January 22, 2010

It's crappy nappy time!

Wow. You know, I wanted to come here and write a nice little rosy post about how awesome my week has been (and it did have its awesome moments). I had the title picked out and everything. I even had written the first sentence in my head.


For some reason I thought it'd be a good idea to spend this week working on Charlie's naps with him. Why I thought it'd be a good idea to do that when I was also doing a cleanse diet, I have no effing idea. Why I decided to do both when it rained the entire week, I have no effing idea about that, either.

I'm not sure if there's ever a good time to sleep train. After four months old, of course. But I mean, is it ever going to be painless and convenient? I doubt it.

So this week was pretty painful. Charlie miraculously took his morning nap in his crib on Monday and Tuesday, but try as I might, I could not get him to do it for any of his other naps. Instead, he used his recently found outside voice and screamed. And my tolerance for said screaming grew more threadbare as the week wore on.

It is really tough to hear him scream like that. He sounds like he's in pain, although I know he's not. I know he just wants to be held, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I keep wondering if I am doing the right thing here. Are naps in the crib that important? Isn't the important thing that he's just napping - in his bouncy chair, the stroller, his car seat, whatever? Am I pushing my adult ideology about how a baby should nap onto him? Am I being fair to him? Am I not being consistent enough? Is this something I should just learn to laugh about?

These are questions that have been running through my mind constantly this week.

And yet I can't help but want him to nap in his crib. Because when he does it, he sleeps for a good stretch and it gives me the opportunity to clean up around the house, get ready for the day, and just have some time to myself to do whatever. On Monday and Tuesday, I actually felt centered for the first time in ages. The house was clean, I actually looked decent, and Charlie was asleep! In his crib! For an hour and a half! I could see the promise of a schedule glimmering on the horizon.

I don't know what happened, but we have been unable to replicate those naps since. Which means that the house is a wreck, and life is a wreck. And I am kind of a wreck, too. I feel so selfish for wanting this so much, for letting him cry and scream. I feel guilty. Is it wrong for me to want this - for his own good as well as mine? Should I just accept this as a part of motherhood and be okay with it?

But I have. I'll gather our stuff up on a moment's notice and take him for a long drive to get him to sleep for at least an hour. I'll sacrifice my shower and teeth brushing and breakfast and lunch to make it happen. I've been doing this for months. And I do enjoy the driving, because it gives me an opportunity to listen to music and just let my mind wander. But there really is so much to be taken care of at home. My life has fallen into chaos, and I just can't seem to get a grasp on it. I hate to blame the lack of structured naps for Charlie, but I think that if we could get those under control, I'd be a lot happier because I could actually get some things done.

I feel a little silly to think that I had control in this situation. Accompanying that is the real sense of failure. Because chances are I am the reason why he is having problems in the first place.

(Written on mid-Friday morning of an impossibly long week, as Charlie sleeps in his bouncy chair in the bathroom, and as I sit in the hallway, still in my T-shirt and sweatpants I wore the night before, thinking of calling Roy at work and begging him to come home.)

(Sorry for the lousy picture quality. I'm really looking forward to getting a lens that works well in low light, not to mention a flash.)


Anamika said...

I can't say anything about the kid's nap. Lil Man never did nap well and both kids sleep with me almost every night.

But I understand your stress. I really, really do.

sherthebear said...

I feel your pain. J naps like crap too. She does well in daycare, but won't go down for naps on the 3 days I am home with her. I am starting to take it personally. Why is it so hard for babies to get to sleep?

amber said...

We saw our friends last weekend and they have a 6mo. They echoed that naps are so important for them (mom stays at home, dad works) because it gives her a chance to "catch up" on everything. As a childless person, I don't think it's wrong to want to get him on a good sleep schedule. Your sanity deserves it, hon. {{hugs}}