During my seven months as a mother, everything has gotten easier except the two dreaded “N” words (No, not that word): nursing, and napping.
Napping. Oh god.
If you were playing on the floor and started to rub your eyes and whine and look at me with this expression that says, “I feel tired. Do something!” I would pick you up and take you to bed, and for a moment, it would look like you were about to fall asleep. Your eyes would close, and you would stop squirming and your muscles would relax, and I would think, “Whew! He went to sleep! That was quick.” Only that’s when you would telepathically hear me and Ping! Your eyes are wide open. You will look at me with this flash of a grin on your face, like you’re actually thinking “Gotcha!” And then you will start sitting up and/or rolling to get away from me. If I put a hand on your chest to keep you down, you will screech as loudly as you can to alert the neighbors that I am, in fact, trying to murder you. We will then spend the next 20-30 minutes going back and forth from the bed to the rocking chair, trying every sleep trick I’ve read about, every snippet of sleep advice I’ve ever heard. I will sing to you, hum to you, meditate over you, offer you milk in any form you will take it, I’ll even let you suck on my arm fat, which you so love to do. You will cry, then jabber to yourself, then grab the bottle and spray us both in the face with breast milk, then yank on my necklace until I gag. Eventually, you will either A) fall asleep for twenty minutes, or B) get plunked back on to the floor to motor around the living room in circles, screeching deliriously, like a runaway train.
Well, if that was you, I’d have to say you have a lot in common with my son.
Why is getting this kid to sleep so hard? He’s really such a joy and such an absolute love, except for this one painful area. Will he grow out of it? Is it something I’m doing wrong? The worst part is watching how progressively sleep-deprived and cranky he gets throughout the day, and I just know he is exhausted. He’ll bump his head in a playgroup or become startled by someone new and start howling like he’s on fire, and another mama will look at me sympathetically and say, “Poor guy. He’s so sensitive.” When in fact, he could handle much worse and keep on crawlin’, but he is just so tired.
I guess I should try not to worry too hard about it. Missing a nap or two during the day isn’t doing him too much harm, as he is thriving for his age. I don’t have to worry about him as an adult in the workplace going red in the face hysterical over someone taking his stapler just because he is tired from missing a nap.