Yesterday Natalie and I had a lovely morning. We both slept in, and then after her morning nap we went to Savers (Do you have a Savers near you? They’re pretty flippin’ amazing.) where we scored some sweet board books and cold weather clothing.
And then we got home and Natalie decided that sleep is just not for her. No way, no how, not happening.
It starts off innocently enough. We do the usual naptime routine that typically goes something like this: swaddle, nurse, burp, bed. Done and done.
Not today! Ha ha! You and your silly expectations of babies. I LAUGH IN YOUR FACE.
While she was nursing she peed, and it leaked out the leg of her diaper and left a big wet spot on her pants. I would cry and be unable to sleep in that situation, too. So off we go to the changing table for a fresh diaper and outfit.
Nursing, take two. I gaze at my sweet, darling daughter, marveling at just how perfectly perfect her perfection is. She looks at me, smiles, and FRRAAAAAAAPPP.
Back to the changing table for another diaper.
Ok, baby. THIS IS HAPPENING. NO MORE EXCUSES. Oh, what’s that? You have the hiccups? Baby hiccups are just so gosh darn cute, I can’t even – aaaaand she just spit up all over herself.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW BABY.
Another clean outfit. Another round of nursing. I wait until she’s out cold, head dropped back against my arm and mouth open, drooling slightly. Charming.
I slooooooowly inch towards the edge of the bed to stand up, trying not to move my upper body at all. I slooooooowly swing my legs off the side and stand up. Hold my breath. She’s still asleep. Whew. I sloooooowly lower her down into the co-sleeper.
MOM MOM WHY HAVE YOU PUT ME IN THIS TORTURE CHAMBER WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MEEEEEEE MOOOOOOOOOOOOM.
She starts wailing. We play a really fun game for a minute where I offer a pacifier and then she spits it out and screams like I’ve stuffed something vile into her mouth. I pick her up and bounce her against my shoulder until the wailing stops and I feel her little body slump forward in total defeat.
The minute I step towards the co-sleeper, however, she starts wriggling and thrashing in her swaddle.
THE CHILD CAN HEAR MY THOUGHTS.
Eventually I give up. After more than an hour of this game (a game at which she is thoroughly and completely kicking my butt) I put her in the bouncer and sit her beside me while I watch tv. She cackles merrily and burbles to herself for about 45 minutes before she starts yawning again and rubbing her eyes.
The cackling looked a lot like this:
We’re much more successful the second time around. She goes down without too much of a fight, so I take the baby monitor and ease my way out of the bedroom.
A scant 30 minutes later, she wakes up with a shriek. Naptime is lost, and now we have to go pick up Will from the train station. I start to strap her into the carseat, and she starts screaming. I don’t mean garden-variety fussing, that half-hearted cry she and I both know is just for show. I mean full-on quivering lip, huge tears rolling down her cheeks, crying-so-hard-she’s-choking kind of screaming.
My nerves are completely shot from the naptime battles, and I lose it. Now tears are streaming down my face as I fumble to unbuckle her, and we’re both crying on the kitchen floor. I hold her little body close to me until her rage subsides enough to nurse.
And then…she sleeps.
Naptime wars: it doesn’t really matter who wins; it’s always a Pyrrhic victory.