Coaxing the Squiggle to sleep often seems like a feat worthy of great acclaim – perhaps even worthy of a side act in the circus. Behold the Great Baby Tamer! She Who Puts Her Child to Sleep (sometimes)!
Night time sleep is no feat for us. The Squiggle simply nurses and cuddles until he collapses into a blissful five to six hour rest. Little distracts him from his voyage to the Land of Nod at night. The greater challenge is naptime.
Some wise person determined that 3-month-old babies should have three naps a day, lasting an hour or more. I cheer if the Squiggle has two naps a day lasting 30 minutes or more. My mother says that his refusal to nap is her long-waited for revenge. Apparently, a little girl 26 years ago also did not nap.
My current nap routine, if it can be called such, consists of three acts.
The first act is to recognize when a completely happy baby is actually tired. The cues are subtle, red, glazed eyes, or more obvious, a yawn or a cranky cry. If the cues are misread, then you could end up rocking a child who simply wants to play, and no amount of rocking will cause the babe to snooze.
Once properly identified as a sleepy baby, then the child must be nursed and rocked, and nursed some more. The chair groans and creaks under me for 15 minutes or more. If the baby’s limbs are limp and floppy and his mouth moves have silenced, I try to delicately place in the crib. As if I were laying a brick on fine china, I ease his little body on to the mattress. He squirms a little. I lay my hands on his head and belly and then gently lift them off. “Ta da!” I think to myself as I creep out of the room.
But the show is not yet finish. The final act must yet be staged for as I tiptoed down the hall, I hear noise. A little squawk, a little squeak, and the sound of moving fabric. I peek into the room and over the edge of the crib to see a squirmy little man smiling mischievously at me. I then must decide between three options. I can leave him in the crib to squawk and squirm. I can swoop him up and repeat Act 2: nursing and rocking. Or I can give up, pretending that a short session in the rocking chair was really a full nap.
Today, I have tried all three options, but we still no hour long nap.
An update on the cake below: To my great disappointment, the foster did not ignite. But it tasted scrumptious heaped onto the cake and poured over the ice cream. At least the first bites were scrumptious. The fourth and fifth bite proved a little too rich. I should have known that creamy, hazelnut-chocolate ice cream, mixed with moist sponge cake and topped with sugar banana might be extravagant. But oh what extravagance!