Monday, September 22, 2008

On the Fifth Day There Was Silence

We girls had a good weekend without Aaron home; it went fast. I took Anna to the high school football game Friday night. We left in the third quarter when we were losing 40-0. Sadly, this was not the worst football we saw this weekend. Why do we torture ourselves with the Lions again? FIRE MILLEN. Twice on Sundays.

The biggest parenting development around here is that we seem to have found a nap time routine that is annoying but works. Eventually. And that's good enough for me.

Anna has always needed to be held to fall asleep for naps, although for quite some time she has put herself to sleep at night just fine. When she went down to one nap in the afternoon, usually by the time she got her milk snack, she'd fall asleep drinking it. But when she didn't, she'd need to be held/rocked until really asleep or she'd make sure she stayed awake all afternoon by standing up in her crib screaming.

Needless to say, this sound was not conducive to reading for comprehension. So because my work time is precious, I would always make sure she was asleep before putting her down. Sometimes Aaron wouldn't, and she'd scream bloody murder, and I'd want to drive my red pencil into my eardrums.

Lately she has not been falling asleep as easily, and I need her to learn to sleep on her own in the daytime too. She is just way too big and heavy for the holding and bouncing her while I'm standing up thing, plus we should get her off bottles of milk (she will tolerate a Nuby cup instead of bottle, but prefers this babyish routine with the bottle, and that's supposed to be gone by age 2). So I was looking for a time when I could afford to be thoroughly annoyed by prolonged crying sounds rather than needing every minute possible to work.

Thankfully, my husband is more stubborn than me—he let her cry a few times and it has started working. Sure, it takes 45 minutes to an hour of alternating between babbling and screeching . . . but eventually she falls asleep! In fact, here's a little live-blogging of today's nap timeline:

2:05 Left her in her room, sleepy. No noise on my way out.
2:11 Sounds of clunking against crib. "Mama!"
2:14 "Maaaaaamaaaaaa! Waaaaaaaa! Maaaamaaaaaa. Aaaaaaaaaaagh!"
2:23 Silence. Victory in record time?
2:24 Nope. "Waaaaaaaaaaa!" She realized she was almost asleep, God forbid.
2:32 Silence again. And this time it holds!

Thirty minutes is definitely a new record, so I hope it means that after five straight days she's getting the idea that it's not necessary or effective to holler for an hour a day.

Is it wrong that I feel no sympathy for this crying, just mild amusement? Hey, I respond with plenty of heart when it's real crying—this is really just manipulative noise. In fact she even started the manipulation in July, at my parents' house, when she realized that telling us when she had a wet diaper might get her out of her crib to be changed. But then right after Aaron changed her she pointed down there and said, "Stinky! Stinky!" again. Liar, liar, stinkypants on fire!

We're onto you, Stinkypants. And we're willing to trade an hour of annoying noise for two hours of nap. We're the parents. We will win. Our motto: Always Be Victorious!


Cat Hoemke said...

our motto is: "never threaten, do."

Cat Hoemke said...

consequently, our battle cry is "Gah! Why didn't that work?!"

Marc and Gretchen said...

Isaac just popped his first two teeth last week & since has become a horrible nap taker. The last 2 days it's been standing in his crib crying for what seems like FOREVER. Today he fell asleep in my arms, but I don't want that to become a habit. Ah parenting.

Amy said...

We have finally begun letting Charlie cry it out at night (Roman is easier to soothe back to sleep than the baby). We finished night 2 but we still don't know how long he cries - we fall asleep before he does!

When it's true manipulation, amusement IS the best policy. I still sometimes laugh out loud when Roman tries to do it.