Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sleep, baby, sleep

I don't know why the dink won't sleep at daycare. Sure, you can blame the fluorescent lights, the crying babies, and the stimulation of the bouncy seats, jumpers, and plastic toys. But I've seen him conk out at a Hornets game, while in the bathtub, and the other day for two whole hours in the afternoon while just outside his bedroom window a house was being raised. If it were up to me, I'd have him sleep for five out of six hours he's at daycare every day so when I pick him up, he's refreshed, happy, and ready to start his day, because that's when mine starts, when I get to be with him...When we say goodbye to his "teachers," ride home listening to the radio while he chews on his socks (still on his feet), and then smiling when the car stops, quickly into the house, put my breast milk in the fridge, and grab him from his carseat before he starts fussing. Run into the bedroom to take off my shoes and my shirt, strip him of his socks, bib, and pants, and place him on the floor while I quickly run to the bathroom. This is where the dink gets very offended. Every day, that shock of being set down so soon after being reunited with me. He turns red and screams, looks at me with horror. The thing is, I never leave his sight, but it's still too much to bear. Poor baby is too tired, typically running on a 40 minute nap in the past 8 hours of being awake. He is desperate to lay on my lap, on our corner of the couch, and nurse himself to sleep. Within forty-five seconds of latching on, his eyes are rolling back into his head and his body becoming limp. Naptime starts at 2:30 p.m., too late for that little tired man who prefers to nap around 12:30 on the weekends. And too late for me too, waiting an hour or sometimes two until I can finally see him smile, bounce in my lap, take a walk outside, play together in his room. On weekdays, I don't miss a second of the dink's awake time in the afternoon. I have all of those waking hours that I missed to make up for. But before you know it, it's dinner time (5:00), bath (5:30), he's rubbing his eyes (5:45), and before you know it, we're back on the couch, nursing, where we just started our day only a few hours before. So when the dink moves to his new room at daycare next week, where he's supposed to spend his time learning to crawl and walk, I will pray only that he wears himself out beyond his ability to stay awake. I'll insist that he be put down for naps twice while at daycare, so maybe the hours we spend together in the afternoon will finally rival that of his caretakers. Dear God, will you please make my baby sleep when he is not with me? I don't care if he ever learns to crawl, drink from a sippy cup, or even walk, for now. I just want him to sleep. Sleep, baby, sleep.

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