Friday, June 13, 2008

I went to the animal fair

My child is not a sleeper. I mean, he can sleep, he's not an insomniac or anything, but getting him back to sleep when he wakes up at night is a major production and getting him down for a nap during the day is an exercise in futility. Actually, it's exercise, period, since the only way you can get him to sleep during the day is by holding him tightly, being sure to keep a hand on his arm or he will take out his own bink or hit himself in the head or something else disruptive, and rocking energetically in the rocker while simultaneously bouncing him up and down in your arms vigorously. If you do this right and the planets align and it's leap year, then maybe, just maybe, he'll go down for a grand total of 25 minutes. I have a pinched nerve in my left shoulder that says this method leaves a little to be desired.

So today it was no surprise when I returned home from teaching to find a very tired baby and an apologetic nanny who said he had napped a grand total of 15 minutes since I left in the morning. So I set out to force the issue since J could hardly handle how tired he was and kept bursting out in loud yells and pathetic whines. I got prepared: I went to the bathroom, I made a small bottle (he'd hardly eaten either), I checked on the temperature in his room, I ate some carbs, I got psyched. And I took him into his room for the marathon naptime ritual.

Only it didn't work. He was inconsolable, yelling and fighting and resisting and no amount of bouncing or rocking would do the trick. So, in desperation, I got a random teddy bear out of his closet and told him he could hold onto it while we rocked. And you know what? He did. And he calmed down. And when he was very close to sleep, I put him and the bear down in his bed...and he stayed there. And he went to sleep. And he stayed that way for almost 45 minutes. And when he woke up, he played with the bear for awhile before he started to cry to be gotten up. And it was the most remarkable thing!

Right now, J is down again, with the bear, and if this works, I'm going to become that bear's new best friend. I'm going to give him a place of honor in the bedroom, and he's going to become J's new snuggly friend as well. Because what we need, both of us, is more sleep. And right now, I'm willing to try anything to help both of us out.

Oh, on a not totally unrelated note, I just watched the mid-season finale of Battlestar Galactica (streaming from the website) and the baby human-cylon hybrid (Tyrol's son, for those who know) uses the same brand of pacifiers we do. I mean, I knew we were ahead of our time, but I had no idea we were part of the sci-fi chic trend!

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