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.