I am so grateful for the responses I received to my anguish-filled post on the weekend. I guess the rewards of motherhood sometimes come from people other than your child.
It was very irresponsible of me to then not update for two days, perhaps leaving you all to believe that either Gwen or I met with an untimely end. This is not the case - we are both still alive, and in fact, even having some good times together. But for the past two days, I have done absolutely nothing to encourage Gwen to nap. All the fight has gone out of me for the time being. And because I am not spending upwards of three hours a day fighting with her to get her to sleep, we're both in better moods. On the other hand, it also means that she has slept 40 minutes on each of those days, so I haven't had time for things like this blog. Or, say, an entire uninterrupted thought. But whatever.
This afternoon as I was feeding Gwen some lunch in her high chair, she actually started to nod off. It was both hilarious and sad. Sad because I felt sorry for her, to be so damned tired that she was nearly falling asleep in the middle of a meal, in an uncomfortable position. Immediately, I weighed the options. I could let her fall asleep in the high chair and take funny pictures of her to post on my blog. Or I could take her upstairs and put her in the crib so she had a chance of a decent nap.
I took her upstairs. I'm not an uncaring mommy, just a tired one.
Anyway, we figure what is going on with Gwen is that something - teeth? tummy trouble? constipation? - is causing her enough pain that she cannot get to sleep unless she's completely exhausted. This theory is borne out by the fact that she pulled the same falling-asleep-in-the-highchair trick with her dad tonight over dinner. Her usual bedtime - the one we aim for, though she doesn't always play along - is 7pm. Tonight she was in her crib and dead asleep by 6:10pm.
In other news, I took Gwen to the chiropractor today to follow up and make sure the treatments she had in September are still effective post-crawling. Dr. Dave reports that while there is nothing at all wrong with her chiropractically speaking, he is concerned about her failure and/or disinterest in sitting. "Sitting unassisted for brief periods" is a six-month milestone - Gwen is going on nine months and doesn't sit at all, assisted or not.
I have mentioned this to various friends and family members in the past, and the response I usually get is , "Oh well, why would she want to sit, she's got places to go!" Which is true, she is a busy girl. But there's a difference between "cannot sit" and "cannot sit still". The inability to sit does impact her life: for example, she has to use a bath seat in the big tub, which reduces both her freedom to enjoy her bath and my ability to clean her effectively. Furthermore, because she can't or won't sit on my lap to eat finger foods, the only place I can feed her is a high chair - which greatly limits our ability to feed her at places other than our home.
Dr. Dave stressed that I should not freak out about this, and in fact I am not. I am, if anything, pleased that someone believes this is worth following up on, and is pointing me in the right direction of how to do so. Stay tuned for further (equally fascinating) bulletins in this area.
This is Gwen's version of sitting. She's up on her hip, not on her bum.