evening out the sides for balance

the house is quiet right now. mostly anyway, i can hear cohen snoring down the hall, yet another thing he picked up from his dad. i am alone in the silence and it is beautiful. i haven't had much of this all week. it has been a tough one.

when cohen was ada's age it was common practice to lie down next to him in our bed for nap time. when he fell asleep i would wedge pillows on either side of him and then get up and attempt to be productive (except for days when i gave up on productivity and voted for napping instead). i would keep the house quiet and listen to hear him babbling upon waking. it was a system that worked. some people rock, or cradle, or stroke soft little foreheads, we always laid next to him. we still do most nights, so it wasn't a surprise that this is the same approach we would take with ada. this method became null and void near the end of last week though when she fell out of bed for the sixth time (five here, once at grandma's). i know, i know, six?!? there should have only been one i suppose but i kept tempting fate, believing i would get there fast enough when she woke, and probably a little of being lazy as well. it would work if she wasn't so quiet when she wakes up. silent. there is no other time in the day when she is quiet. she makes parrots and monkeys seem sedate, always singing and shouting, or crying. all the time, except when i want her to. she is that kind of a kid.

so last week when she fell again without warning i decided that enough was enough, never again. sleeping has been a disaster ever since. she doesn't want to be rocked and will pinch your cheeks hard and then harder until you stop with the rocking. cradling is a no go as well, fidgeting and rolling over in my arms is her solution for that one. i tried lying down with her on the living room floor on a blanket but she wasn't going to be fooled, the moment i thought she was asleep and attempted to get up she started to crawl away, smiling. so then what?

crying. that is the cold hard fact here. it is either crying, letting her stay awake all the time, or going for trips in the car every time i want her to sleep. the last one does seem tempting and might even be the solution if cohen wasn't so uppity about leaving the house. so we have been letting her cry to get to sleep. this has worked out ok so far at night, as she goes to bed before cohen, but for naps it just isn't working. she has stamina and conviction, she is, as they say, a tough cookie to crack. so i let her cry and then i go lie with cohen, but then her cries step up a notch and i feel i should go see her and cohen gets up to follow me. this goes on for half an hour or more some days. he can't relax if she is crying and i can't go in and calm her (somehow?) if he is awake and stepping on my coat tales. it is an impossible predicament. napping with two takes impeccable timing, rock solid instincts and significantly more patience than i currently possess. today the process took 2 hours. 2 hours! just when i threw my hands in the air and thought "to hell with both of you, if you don't want to sleep then fine don't sleep, see if i care!" i look in and he is fast asleep, exhausted from his attempts to foil me. today it was 1:45, a decent time. yesterday it wasn't until 3. i guess i should just be glad he naps at all. i know.

right now i am glad to have this moment of silence. i think i will go make myself a cup of tea. of course as soon as the water is boiled one of them will wake up, that is just how it works. until then i will let the fantasy be real.

this is the latest in an installation i like to call "cohen's head wounds". this one was achieved last night when he ran into the car door. ouch.


Milkybeer said...

I hope you managed to enjoy that cup of tea. It's amazing what you learn to appreciate once it's taken away. I have a fresh pair of ear plugs if you're interested.

Randi said...

Sounds like you have a fiesty girl on your hands! Getting two to nap seems beyond the scope of my comprehension - I feel for you sincerely!!!

CRIPES - mine just woke up. Grrr... We're having a rough sleep week too.

cheesefairy said...

Ach, that sucks.

Sometimes I like to picture myself in the future. Here, at age 23, at a house party, my fiesty, jungle shrieking baby is holding court. Everyone is surrounding him because he's so exciting and cute and fun to be around. And I walk in, grey and hunched over and I shake my fist at them all and I say, "You know it wasn't so damn cute when he was 7 months old!" And then I steal his beer out of the fridge.

This might not help you this week but maybe you will giggle?

t said...

it did make me giggle, thanks. i think the thing i neglected to mention is that although nap time is chaos, it is a chaos i have come to expect. i no longer cry when it doesn't fit together nicely, mostly i just shrug and say "well, i guess that's about right". lowering expectations and learning to live with and appreciation all of the crap has done wonders for my coping skills, well that and making sure there is always beer in the fridge.