This jet lag business is totally taking me back to when Ellie was an infant when each day felt like two days.  Part one, and part two.  We didn’t like part two then, and it’s no picnic now either.  After the first night here, we knew it was important to get Ellie, and us, adjusted to the new time zone as soon as possible.  So after our first full day, we figured if she had a nap, she’d be good for bed time.  She was totally backed up on sleep and desperately needed rest.  But somehow, this turned out to be a very bad idea.

When we got back from lunch, Ellie fell asleep for a nap pretty easily by 2pm.  But by 5pm when she showed no signs of waking up anytime soon, we figured we should wake her up so she didn’t nap too long.  Oh boy.  Talk about poking the bear.

At first, she acted like anybody would if you woke them up.  She squinted and rubbed her eyes, grumbled, and then rolled over.  She made that “What time is it, wait, what day is it?” face.  And then she erupted into an uncontrollable wail, all too familiar from the previous night.  Not only wailing, but biting, hitting, swatting, and banging her face on the mattress, the whole nine yards.  “NOO! I don’t want to get up!  You can’t make me!  I’ll bang my face on the floor I’m so mad at you!”  Woah, this was not expected.  I totally understood how she felt though.  Her body thought she was down for the night, and then we came along smiling and turned the lights on.  Rise and shine!  I’d be upset too!  But what else were we supposed to do?  If we didn’t wake her up, she would have slept for 10 hours in the middle of the day!

After turning to our trusted Beatles’song, she calmed down and asked for some snacks.  She even turned cute again with snot dripping down her nose.  She was tired but in a good mood through dinner when we went out, and remained that way until we got home.  By 8:30pm, she was fast asleep (and went down really easy too) for what we were hoping was the night.  At least the majority of it.  Please stay asleep, we prayed.

It was 1am when Ellie woke up.  She wasn’t crying, but she was up.  “Let’s play guys!”  With Aya’s dad asleep across the hall and needing to go to work in the morning, we wanted to keep her quiet, and hopefully get her back to sleep.  Because, Aya and I did not want to play with her at all.  Please, go to sleep, PLEASE!

Ellie tried to go back to sleep for a little while at first.  She roamed from pillow to pillow, hugged her bear, and grabbed her blanket.  Then she’d climb on me, then climbed on Aya.  Then she wanted  water.  And then crackers.  And then a banana.  As time passed, the more frustrated she got being cooped up in the dark room with us.  “I want to play out in the big room!”  We tried everything to get her to stay still, relax, and fall back to sleep.  And then after awhile, just anything to keep her quiet.  She played with her little doll, and her bear.  I even bribed her with stickers.  “If you lie down I’ll give you a sticker.”  So she’d lie down, I’d give her a sticker, and then she’d sit up.  Then we would repeat.  I really didn’t think that one through.  1am turned into 2am, and 2am turned into 3am, then 4am, then 5am.  By this time we knew she was tired again and we had to put her back in the crib to cry it out.  We were out of options.  We had to do it.

The room we were sleeping in doesn’t have many absorptive surfaces, and Ellie’s cry is getting louder and louder these days.  Her amplified cry echoed through the apartment.  “WAAA  WAAA  WAAA!”  Aya and I exhausted from entertaining her on the midnight shift, put the pillow over our heads and just hoped it wouldn’t last long.  We figured it was about 5:30am or 6am by the time she fell back asleep because Aya’s dad was just getting up for work.

Ellie woke up for the day at 9am.  She walked out of the room with smiley face stickers all over her pajamas, flashed grandma-chan a huge smile, and asked for breakfast.  “What a night!  I’m starving, fire up the grill grandma-chan!”  We followed behind Ellie with swollen dark bloodshot eyes, and expressions on our faces that said, “What time is it, wait, what day is it?”

And so the journey through time zone adjustment continues…

3 thoughts on “TIME ZONE CONFUSION

  1. I sure wish I could think of something to help you out. I guess the time zone adjustment will take a little longer than anticipated. Love you and miss you already.

  2. Boy oh boy…. in this case, girl oh girl…..
    This sounds all too familiar.
    Since Joi is already 11, plus, she has been quite a good adjuster to unavoidable jet lag, so much better than her father I might add, I can usually think about only fun things whenever we go to Japan.
    We will be in Japan over the new year’s like last year. I just got tickets 3 days ago.
    And Matt, I will say Hi to the city of Kuki, which I know I will go to have the best Sushi, biggest Uni-qlo and 100yen shop around the area.
    Have a great rest of the stay with Gigi and Grandma-chan. To my family, they are called Jiji and Chacha(short form Joi started using from “Oba-chama”)

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