Tuesday, May 29, 2007

right back where we started from

maybe you recall, if you've been with us here at pookiellama since the beginning, that i used to talk about wile's sleeping a lot? specifically, that he really didn't like to do it? for the first year and a half, it was the defining issue of our lives. but we've been in such a good place with the sleeping for so long now that even though it hasn't been perfect—some early mornings, some ridiculously drawn-out good-night sessions in which i get called back in to the room to fix his blanket, put mets bear's hat back on, turn on the ceiling fan, find his water, take a booger off the tip of his finger, or some other important task—it hasn't been anywhere near traumatic enough to write about.

but now we've hit the next phase of sleep issues, and it's not pretty.

let me start at the very beginning (a very good place....). about two months ago, we found out that wile got in to our preschool of choice for the fall. which is totally exciting for many reasons, but that's another post. the thing about preschool that applies here and now is: it runs from 8:30 to 3:30. which means that they have naptime. and i will not be dropping by each day at that time to hit him with some ba-boo.

as i've mentioned, i've been afraid that the napping and the nursing were so tightly intertwined that if i tried to take away the nursing, the napping would follow, and that was a truly petrifying idea. but now, with preschool shimmering on the horizon, the time had come. so we started slow: we talked about school, and how awesome school is going to be, and that in order to take part in the awesomeness, he needed to get used to napping without falling asleep on the ba-boo. so we would sit up (instead of lying down) in bed and nurse for a short time, then i would lie down with him and we would snuggle* until he fell asleep.

and it worked! not only would he go down for a nap with me this way (after just 2 or 3 times with a little crying/lamenting the loss of the ba-boo), but both stephen and his mom were able to put him down with just snuggling! and then....oh my holy crap, and then.....he stopped asking for the ba-boo, and i could put him down with just snuggling. and he was still sleeping well at night, if waking up a little earlier than usual. it was a golden age, those two weeks or so.

then, of course, the crash. two weeks ago, we went up for nap, happy happy, changed the diaper, smile smile, and then: "mama, i not want to take a nap." oh no no no no no no no. no. i call bullshit. he insisted no. i insisted yes. he cried. i cried. i had to leave the room. i came back. he cried more. we snuggled. he finally went down.

we followed that pattern for 3 or 4 naptimes, until the day that he just wouldn't go down. no way, no how. less crying, more standing up and walking around the room. and what the hell was i going to do, stap him to the bed? so, no naps. and the night sleeping was definitely affected, with him giving us the same "i not want to sleep!" nonsense at bedtime, and waking up between 5 and 5:30, wide-eyed and clamoring for toast.

this non-napping has had some interesting side effects (aside from, you know, the gradual deterioration of my sanity). on friday we headed out to the met to see the paul poiret exhibit. at around 2, he told me he was ready to go home. i said okay, looked down two minutes later, and he was alseep in the stroller. he hasn't slept in the stroller in over a year, easy—he slept for 2 hours. then on saturday, he went down for a nap in his bed—unwillingly, unhappily, but he did it—at 3. he woke up at 9:15, ate a piece of toast, drank some water, and went back to sleep around 10 until around 6am. ooooookay! last night, he went down normal time (8:30) and slept until 8:15am. today there was no nap again, and by 6:30 he was definitely tired and cranky, and i whisked him through a quick dinner and had him alseep by 8.

so, clearly it's not that he no longer needs the naps. he just doesn't want them. still, i can't accept that we'll never nap again. because, dude. i can't hack it. for serious. what i've done in the last two days, after we've lay down and it becomes clear that the nap ain't going to happen, is insisted on "quiet time", in which he's allowed to play in his room, in a calm and orderly and independent fashion, while i semi-nap on the bed. so i've been able to catch up on a little rest, but haven't been able to get anything done or gotten any time to myself. which is going to wear reeeeeeealy thin after a few days.

actually i did get some time to myself today, between 7—when i woke up and couldn't believe that he wasn't up yet—and 8:15. and, granted, he was asleep by 8 tonight, which means that i have a couple of hours to get some things done now before exhaustion sets in and i'm too braindead to do anything but watch blake lewis videos on youtube. and i could handle this schedule, if i thought it would last. but, i don't. i'm too shell-shocked by all the recent 5am wake-ups. plus, it really cuts into our social life if we have to be home for dinner at 6:30 for bedtime at 7:15—in the summer, we're usually just wandering out of the park at 7!

so, sadly, i think this all proves my theory about the napping and the nursing. and i definitely felt, in the past few months, that by giving him the ba-boo at naptime i was kinda....drugging him. so what we're dealing with here, i guess, is withdrawl?

but i'm just as addicted to the nap, yo! i can make do with the early bed/late rise methadone, but really, i want the hard stuff.

*i have to describe wile's conception of "snuggling": he starts by burrowing in close to you, very sweet. then he takes his forehead and presses it against yours, also very sweet. for about 30 seconds. until he keeps pressing, harder. and harder, until it feels like he is trying to phase through you to the other side of the bed, if he....only....had.....the....power....

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