Friday, April 27, 2007

A heaping pile of bitterness

No sooner had I posted that M had started taking 30-minute naps than she decided to up the ante and stop napping altogether. Sure, she's tired. She even falls asleep when I nurse her. But the second I try to put her in the crib, she starts screaming like I'm dropping her in boiling oil, and that's it. No nap. On Wednesday, I picked her up and let her go back to sleep in my arms, and she got over an hour. But, sorry, I have a life (even if that life just consists of cleaning the damn house already), and there is no way I'm going to spend my afternoons cuddling her so she can sleep. If she's not tired enough to sleep in her crib, then she's simply not tired enough.

The really bad thing about this is that she now refuses to get in her crib at all if I'm the one putting her down. The other night, the Boy was out sailing, so I took over his usual night-time duties. I started trying to get her down at 7:40, and was still working on it at 9:15 when the Boy got home. Of course, he takes her for 3.5 minutes, and she's down for the count. So that made four hours of my life that I wasted on Wednesday in the rocking chair, trying to make my kid sleep. The Boy has a poker game tonight, so I'm anticipating another few hours in the chair. Yippee.

Can I tell you a secret? Sometimes, I hate my kid.

Adding a fabulous new dimension to this big pile of crap, the kid doesn't like me that much lately, either. When she's mad at me (which is pretty much all of the time, since she's sleep-deprived and cranky and doesn't understand why I won't acquiesce to her perfectly reasonable requests to, say, stick a fork in the electrical outlet), she starts asking for other people. It started out as just asking for Daddy, which was fine. But then, the little stinker started whining for "Ah-nee, Ah-nee!" when she got mad at me. "Ah-nee" is my friend Annie, who M loves. She also apparently thinks Ah-nee would be a nicer mommy than I am. I'm tempted to let her test that theory, as I happen to know Annie's no nicer than I am.

Seriously, though, I know I have at least three or four readers out there, some of whom have raised toddlers. Please tell me this is just a phase, because not-quite-17-months-old is way too young for her to stop napping, especially since she doesn't sleep through the night, either.


chris said...

I can't offer any good insight, because my son stopped napping at this age. He would take what we called a "car nap," however, until about three years old, where I would drive around until he fell asleep and then I'd park somewhere and read and have lunch. Acutally, in a way it was nice as I had absolutely nothing else to do at that time. Of course, I put a lot of miles on our car, but we'd just moved here so I learned all the back roads--I am known among my friends as the person who knows every shortcut in the triangle.

There are advantages to not fighting it, the biggest one being that they will go to bed earlier and sleep longer. Eric slept for about 13 hours every night like clockwork. So while other moms had their kids up until 9:00 or later, I got my break at around 7:00 every night. Also, you don't have to get used to your kid not napping, which normally happens sooner rather than later for most kids. Okay, I know that's cold comfort, but you have to take what you can get sometimes.

Sorry for the novel. I don't hold out much hope for my twins in the napping department (they're good now, but they're ten weeks), but maybe they'll surprise me.

Paranoid said...

Thanks for the input. I'll definitely try the car idea -- I guess I just have to let go of the idea of having her naptime to get things done in the house. She already goes down at 7:30-8 pm, and has recently started waking up twice at night, when we'd been down to just once. Maybe this is that 18-month sleep regression, appearing a month early.

And, hey, the fact that your twins sleep well now is a good sign, I think. M never, ever slept well. Even when she was tiny, she'd fight sleep with every fiber of her being. So maybe your little ones are just showing signs of things to come.