How is the climbing stage going?
I guess it depends on who you ask.
As far as Maddie’s parents are concerned, the climbing stage isn’t too cool.
Ask Maddie and I’m sure she thinks it going GREAT!
“No crib can hold me,” exclaimed the 18-month-old girl as she prepared to vault into the great abyss.
This is to be expected when you have a toddler that can throw her legs as high as her head and has toes capable of gripping any smooth surface like a gecko lizard.
Maddie vaults on top of tables and chairs with reckless abandon now. This high-risk behavior is on the verge of becoming a serious problem.
Watching my baby, it’s easy to understand the pure folly of human nature.
Like scientists and politicians, Maddie often decides plunges ahead with a course of action rather than pondering the aftermath of what she does. Of course she is only 18-months-old and has time to resolve this risky behavior issue.
Maddie’s driving continues to improve each day, but her parallel parking is still a disaster. Actually, Maddie was great a passenger both to and from the airport during this most recent trip.
We had to find the perfect balance of snack time, bottle time and naptime but it all seemed to come together with a minimum amount of carnage during these 3-hour-marathons back and forth to Chicago.
I’ve become the designated sleep whisperer for all trips surpassing the two hour mark. If I’m not driving, I’m in the back seat sleeping with my little commando. The motion of being a passenger in any vehicle or airplane puts me right to sleep. Maddie is not the best sleeper in a moving vehicle unless she’s stuck with me.
The best way to keep the baby sleeping comfortably in the car is to know where a pacifier is at all times. This is true even if you are sleeping right along with the baby. As soon as Maddie starts to stir, my eyes snap open so I can quickly locate the closest pacifier.
Maddie opens her eyes the tiniest bit. I pop the pacifier into her mouth. Then the baby confirms that she is in the company of loved ones. In less than 8 seconds the event is over and the princess is back in dreamland. I always make sure that I am not too far behind.
For whatever reason, this shared sleep method does not work for us during air travel. But at least Maddie gets a reasonable nap before we begin to battle the forces of evil at the airport.
As we work on getting the baby into her crib and amending her napping schedule, decent sleep in our household is hard to come by. Maddie’s parents find themselves backed up on a 4th and long with only seconds on the clock. The ultimate goal is to get Maddie sleeping comfortably in the end zone, but that’s much easier said than done.
Any questions we might have had about Maddie’s tenacity have been swept away without any shadow of a doubt. Even at the tender age of six-months-old, she has a will and determination that is cast in iron.
There is no overlooking the fact that her parents are crazy “Type A” individuals – but Maddie is looking to up the ante and elevate things to a stratospheric level. Forget the dog with a bone analogy – Maddie has proven yet again that she is a force of nature.
As long as she is being laid down in the crib, Maddie is refusing to sleep. She is ignoring the mounting fatigue, the drowsiness and standing up to her parents on this one. Her dogged determination is certainly impressive, but it also more than a little intimidating. Our current sleep issues are far from being resolved, but it appears that Maddie might be digging in.
Improving the quality and duration of Maddie’s sleep is for her own good. It would certainly be much easier to let her sleep where she wants. The only real question is how much of a beating her parents will have to take in the process.
Even with her limited sleep schedule this weekend, Maddie was absolutely her charming self. But how long our luck will last remains to be seen.
I guess it had to happen sooner or later. For the past month, Maddie has been taking all of her daytime naps snuggled tightly in my arms. Today we made the parenting decision that this practice was no longer viable and the baby was to begin napping on her own.
This is a radical shift for all parties involved, but apparently babies are supposed to sleep in the same place as much as possible. Maddie looked at me like I was crazy when I put her in the crib for the morning nap. I would like to tell you she took it well, but that was definitely not the case. No matter what we tried, she was more than happy to share her displeasure with all of those within earshot.
I also would be remiss to downplay the fact that this new sleep policy is just as tough on me. It was very hard to put Maddie down in the crib and have her wonder why the heck I wasn’t picking her right back up. I suppose there will be some sort of adjustment period and everything will go back to butterscotch and ponies soon enough. But for now, let’s just say we are not quite there yet.
As for Maddie, her early morning nap was basically cancelled due to lack of interest. No matter how tired she was, the baby flatly refused to go to sleep at all. However, time must heal all wounds, because her next sleep endeavor fared much better. This time her mom put her down and Maddie slept for more than two hours. For the most part, this was Maddie’s only true nap of the day, but it was certainly better than nothing.
Once Maddie woke up from her nap, we headed outside for a little fresh air to clear our heads. Despite the fact that it was significantly colder than it was yesterday, it took Maddie less than 20 minutes to pass out and go limp in the Bjorn. Upon discovering that the baby was asleep, it was time to hustle home to see if we could stretch it out. Of course the second we walked in the door, Maddie was awake again and ready to combat any further attempts at sleep.
Obviously today could have been much worse, but we will have to wait and see how she fares this weekend with her newly revised sleep guidelines.
When there’s one thing you can count on with your baby, it’s very easy to get used to. For months now, our morning naps have been a non-negotiable fact of life. Sure there’s some hemming and hawing going on from time to time, but it’s never more than a five-minute process. That is until today.
This morning nap time ritual was shattered by a series of high profile temper tantrums that came straight out of left field. Maddie had a calm and restful full night of sleep, so there was no reason to suspect that anything was out of the ordinary.
Like every morning, the baby was beginning to wind down. She was in her favorite jumper, but the jumping had stopped. Maddie signaled me by rubbing her eyes and voicing a few gentle complaints that play time was over and she was ready for sleep. However, what Maddie really meant is that she was ready for her title shot!
I scooped her up and headed to the bedroom for some serious snoozing. Maddie snuggled up and closed her eyes for about five seconds before she lost it. She was really angry about something and ready to throw down. As far as I could tell, there was no gas, hunger or diaper issues so I tried again. She relaxed for another five seconds and then plummeted off the deep end again.
If she didn’t want to nap, there was no rush, but she didn’t want to do anything else either. So what do you do with a cranky little girl who doesn’t want to do anything? No matter what I tried, it was the wrong thing to do. This is when I decided to turn her over to our visiting housekeeper.
She speaks almost no English, but is more than happy to converse with the baby in Spanish. This occupied my little brawler for about 30 minutes before she was once again swinging for the fences and tilting at windmills. By the time 10am hit, Maddie and I were like two punch drunk fighters willing the other one to fall.
Finally at 10:15, my angry little Klitschko called a truce and slipped into unconsciousness. She was out cold while I was left to ponder what had happened to our mutual morning nap détente.
It was day we had looked forward to for some time. Gina’s mom had agreed to watch Maddie for an entire afternoon and the world was our oyster. We had a nice leisurely lunch, shopped for some baby clothes and even got to squeeze in a movie. We arrived home nice and relaxed, and of course excited to see the baby.
Gina and I wondered if Maddie would take notice of the fact that both of her parents had been AWOL at the same time. We would not have to wait long for an answer.
Just as we popped in the door – Maddie launched a test of the emergency broadcast screaming system. Judging by the fever pitch of her outburst – it sounded like a real emergency, even though it was just a drill.
I scampered up the stairs to greet my screeching angel hoping that the sight of her Dad would give her some solace. In theory, my plan worked well at first. The second Maddie saw me; she smiled and let me pick her up. Crisis averted, but only for about 45 seconds. This is when Maddie remembered that she owed Mom and Dad a little bit of payback.
Now the crying was back in full force and PaPa couldn’t help. Even when Mom stepped in, Maddie was still not a happy camper. We quickly realized that the baby was exercising her constitutional right to express her extreme displeasure.
We later learned that Maddie had spent the entire afternoon boycotting naptime, so she was obviously pretty warn out. When it comes right down to it, you really have to respect this little lady who is never afraid to share her frank and well-constructed opinions with us.
A little less than two weeks ago, Maddie and her parents were going toe to toe on the sleep issue. Way back then, Maddie considered naps to be up there with crimes against humanity. All attempts to put the cherub down for a nap were met with great vengeance and furious anger. Most of the time, either one of us could be treated to some crying or screaming during these unjust periods.
What a difference a week makes. Gina figured out that Maddie was on about a 3-hour sleep cycle and so we have been trying to put Maddie to sleep before the 180-minute countdown expires. It was hard at first, but naptime seems to finding itself into our daily culture. Maddie loves to change things up of course, but for now, the bear within baby is content to bulk up on some hibernation like slumber.
Maddie has really initiated the change as she consistently improves upon her own ability to soothe herself. This has been nothing short of impressive to her parents who observe her every sleeping moment on the video monitor.
There was a time when Maddie’s arms were public enemy number one when it came to her trying to get some sleep. They would flail around during her attempts at sleep which would often shock her awake. Now, the baby is using both of her hands to soothe herself. She mimics the motions of a person who is drying their hands under one of those sanitary fast food hand driers. It’s not a quick process, but she is getting a little better at it with each sleep attempt.
What’s also fascinating is that we have been told multiple sources that sleep begets sleep – the more you get during the day, the better you sleep at night. For the time being, this is also working out in our favor.
The baby’s increased sleep also seems to be taking the edge off of those funny little pre-nap tantrums Maddie was so fond of throwing. But there is one lesson we are reminded of time and time again – every time we learn something new about parenting – at least nine unanswered questions take its place.
Once again (just like Thanksgiving) Maddie has renewed her own personal holiday tradition of boycotting sleep. This weekend, Maddie used holiday activities like shopping and visiting friends as a platform to strike down naptime as completely uncalled for.
This nap drought was NOT due to a lack of trying by her parents – Maddie was put down in her crib time and time again, only to rise like a warring Phoenix from the ashes. She woke time and time again screaming and demanding liberation from the confines of her crib and the terrible injustice of naptime.
If there is even the slightest hint of any activity in the house, Maddie is determined to place herself in the center of it like she did this weekend. It doesn’t help that she is always more than happy to charm and delight anyone who enters our home. We had some friends come over for a little holiday cheer this afternoon, and the Madster was in full entertainment mode.
As soon as she spotted our friends Dan and Michelle, a huge welcoming smile spread across her face. She batted her eyes and let them know she was ready to play and ready to party.
Everyone was having a great time, but after a couple of hours, Maddie began to rub her eyes. This is the telltale sign that our little treasure is losing stream and needs a nap. Mom shuttled her away and began the unenviable task to trying to put our little lion club down for a nap.
It lasted for all of 15 minutes before the little war eagle was screeching from her bedroom yet again. Gina went back and forth with her until the angel was back out front with us living the dream.
It’s nice to fantasize that naptime will get easier with Madeleine, but we have actually come to grips with the fact that our little girl will likely be combating naptime for years to come.
One of the first things people notice about Maddie is that she is NOT a halfway kind of girl. Whatever, she does – Eat, sleep or poop – She does it with gusto, intensity and panache. Even at eleven weeks old, Maddie has a well-defined sense of purpose and is always striving to hit the next gear.
After a week of trailblazing and fighting the good fight against the institution of sleep – Maddie finally succumbed to Morpheus and was able to really recharge her batteries. I couldn’t believe my good fortune when she and I woke up from a two and half hour nap at 7:30 this morning.
People who say they sleep like a baby, probably don’t have one!
She woke up seemingly ready for action – but apparently, that was just a false positive. I was in the process of burping Maddie after her feeding when I noticed that she was completely knocked out on my shoulder. Oh my, 9am and our little bean was already on the ropes. I laid her in the crib and she slept soundly for another two hours.
Now this is a truly unexpected treat! I went out during the afternoon and left Maddie with her momma. When I got back, little Miss Thang was out like a light sleeping on her Mom. We made the seamless handoff and in no time, the baby was sawing wood on my chest as well.
During this particular nap, I noticed that Maddie was having a very intense feeding dream. Her little lips were moving at the speed of sound as if she were really working over her bottle.
What’s really funny about this drastic sleeping episode is that it comes as no surprise what so ever. Dealing with Maddie is a life-lesson in the art of expecting the unexpected. She doles out a new adventure every single day and you have to love the independent and pioneer spirit she is already exhibiting. (I can hear seasoned parents snickering at me now!) But seriously, who can resist someone who is just bubbling with life even before they even reach 11-weeks-old?