Penny has been working – I meanĀ working– to convince us that she doesn’t really like the idea of sleep. I’m not sure when this aversion started (as I am rather sleep deprived) but it’s been a while. For months now, it feels like we have fought for each minute of sleep. If she does doze off while in our arms, she can’t be put down too soon or she’ll stir but if we wait too long, she’s sure to wake up.

It’s had me in or close to tears more than once.

But Pen? Well, aside from the angry screaming when she is put into her crib without her permission, she hasn’t shown any other emotion aside from stubborn determination. Until this week.

A few nights ago, we prayed with the kids and sent them towards bed. Someone was lingering and I started to sing, “Good Night Sweetheart,” as I often do to signal that it is really, truly, honestly bedtime. This time though, Penny gave a few whimpers, her lower lip came out, her eyes scrunched up and she began to bawl. We wondered if it was perhaps my singing voice-or lack thereof-that caused the heartbreak but other songs calmed her right down. I sang the verse again and she started right back up. Same for “Go to Sleep Little Baby,” she acts as if her heart is breaking.

And it would be heartbreaking if it wasn’t so funny. Luckily, because everyone loves her, there are always a half dozen sets of arms reaching out for her and crooning, “Oh! Pen-pen! It’s okay!”

Love also means rubbing it in so there’s been a lot of repeating of the songs and watching her cry, you know, just for fun. So now we have a sleep deprived AND traumatized baby on our hands. It builds character, right? Well, character and neurosis, but who’s counting? Not me anyway, I’m too busy counting sheep.