Those who read my recent “confessions and observations” post know that Lily’s been fighting hard against the afternoon nap at home lately, and that last weekend, I thought I had this licked by virtue of a Supernanny-endorsed ploy (wherein I stay near her crib but appear to “shut down,” so I’m not responding to her various pleas and tactics).
This weekend? No dice.
I tried the same thing, and Lily was calmer but wide awake, kicking at the crib, making no effort to sleep. She even started throwing things from the crib, sometimes down onto me, until nothing was left, and then reached for various things to yank them back in. The little stinker was beating me at my own game, essentially saying, “No matter what you do, I’m not sleeping. So there.”
After growing convinced that my previously successful efforts were know ineffective, I urged Lily to try to sleep, without success, and then left, which led her to wailing. Joe stepped in, calmed her down, and told her she needed to lie down and try to sleep if I was going to return. I did, but she was immediately up to her old tricks, so I left, and after a couple minutes of crying, she fell asleep.
Today was similar, in that it wasn’t until we both gave up and left her alone in her crib that she screamed for a short time and konked out. I HATE this method – I lie in agony on our bed in the next room while Lily screams “I want Mommy!” – but we don’t seem to have much choice. Lily still needs an afternoon nap. If she doesn’t get one, things take an ugly turn late in the day; and when she does have one, she’s happy and refreshed upon waking (who isn’t better for a nap, after all?).
I dread this battle that looms overhead on every weekend day now. It haunts the entire morning, no matter how pleasantly spent. But this nap period is so restorative and important to all three of us that Joe and I will do whatever we have to to make it happen.
After two years of mommydom, you’d think I’d finally absorb the idea that oftentimes, parenting problem-solving has a moving target quality. What works one day won’t work the next. I’ve experienced this over and over again, and yet each time I stumble upon a (temporary) solution to a problem, I get my hopes up. Silly, silly me.
We’re also now having battles over baths, too. Once Lily’s in the water, she usually calms down and has a grand time. But she’ll emphatically fight and kick against the whole thing beforehand.
Earlier today, I said to Joe, “Remember when we said it was naptime, and Lily sleepily curled up against you and went upstairs without a fight? And when she got really excited at the prospect of a bath?” And Joe said, “Yes, but we also had to feed her every bite of food, and she’d throw a huge tantrum whenever we left a place.”
Which is true, of course. There’s never a time when it’s all easy. And staying nimble in your parenting is something that’s easier said than done.