Maddie Revises Her Napping Schedule
Maddie is in the process of dropping her second nap, but it’s not shaping up to be a seamless process. We are trying to let Maddie guide the process, but so far, she’s changing the rules on a day-to-day basis.
The napping process is up in the air for now. There are days with short naps, longs naps and even days with no naps. The days with no naps produce one cranky little muffin who is ready to snap at a moment’s notice.
The transition period has been bumpy, but we are hoping the end is in site. As for Maddie, you know she wants to sleep, but she is fighting it left and right.
Baby Running on Empty After Trip to Grandma’s House
The trip to grandma’s house began with a long stint in a traffic jam of biblical proportions. Maddie kept a stiff upper lip for the better part of 30 minutes, but one by one, the wheels started to come off.
The baby finally started falling asleep despite the fact that we were stuck next to a rumbling cement truck with squeaky brakes. Just as she nodded off, some ex-con or possibly a wanted felon zipped by us on motorcycle. The chopper jolted the baby awake and she was nothing short of delighted. Thanks buddy, you’re the best! Maddie spent the rest of the drive sharing her thoughts with me on the depths of my ineptitude.
Just minutes before we reached grandma and grandpa’s place, Maddie fell sound asleep. I let the car coast to a stop so Maddie could catch a few more winks, but that plan didn’t work out either. Even though the baby was grumpy, her grandparents were delighted to see her.
Grandpa and I exited the premises while Maddie spent the next couple of hours playing with grandma. To her credit, the crazed honey badger fought back any and all attempts to put her down for a nap. When I got back to the house, my exhausted little muffin buried her face in my shoulder and wouldn’t make eye contact with me. Oh did this little girl need a nap!
I was worried about putting her back into the car, but she didn’t even put up a fight. Within moments, Maddie was passed out and dreaming of all the new ways she will find to beat down nap time once and for all.
Baby Pummels Parents for Last Night’s Bungled Bedtime
Maddie and I were playing strong well after her bedtime last night. It was just 15 minutes before eight pm and I knew we were playing with house money. Surely just one night of staying up late wouldn’t have any serious repercussions. I had the baby in bed at eight, just one measly little hour past her bedtime.
I went to bad that night with the satisfaction of a job well done. It never occurred to me that I was setting myself up for a beating the next day. However, as soon I got to the crib this morning, I could tell little Miss Sunshine was far out of sorts. OK, so she was a little bit snippy and a tad whiny, but surely that would pass – or would it?
It turns out that Maddie had a great deal to say about not getting enough sleep the night before. Every time it seemed like Maddie had turned the corner, she was bent out of shape again. She had some jovial stretches in there, but for the most part, it was a rough day at the baby office.
During mealtime, Maddie’s patience would dry up the second she did not get something she wanted. Even our outdoor time was a bit sketchy. Naps also helped for brief periods of time, but Maddie made today’s lesson very clear. Get me in bed at a decent hour or you will pay the piper!
All That Work Comes with a Price
After 14 straight days of standing, crawling, skydiving, bull riding and nunchuck fighting demonstrations, guess who finally hit the wall? That’s right, my little Maddie, the 10-month-old dynamo was forced to call a truce with the universe this morning.
I actually never saw this coming. Maddie roared awake at around 5am and was ready to take on all comers. She seemed even more anxious than usual to express some very loud opinions and get going with some rigorous full-contact outdoor activities. Right after we dropped her mom off, Maddie made it clear that I had about 10 seconds to storm the local Dunkin Donuts and liberate a whole-wheat bagel for her to destroy.
Within moments, the helpless bagel was struggling for survival as pieces of dough exploded out of Maddie’s stroller. Horns were blowing and rescue teams poured into the area as bagel pieces rained down on helpless commuters, pelting light rail passengers and shattering windshields within a 3-block radius.
“I need more speed,” demanded Maddie as I pushed the stroller towards the waterfront. The baby rolled her eyes with disdain and suggested that maybe it would help if she got out and pushed. She’s been dragging her feet on a decision to replace her dad with a more obedient stroller driver, but still hasn’t had the heart to pull the trigger.
As I quickened my pace to avoid any further controversy, I noticed that the stroller compartment had fallen uncharacteristically silent. I slowed my pace so that I could catch a glimpse of what Maddie was up to now. I almost tripped and fell over when I saw that she was actually sound asleep???
Maddie hasn’t fallen asleep in her stroller in months. I slipped the stroller into a lower gear and made a subtle break for home. 20 minutes later and the baby was still sawing wood. I found a quiet section of sidewalk and decided to let her sleep it out. More than a half hour later and Maddie hadn’t even budged. It appears that my force of nature has finally decided to take some time to recharge.
I’m glad to see her getting the rest, but I have to worry what she might be like once she catches up on her sleep. I know she’s contemplated running a marathon and scaling the Empire State Building, but for now I intend to enjoy this scant amount of downtime.
Helping Baby Beat Back the Bedtime Blues
Baby’s Rooms Sounds Like 1940’s Aircraft Carrier Deck
Maddie’s parents have been forced to battle the noise of multiple construction projects using the loudest industrial fans made by man. Instead of a baby’s sleeping area, Maddie’s room looks and sounds more like a vintage aircraft carrier flight deck.
This is all necessary because some guy in our building hired the Acme Construction Crew from the Roadrunner and Coyote cartoons. These master craftsmen have been trying to build a recreation deck for months now. The only problem is that they are moving at a snail’s pace with no noticeable progress. If Noah had hired them for arc construction, none of us would be here today.
However, this doesn’t stop them from hammering and power sawing every day like they were building a wooden dock out to the Statue of Liberty. They power saw so frequently that they have literally cut every piece of lumber within a 50-mile-radius. You would think that they were nearing completion on a full-size wooden replica of the Great Wall.
The problem is that Maddie’s bedroom has windows that overlook the courtyard where this historic undertaking is underway. So today I decided that since I can’t beat this deafening symphony of confusion – I should add to it. Gentlemen start your engines! That’s right, break out the fans and yell, “CLEAR!”
So as we fire up the engines, the $64,000 question is will Maddie be able to find sleep on the deck of an old school aircraft carrier? Maddie and I fought our way through the gale-force winds of the bedroom to lay her down in her crib.
Like many parents, we have a baby monitor to make sure the baby is sleeping peacefully and not repelling off the side of the crib. I stared at it with unabashed curiosity watching every move Maddie made. Within just two minutes, Maddie had already checked out and was sound asleep.
Obviously we don’t want to get too cocky, but for one day, we found a way to overcome the slow motion construction project forever taking shape outside of Maddie’s window.
Curse of the Late Afternoon Nap
Few things rip into a peaceful bedtime routine like the curse of the late afternoon/early evening nap. But what can do when that’s when the baby wants to nap? Apparently, not too much.
When Maddie snags a good nap in the morning or early afternoon, bedtime is a breeze. But if she is still napping around 4pm, undesirable nuggets can hit the fan with great velocity. There was a time when we foolishly believed that any nap the baby took was a good one. Maddie has been more than happy to dispel this misconception for us.
At 5pm this afternoon we could feel our anxiety mounting as Maddie slept like the angel she truly is. At this point we knew two things were in store for us.
- Once the baby woke up, she would be in a wonderful mood.
- Once it was time for bed, it would be time to pay the piper and deal with what we like to call the wild banana syndrome.
Both of these predictions soon came to pass. Maddie woke up sweet as sugar magnolias. She was fun, charming and bursting with love. We fed her pork and vegetables and she was the perfect little lady.
But once it was time for bed, a dark shadow crept over the house. That sweet disposition tuned sour and the angry bedtime antics began. First came the angry protests that quickly escalated into an-all out temper tantrum. The nerve of these idiot parents trying to put me to bed, do I look tired to you??
Letting Maddie work it out in the crib is never a big hit either. She expects full payment of these parental follies and wants it all up front. She also demonstrates great athletic prowess by flipping from one side of the crib to the other.
In the end, it just takes a little extra love and patience along with about 45 minutes of hanging out in close proximity to the crib. Eventually the queen burns herself out and is hopefully asleep for the night. All that’s left to do is go to bed early and hope tomorrow delivers an earlier naptime that doesn’t trigger another extended witching hour.
Sleep Sack – Blessing or Curse?
From the parents point of view, the sleep sack is a blessing – but I think our darling 7-month-old daughter Maddie, would beg to differ. Once you start zipping the sleep sack up with the baby inside, you have a life and death struggle on your hands. At least that’s my little girl’s reaction to the process.
Maddie takes the advice of the famous poet named Dylan Thomas who wrote: “Do not go gentle into that good night.” She actually takes things up a notch with her “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
Just the thought of being put to bed and zipped up into the sack is such an alarming prospect for my little girl. Her reaction is nothing short of bizarre. It’s like there’s broken glass or live bees waiting in the sleep for her.
For a while, I was actually fooled into opening the sack to make sure there was nothing in there that was causing any discomfort. That’s always a mistake though, because trying to zip up the sleep sack is like trying to put a rabid Rottweiler into a Tupperware container. Those pulsating legs have no interest in being tucked away and will fight until the bitter end.
The process itself actually takes a little less than a minute. Once my little angel is tucked away, all that anger and anxiety gently drifts away.
I have tried time and time again to talk her through the ordeal, but it’s becoming more and more apparent that I have to let her work it out. She doesn’t want to be soothed, she just does not want to put the outfit on.
However, as I noted a few weeks ago, putting Maddie into the crib without the sleep sack is a wasted effort. She will sleep no more than 30 minutes at a time without it. With the sack on, she sleeps anywhere from one to two hours with each nap. So that 30 to 60 seconds of raw carnage is obviously well worth the effort – its just a little bit confusing.
Daylight Savings Time Tramples Baby’s Schedule
I guess we can add Daylight Savings Time to the list of things that we mistakenly did not think would impact the baby. With Maddie’s final cranium appointment right smack in the middle of the afternoon, things were bound to be somewhat out of whack. But once we got home from the appointment, Maddie’s Dad made a severe miscalculation. This error in judgment would have far reaching negative implications for the remainder of the evening.
The miscalculation was simple enough. We got home at 4pm, which meant there was not enough time to put Maddie down for a nap before her bedtime. Had I thought it through just a little bit more, I would have taken into account that as far as Maddie was concerned, it was only 3pm. This misstep put Maddie and I on a collision course for some rough evening action of the ugly variety.
Earlier in the day on the way to Maddie’s appointment, she did take two separate naps in the car. But these naps were not long enough to cope with the ensuing sleep shortage. The only course of action was to feed her quickly and try to fend off the looming crisis.
I started Maddie off with an apricot mixture and the evening was coming together better than expected. But after about ten spoonfuls, fatigue and crankiness took over. Maddie began rubbing this apricot sauce into her both of her eyes. When I tried to dissuade her from this fruity path to blindness – she lost it. She went from the happy baby to the pea soup spitting Linda Blair in about five seconds.
So now we’re on the rocky path to an early, but angry bedtime. The rest of the feeding was a disaster. There was crying, pouting, spitting and using the remainder of her food as a new wave hair-care product.
Step two was a quickie bath that actually didn’t go too badly.
Step three was bedtime and the commotion began anew. There were heavy protests despite the fact that her father’s complaint department had shut down 30 minutes earlier.
The worst part of course is dealing with the fact that your poor decision-making caused the problem in the first place. But as usual, all you can do is learn from your mistakes before your daughter begins issuing a series of pink slips, reprimands and demerits.
Uncovering Baby’s Nighttime Spinning Secrets
So how is it that a baby who can’t crawl and has her legs secured is ripping around the crib in circles at night? It’s no secret that Maddie’s parents are baffled by this cosmic mystery.
What seemed like a normal Saturday morning this weekend turned upside down when Maddie’s parents arrived at the baby’s crib. That’s because they discovered that Maddie was upside down. Well sort of. Somehow during the night, Maddie had spun around a full 180 degrees.
There she was smiling and gurgling in her crib, despite the fact that it appeared as if someone had crept in during the middle of the night, picked Maddie up and turned her around.
The next night, we could actually hear Maddie on the move. I took a careful look into the crib and saw that she had gently wedged herself across the width of the crib. Her headband was butted up against the side of the crib, which was making a scratching noise. I picked her up and moved back to the bottom the mattress.
However, the next morning, the baby had accomplished her 180-degree spin maneuver for the second night in a row. What makes this even more impressive is the fact that she is doing this inside her sleep sack. So my little human whirlybird is accomplishing these feats of strength without the use of her legs.
So what’s deal? Is she just trying things out? Attempting an escape? Moving your entire torso around the crib while your legs are stuck in a full-body sleeping bag seems like a great deal of work.
These nocturnal exercise routines don’t seem to be impacting her sleep. She’s been in a great mood and besides the obvious confusion that she is causing for her parents, there doesn’t appear to be any ill effects.
We have some concerns about the wedging issue, but we fully expect her to complain if she runs into a problem. She is a very vocal young lady who is always ready to voice concerns at the drop of a hat.