Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tipping Points


Nolie is fully bipedal now, toddling around the house in giant fits and starts, lurching and falling, but definitely walking.  She loves to pull Addie's hair, and poke her vicious little nails into our belly buttons, and she still loves her Gigi and her babysitter.  She gives kisses and hugs and is full of love. 

Addie is currently obsessed with the police.  We're not sure why this is, but she's always asking what exactly we have to do to get the police to come.  "Mommy, how hard would you have to hit that other car for the police to come?"  "How much would I have to cry before the police cars came?"  That sort of thing.  She's bright and tempestuous, funny and loving, and full of strange and wonderful ideas.

The thing is, they are both total nightmares to put to bed at the moment.  Nolie requires mega-rocking and bouncing up and down, and is very good at fooling me into thinking she's asleep on her shoulder.  She'll even let me put her down in the crib, and then will start screaming just a few minutes later, wanting the whole process repeated.  I'm sensing we might be in for a few cry-it-out sessions some time soon, but her will power is so much stronger than ours, that I'm sure they're going to be really long sessions, and I'm dreading them.

Addie now requires that I lay down in bed with her until she's asleep.  I love this, actually--it's the only time of day that this very spirited child is calm, and I love watching her drift off.  After bath and books and going-to-sleep time, though, this ends up being a pretty long process.  Then there's the nights when she wakes up at 3:30 or 4:30 needing to pee or afraid of the "hic-boom-oh" sound in her room (damn you, Dora the Explorer!) and I end up sleeping in her bed, scrunched up and sore, and feeling really tired in the morning.  And she's not overly hip on Eric putting her down, so I'm most often the one who does it.

These are on the good nights.

I'm not trying to get out of parenting.  I love putting my girls to bed, treasure the moments of holding them and speaking quiet thoughts.  I know that too soon they won't want me to rock them, or curl up in their beds, stroking their hair and sharing the day's highs and lows.  But I also know part of my job as parent is to make sure they keep trying things out on their own.  They have to find their ways to independence, and I must help them do it.  Just like Nolie tries out her new steps, she'll need to try out going to sleep on her own.  Addie, too.

Usually, you figure out when these things need to happen pretty quick--things get overly-miserable or overly-laborious, and you know something has to change.  But knowing this doesn't make these transitions any easier.  We're reaching the tipping point now, and will have to make a move soon.  It might be a rough few nights when we do.

1 comment:

  1. I love reading about this, the usually sweet process of putting them down and then one night it's just balls-out nightmare. Not too long ago, I would fall asleep singing to Gwen and she'll finish a line for me and only then do I realize I've dosed off. Sometimes I fall asleep and Steve forgets that I'm with her but it's just our bed time so we forgo our couple time & hop into bed ourselves.

    It's true that just right around the corner, they'll both just want you to leave them alone in their room for hours on end. So, yeah, I cherish these times too.

    Thank you for such a lovely post. -Julie