Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Baby Who (Still) Would Not Nap

When the history of nap time is written, it will be by the winners. I'm sitting on my couch writing, it is quarter to five, and the baby monitor is finally, blissfully silent.

The battle started at two-thirty this afternoon. We came back from a visit to the pediatrician, and le Petit was clearly wiped out from it all: the vaccine, the tantrum, the show-the-doctor-how-I-can-walk-out-with-a-grin
-almost-all-by-myself after once more screaming loudly enough to make the poor guy wonder why he went to medical school.

So I was sure that this time, for once, nap time would be a cinch.

Le Petit is, dare I admit it, sleeping well these days. I've been warned that his sleep may fall apart again in the future, but for now I am grateful. He's even napping well, up to three hours in the afternoon with the nanny, but there's still a hitch: he will not nap for mommy.

The nanny just pats him on his back until he falls asleep. My husband sings to him. My mother-in-law lays down the law, explaining to him firmly that "c'est l'heure de dormir" and then lies down beside his crib and plays dead.

Not one of these strategies works for me. I pat him on the back, he gets up and jumps up and down on the mattress. I sing to him, he screams. I play dead and he grabs for the pile of diapers on his changing table, dropping them one by one onto my head.

Wednesday, my day off, would be my favorite day of the week were it not for nap time. On more than one occasion it has ended in tears -- my tears, not just le Petit's, and a feeling of inadequacy and embarrassment at having been outsmarted by a one-year-old.

It was a war of wills, and I was losing.

So today, my strategy was that as long as he wasn't (too) upset, I would leave him in his crib as long as it took. And for my sanity, I would spend as little time in the room with him as possible.

Over the baby monitor I could hear jumping, rustling, whining, cooing, and over and over and over again the melodies of the two stuffed animal music boxes that hang from the crib. Meanwhile, in the other room I fought on the phone with my insurance company over an administrative mix-up (for you can fight a war on two fronts) and did the dishes. Whenever le Petit's fussing turned to genuine crying I went in, hugged him, sang to him, and once he was consoled, left.

When I went in at around three-thirty the entire contents of the top drawer of his dresser, which is within a short arms reach of the crib, were strewn about the floor. I stifled a giggle and tried to look businesslike, but le Petit wasn't fooled. He laughed. With me. At me.

This time, however, I was not to be had. It took two and a half hours, but the last time he cried I went in and found him on his back, eyes practically shut. I gently eased him into a comfortable position and patted him a few times, and after a last whimper of protest, he was out.

Sound the fanfare, this battle is won. For this week, at least.

Don't tell my husband, but I know exactly where he gets his stubborn streak.

1 comment:

caramama said...

Way to go!

I've found it's all about figuring out what works for each person. What works for our nanny does NOT work for me. When nursing/bottle/rocking does not work, I have to walk and bounce the Pumpkin in my arms for 10-40 minutes (once even longer). My arms kill, but it's what works when everything else fails.

I would kill to be able to put her in her crib and leave her there! While you did have a big struggle, I'm still jealous!