Lately, LO will not stop moving. He flails. He reaches. He bounces on my knee. He kicks in frustration. He makes motions with his hands as if he were Captain Kirk and sleep were "Khan!!!"
Even in slumber, the child moves. He will only sleep in his swing (and not very often in there) or in the car (if we are going at a steady rate of 63 miles per hour with no interruptions of any kind for gear-changing, braking or other types of slight changes in velocity).
This is becoming problematic. I can generally get him to take his first nap of the day without problems. (So says the woman who is currently waiting for the other bootie to drop as the child lies wakeful and potentially angry in his swing). His second nap of the day is harder, but if I can transition him from playing to nursing to swinging to sleep within the infinitesimally small optimal sleep window, I can generally get him to take a nap in the late morning/early afternoon. His late afternoon nap is generally an exercise in frustration for all involved, and the dog has petitioned me to please fix the noise pollution problem. But at least two days out of every seven, I can get LO to take an afternoon nap.
Then there is bedtime. I would like LO's bedtime to be somewhere in the 6:30-8:00 pm range. It would be great to have a well rested child. It would be glorious to have an hour or so out of every 24 when J and I are not specifically parenting. But LO thinks an early bedtime is for suckers. He screams when we put him in the swing. I have sat by the swing, singing to him for an hour at a time. I have snuggled with him in the swing (and I have the goose eggs on my head to prove the lack of real snuggling accessibility in that fershtunkiner swing). I have lain down with him to snuggle him into submission on the bed. The result: a child who is quiet and sleeping (or near sleeping) while I am there, and a screaming infant of rage the moment I get up.
I can't decide if the child is putting us on, or if we have the world's worst sleeper.
In an effort to determine how Machiavellian LO is, we allowed him to cry on Sunday evening, after a day of mediocre-to-awful napping, wherein I held the child the entire day and got nothing done. LO cried the heartrending shrieks of an abandoned child for TWO FULL HOURS. After two hours, he quieted down. I felt like we had broken his poor spirit, but still, I was thankful for the fact that the child was finally sleeping.
Then, to prove that as I am the Most Stubborn Individual on Earth (32nd year holding that title!) and probably should not have reproduced, LO started crying again after ten minutes. (I apparently will have some competition at this year's Mulish Awards Ceremony.) The crying was a great deal quieter, but that was only because the child had screamed himself hoarse. I cried Uncle and picked up the kid to nurse him.
Official score: LO: 1, Parents: -50.
Last night, we tried soothing the child to sleep earlier. He screamed. We gave him his regular bath. He laughed, then screamed. We snuggled skin-to-skin. He fell asleep, only to scream the second contact with Mom was broken. We bundled him up and took him in the car. He screamed through a tour of Lafayette.
At this point, it was 8:30, and I was pretty bushed myself. LO and I snuggled up together and went to sleep. He dropped off like sleep was the most natural thing in the world, and he loved his regular evening date with the Sandman. Apparently, if I want LO to sleep at 7 pm, I have to go to bed with him. And stay there. Damn.
I know part of this difficulty comes from the fact that LO is teething, and being by himself gives him no distractions from the pain in his gums. But this mostly has to do with the fact that I had to give birth to him in order to meet the only person in the world more stubborn than me.
On the plus side, I'm probably going to get all caught up on my sleep now.
Current Official Score:
LO: 25, Parents: -8 million.