If you’ve ever wondered what your parenting style is like, just watch your older child interact with one of their “babies.” I have heard Monkey say all of the following about one of her babies:
“The baby’s awake again.” (insert huge sigh)
“What’s the problem?”
“The baby’s not eating.”
Monkey has a heart of gold. I just have to put that out here now, before my next post about our vacation — the vacation in which I’m still not sure I had fun. Well, I did have fun. At times. It was just … difficult.
So anyway, I know I get on here and rant sometimes about how difficult (in a funny way) life is with a “spirited” toddler. But honestly, what kid isn’t “spirited” on some days. Some kids, like Monkey, are just a little more moved by the spirit than others. But she really does have a heart of gold. And I’m seeing her grow out of what’s left of the Terrible Twos. She’s already grown up a lot, even in the last three months. She’s able to entertain herself longer and she no longer needs constant attention — things that weren’t possible just a few months ago. She’s even acting out less for attention when we’re focused on Bean.
Case in point — Bean took up my WHOLE morning the other day. Literally, the entire morning. This kid, who for the last three months of her life has taken two 2-2.5-hour naps in the morning and afternoon, has been sleeping in short spurts for the last three weeks. It all started when we stopped swaddling her. Being the gigantic, freakishly strong baby that she is, she kept busting out like the Incredible Hulk within two minutes of being swaddled. Like most babies, Bean wakes up after 30-45 minutes of her nap. When she was still swaddled, we would hear her wake up, talk to herself, and generally we wouldn’t even have to go in the room. She would fall back to sleep on her own. Now that she’s swaddle-less and can wave her arms and legs all around like an octopus and can roll over with the prowess of a bowling ball, she hasn’t been able to fall back to sleep by herself.
We’re still trying to figure out how to get her to go back to sleep. Sometimes catching her before she’s fully awake and giving her the nuk works, other times we have to hold her arms and legs down and do the “shushing” sound, and if that doesn’t work we have to pick up her and do the “shushing” while rocking, swaying and jiggling. Well, on this particular day, NONE of that was working. Bean would sleep for 30 minutes, I would hear her stir and run in to give her the nuk (repeat 3-4 times). Then I would try to hold her arms and legs down (repeat 1-2 times). By this time she was crying, so I would pick her up and be doing the sway, rock, jiggle, shush. It wasn’t working. But there with me, every time, was Monkey, silently mimicking my movements. OH. MY GOSH. How freaking hysterical. Monkey desperately wanted to go outside with me, which is something we do when Bean naps. And instead of throwing a huge fit every single freaking time I went back into the bedroom, there she was, rocking, swaying and shushing her baby with me.
Monkey See, Monkey Do (this video won’t open in a new window, so be sure to hit the “back” button)
(Incidentally, this video is NOT from the other morning. I’m quite sure her massive spill, in typical Monkey fashion, would have dashed any hopes of getting Bean back to sleep had I actually been trying. Oh Lord, I have never seen a clumsier kid.)
I hope Bean is just going through a phase. I hope it’s teething, or possibly that she’s not used to being swaddled anymore. Or maybe it’s just how she is as a four-month-old and in a few more weeks she’ll be back to the easy going, laid back, super-sleeper self that I adore. Because we are JUST starting to get Monkey, the child who I constantly am conditioning to be a good sleeper, back into a good naptime and nighttime routine. For like the 387th time. And I JUST DON’T WANT TO BE THE SLEEP POLICE ANYMORE! Plus, I’m afraid if Bean keeps this up, pretty soon I’m going to hear Monkey say:
“Why won’t you go to sleep!”
“You are making me so frustrated!”
“I don’t understand!”
#&%#@%#! (Oh wait. She already said that. WHOOPS!)