Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sadly, I forgot about that technique today

Today was one of those days.

Gwen refused to take her afternoon nap. Re. Fused. Which would be absolutely fine if she chose to spend that time cooing at me, playing with her toys, practicing rolling over, whatever. But no, she spent that time screaming and shrieking as if all the demons of hell were after her, when in fact I knew perfectly well that what she was upset about was that she was tired.

Tired, yet not sleeping.

The stage was set: it was exactly naptime, I hadn't overstimulated her, her diaper was clean and she was in her swing with the magical sounds of Joe Jackson playing (don't ask me why, but that song makes her sleep. I should write him a thank-you card). All she had to do was ... fall asleep. But no. Instead, much screaming. Most of it hers.

It's times like these I realize I am one missed nap away from totally snapping. Not that I would hurt her, though I did lovingly coo in her ear that this is exactly why babies get shaken. No, I wouldn't hurt her. But after listening to her cry and scream about exactly nothing for fifteen minutes straight ... for the third time that day ... yes, to quote a famous songwriter, my give-a-damn tank runs dry. I am just not as sympathetic as I might be.

For example, the other day when she pulled this trick I sat next to the swing and said firmly, over and over, "Go to sleep! Go to sleep! Go to sleep! Stop whining and go to sleep!" This actually worked on a number of levels. First, when I looked at her and talked, she would stop whining (because she, much like her mother, is an attention whore). Further, venting my frustrations was quite enjoyable. And thirdly - though I'm still stunned by this - eventually, she actually went to sleep.


Anonymous said...

I have no useful information for you. Instead, an anecdote: when I used to babysit for Jack (see facebook album entitled "Babies") one of the things I got to do was put him down for his afternoon nap. Jack is a generally overstimulated kid - he goes and goes and goes until he crashes. Afternoon naps took some time as it was hard to get him to relax enough to sleep. Usually there was a lot of rocking and singing, sometimes for 45 or 50 minutes. For a while it got really bad though. I remember running up and down the stairs with him in my arms in order to get him to sleep. Seriously. Rocking wasn't enough. It was ridiculous.

In an amusing turn of events, Jack's brother, Ben, falls asleep immediately when he is put in his bed.


Anonymous said...

You know, your "Go to sleep" story reminds me that I think Gwen is one of those kind of people who needs to be reminded regularly that other people have needs. Like yourself. Good for you for telling her what to do! And Yay that it worked.


Anonymous said...

I have been there so many times this week it ain't funny.

I am going to try and command Ira to sleep next time and see how it works!


Amberism said...

Excellent, excellent approach!

There are many conversations during my day like that. I see the solution to the problem, and you know what? IT'S SIMPLE. GO TO SLEEP.

Or with Callum the sentence is usually "you know what, I don't know what you're screaming about - use your words, I'm leaving". The first episode this morning was brought to me because his chair? A foot too far to the right from where it normally is in the morning.

A foot? Get over it, kid!

Anonymous said...

I know I don't have children but Sorcha actually has the command "go to sleep". When it comes out she knows she has pissed me off and will curl up and at least be quiet if not sleep. Maybe you can hope Gwen will eventually learn this:)


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