After 2-5 stories have been read, this goes on:
Nate: “Lay down here ima”
Me: “Nati, you need to go to sleep”
Nate: “Please ima”
Nate: “I loe you ima”
Me: “I love you too Nati” (As my heart explodes into ten trillion pieces)
I really want him to independanty go to bed but I really don’t all at the same time.
If there is any advice I could give a new parent it is this:
Don’t EVER discuss your child’s good sleeping habits.
Why, you ask?
It is because the second you divulge that kind of information your child ceases to sleep at all!
Call it the curse of the mommy/daddy gab.
It happens to the best of us.
You sit at the hottest family friendly restaurant in town with your crew of infants, toddlers and parents.
You start off with some adult conversation but somehow get sidetracked into the kiddie talk corner.
Here comes the dreaded question: “How are you sleeping?”
Translation: “How is the baby sleeping?”
Due to what I like to call “the haze” you respond thoughtlessly:
“Last night we slept through the night!”
Que the “oohs”, “ahhs” and daggers.
After a lite lunch (too lite but that baby fat ain’t so phat!) you make your way home for the baby’s nap.
On the way home you do everything to ensure that that baby does NOT fall asleep because transferring them is naptime suicide.
You get home, prepare a bottle, change that stinky diaper, put on some comfy bed gear, feed them and put them down for that two hours of uninterrupted you time.
You walk out feeling lite as a feather.
Then you hear it: “WAHHHH, WAHHH, WAHHH, NAHHH, GAHHH…..”
What is going on?!?
Yep, its the curse.
Murphy’s Law guarentees that once you utter the words “good sleep” in relation to your children, you will NOT be sleeping again for awhile.
You inevitabley give in to the cries and take them out to play.
Somewhere in the back of your mind you hope that this will lead to a full nights rest but rest assured that that my friends will not be happening for you.
So suck it up, drink it up (coffee that is) and wait it out.
This will teach you not to talk about taboo things, like your baby’s great sleep habits.
Sleep time in this house is golden.
There is a routine that is put in place right from the first day that our boys came home from the hospital.
It goes a little something like this:
Eat, bath time, massage, get dressed, story, sleep.
This worked beautifully until Nate turned 2.
Not 18 months.
Not 23 months.
I swear I think that on the night of his second birthday the sleep rebellion had commenced.
We do all of the things that we have always done.
We don’t have the television on in the evening.
We don’t do anything stimulating other than the 5-10 stories that we read to him; we both agree that this is excessive but he loves it and we love him so why not?
We make sure that he is pretty much asleep and then we sneak out of his room.
Within SECONDS he shoots up and we hear the pitter patter of his little feet running to the stairway.
Nate: “aba.” (Other word for dad)
Adam: “Go to bed Nati.”
Nate: “Abaaa… Why aba?”
Adam: “Nati you have to go to bed so that you won’t be tired tomorrow.”
Nate: “Come up Aba!”
Then Adam goes upstairs and lays in bed with him until he falls asleep.
This worked up until very recently.
Now Nate doesn’t want Adam to leave at all so he keeps him there hostage.
He jumps around.
On occasion he’s even hit him pretty hard in the nether region.
Adam inevitably loses his cool and leaves the room.
This automatically resets the process and this goes on for a good two hours.
It’s what I call toddler terrorism.
Adam has to be there until Nate falls into the deepest sleep possible and only then can he sneak out.
Don’t be fooled, in a couple of hours Nate “sleep walks” into our room and snuggles up to Adam.
There is no escaping it and we are officially out of ideas.
People love to give you the most pragmatic advice when you are expecting a child for the first time.
They talk about the long nights, all of the frustrations that you will encounter and the horrible exhaustion.
There are so many things that nobody ever tells you.
Nobody ever mentions how the long nights don’t feel long because you get to spend them with the love of your life.
That the exhaustion is trumped by feelings of joy every time you snuggle up, kiss, hug or just lay there in silence.
That every burp, smile, giggle or anything for that matter feels like such a huge accomplishment that should be celebrated.
That your frustration is so short lived because that child has the ability to melt your heart with a simple glance in your direction.
That you love this person so much you want to cry from the feelings of pure joy.
The difficulties of being a first time parent are shadowed by all of the amazing benefits.
It’s not easy.
You get tired.
You get emotional.
You finally GET what unconditional love feels like and there is no greater feeling in the world.