Gospel to me:

Yes, Jesus loves me.  Yes, Jesus loves me.

This love beats on even as we screw up.  Over and over.

This love beats on even as we prove how undeserving we really are.

Just like my son's language, there are many, many things that we cannot understand.

But perhaps, if we listen closely enough,

we can hear the rhythm of the Gospel all around us.


  1. Be patient .it will get better. He's as frustrsted as you are. This too shall pass. So he wants to sleep with you, let him .it want last forever.and if you can get some sleep what differemce does it make thst hr' in your bed.

  2. Love it, Amy. Micah took 2 years to sleep through the night. It was miserable and humbling to me - I couldn't offer sleep solutions as authoritatively to others anymore.

    And Josiah didn't get teeth until 13 months . . . . A warning is that this seems to be linked to teeth falling out later, which means they miss getting their names on the kindergarten and first grade classroom "missing tooth charts." Josiah didn't lose his first tooth until 2nd grade, when losing teeth was passe to all the other kids!

  3. I understand your pain! It's hard to think and function like a normal human being when you haven't slept. Also, the noise, hitting, being slower at speaking, I think that's all much more common for boys. Jack is a very good, easy, kid, but he is so much more energetic, loud, and wild when he plays. I notice my friends that only have girls have much calmer homes. He also was a lot slower picking up language than most little girls we know. But now he talks all the time!

    1. I think you're so right! I've got to get used to this new world of BOY!