For the past two weeks the baby has been doing the thing of waking up at 2:15 every morning and staying awake until oh, five or six o’clock.

Nothing works. We’ve tried rocking with her, sitting in her room while she’s in the crib, bringing her to bed with us, walking with her, putting her in the stroller. Nada. Last night we decided to let her cry it out, figuring that after an hour, tops, she’d be so exhausted she’d fall asleep. Didn’t happen. She pulled herself up and clung to the top of her crib railing, weeping. Then her eyes would close, and she’d start to drift, and she’d slip sideways, jolting herself back to wakefulness, and the whole thing started again.

After two weeks of four hours of sleep a night, I am, as they say, at the end of my rope (on the plus side, sleep deprivation = cheap legal high, so I also sort of feel of like I’m on acid...or at least like how I imagine being on acid would feel, Obama administration vetting committee!)

Today the baby and I went to our playgroup for “Your Second Child,” or as I affectionately call it, “Your Second Child, Whatsherface,” and I asked the other mothers – some of whom are indeed on their second baby, some of whom have three – what to do about my predicament.

“Are you giving her Tylenol?” asked one mommy.

“Well, I don’t think she’s…”

"Forget Tylenol!" scoffed another mother. "Motrin's better."

“What about Benadryl?” chimed in another mom.

“The thing is, I’m not sure…”

“You know, you can give her both of them together!” said a third. “My doctor says it’s okay!”

Mommy One sat down beside me. “What are you doing when she wakes up?

This I could answer. “I go in, pick her up, check to see if she’s wet, and make sure her humidifier’s working.”

“You see, that right there’s your problem,” said the other mother, in the tone of a plumber who’s just extracted a gross, soap-scummed clump of hair from your shower drain. “She sees you. She knows you’re there.

I was puzzled. “Where does she think I am at two in the morning?”

“You can’t go in there!” the mothers chorused. “She has to learn to soothe herself!”

“So just to recap,” I said, pulling a crayon out of my daughter’s mouth. “We’re proposing drugs and neglect?”

“It works,” the mothers assured me.

We shall see. In the meantime, I have to figure out how to get the first-time mothers from music class together with the second-time moms from playgroup to see if any heads actually explode.

Jen