Friday, September 08, 2006

Daddy's home. Wait - stop crying!!

And the day was going so well. I've got Fridays off with Oliver, thanks to my fantastic four-day schedule at the new job, and we had a really good morning. We did a little shopping at University Village, and Oliver got to walk all over the Land of Nod (he fell in love with a group of giant rubber ducks.) We came home, ate lunch, read him a new book, and then tried to go down for a nap.

Oh my God.

He's suddenly decided that bouncing is evil. We've used the friggin' balance ball to bounce him to sleep since he was three months old, and it's always been magic. Suddenly, as soon as the bouncing starts, he's flailing arms and arching his back and screaming! bloody! murder! He did this last night, but then he suddenly fell asleep all at once, like a switch had been flipped.

Well, today, that switch wasn't working. I tried to bounce screaming, bawling, bucking Oliver for fifteen minutes (it felt like hours) and finally, I thought, "Is this it? Is this the end of bouncing? Does he just want to go to sleep by himself in the crib?" Anxiously, excitedly, I lay him down in the crib. And then suddenly he's awake. Completely awake. Playing with toys, grinning at me. Wide the fuck awake.

So I just decided to leave him there and hope (read: pray) that he somehow would get tired and fall asleep by himself. And I decided to help him by laying down myself on the bed, which he can see from the crib.

Twenty minutes later, he was still eagerly awake, pointing at me and going "dat, dat, dat" to get my attention.

As soon as I pulled him out of the crib, he started bawling again. I tried to bounce, but if you can imagine laying a cat across your forearms and rocking it to sleep, it was like that. Chaos. At some point, he started clawing at my shoulder to try and get out of the prone posture and somehow pull himself to a safe place.

The screaming and crying went on for approximately forever, and at some point I was sitting, still bouncing, with him facing me and sitting on my knee. And then his head tipped forward. He fell asleep like that, his head buried in my chest, flopped over like a rag doll.

I know he's going through a lot of transitions now. He's a new walker. He's switched to one nap earlier than most babies do (15 months), and he just started daycare in earnest this week. But holy Mother of God, this was the worst nap he's had in a year. Things have got to get better, because that was just a nightmare.

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