On Peaceful Nap Times
Nap Time is a blessed thing when everything falls into place and the Little Guy settles into Dreamland with a tiny smile upon his cherubic cheeks. This bliss is a rare thing, most days. The Little Guy has often regarded sleeping during the day as the obvious parent-hack to “get things done,” which is not generally allowed in ToddlerWorld. (Now I wonder what an amusement park designed to make adults feel like kids again would be like…Chest-high counters and bathroom fixtures, stilt-legged “Adults” telling people to line up neatly and scolding those who run by them, giant swings you have to be five-point-strapped into…rollercoasters designed like minivans… Hmm… Weird…) ANYWAY. Yesterday was such a blue-moon occasion. Went down easily, slept for nearly three hours, and I got to both A) Watch the Downton Abbey finale in peace without having to defend my tea (!) and B) get a ton of writing/thinking/summary-drafting done. I’m easing into the summary draft finale of Lunar Lots Draft 2, and it’s finally (finally!) feeling like it’s coming together.
On Twilight Zone Bedtimes
The Little Guy has been throwing me for a loop at bedtime. Up until this past Saturday, he’d been taking over an hour to settle down and go to bed (with me actively trying to soothe and calm him). I’ll think he’s practically asleep, and then I’ll glance down, and he’ll have his eyes wide open staring at me after 45 minutes of rocking/humming/etc. It’s been maddening. But Saturday night, it all came to a head. After over an hour of trying to settle him, and having him still squirming and chattering, I hit my wall. I was so frustrated, I just said, “Okay, goodnight,” turned on the monitor, and left. I figured he’d probably start crying immediately, and I was prepared to get the stroller out downstairs and rock him to sleep using that (which I hate to do, since I’ve tried to set the precedent that once we go into the bedroom, we don’t go out again). But he didn’t immediately start crying, so I thought, “Good. I sit on the stairs with the monitor and wait for him to get upset, and when he does, then I’ll bring him down to the stroller.” I waited. I looked at our monitor. There he is, laying on his tummy, kicking his legs a little, but being quiet and not getting out of bed. I wait. He looks up at the camera, his eyes demonically glowing in the camera’s night-vision, then quietly puts his head back down. Kicks legs. I wait. I think, “Huh…I wonder if I can get started on the dishes…Just until he starts fussing…” I go down to the kitchen, check the monitor. All is quiet. All is still. I set the camera aside, certain that at any moment, his head will pop back up and he’ll let out a howl. I rinse one plate. Then two cups. Then wash a pan. Check the monitor: all is quiet, all is still.
And I realize…he’s fallen asleep. After an hour of fighting with him, he fell asleep in less than three minutes once I left. I have some thoughts. Sunday night, we return from NH around 10PM, he’s asleep in the car, but not when I carry him upstairs. I lay with him for a moment until he seems relaxed, then I get up, turn on the monitor, and go downstairs. I can see his eyes open–those bright pinpoint stars of light in his pupils–but he just lays there for a bit, then his eyes gradually close and he goes to sleep. Five minutes, tops. Last night, I think to myself, OK. I’ll give him 30 minutes to go to sleep with me, humming/rocking/snuggling/laying down together. After that, I’ll try leaving. At twenty-two past nine, he seems asleep, so I get up, turn on the monitor, and as I’m leaving, I get the impression he’s rolled over and is looking at me, but he doesn’t get up. I go downstairs and wait for the inevitable crying…but there isn’t any. He’s wide awake: I can see him reclining, one knee casually bent, arms practically behind his head, like a teenager bored at the end of summer. His eyes are open, staring at ceiling, as he thinks interesting baby thoughts. No crying, just chilling. After a while, his eyes close, he rolls over, and he’s out. Out cold. I do a silent happy dance downstairs.
This has the potential to revolutionize my evening routine, at least in making it a whole lot less stressful, and getting me downstairs earlier. That means more reading time, more relaxing time, and a whole lot less time spent stressed out and exhausted. Fingers crossed that this sticks!
Of course, the recent unpredicted trade-off which may be an earlier rising sun, is that he’s decided that waking up at 6AM is the BEST way to start the day. *Cue mother groans.* So we’ve been getting up a lot earlier, but adjusting to the earlier timetable has been challenging, because now he wants lunch at 10AM but still doesn’t want to nap until at least 1PM, and it’s crazy-making in it’s own way. I am so not a morning person, especially when my main free time is in the evening after everybody else goes to bed. Going to bed at midnight isn’t strange for me. SO-! That’ll have to be addressed. We’ll try drawing a curtain first, since it may be that the sun’s rising around 5:30/6am now, and it’s actually been sunny lately, so that may wake him up. If that makes no difference, then maybe we’ll start easing his bedtime back to 8:30/8PM (but I really, really, really don’t want to mess up the chill evenings, so I’m hoping that isn’t required…Maybe the time change will fix all this anyway? *please? pretty please?*)