Ever since we’ve incorporated a routine, Maddi’s schedule has become very predictable.
At 7 a.m., you can count on her waking up. Sometime in the 9 p.m. hour, Maddi will be laid in her crib and, within minutes, fall into blissful slumber. She has regular meals — if you come calling around 10 a.m., for instance, our daughter will be indisposed. You can even count on a dirty diaper every day about noon (unfortunately, you can also count on several random “bonus” diapers).
And each day from 2:30 to 3:30 and 5:30 to 6:30, you can rely on Maddi to NOT be napping.
Now, these are her scheduled nap times. In fact, they were scheduled by Maddi herself. At approximately 3 and 6 every afternoon, Maddi becomes cranky and her little eyes begin to grow red with sleep. So I pre-emtively begin rocking and singing while she is still happy, to avoid having to put an overtired baby to sleep. Alas, whether she is tired or not when the naptime ritual begins, there is one thing Maddi also wants to avoid at all costs, and that is her nap.
You see, Maddi is a very social baby. She would much rather be part of the excitement, even if the part she contributes is the screaming.
Clawing furiously at her purple-rimmed eyes all the while, Maddi routinely manages to stay completely awake through not one but both of her naps, assuring that she misses not one moment of fun. And what fun it is!
Because whatever oh-so-thrilling activity we may be doing, within five minutes it becomes familiar enough to cause boredom, and the boredom leads to sleepiness. And the sleepiness leads to the intense need to not fall asleep (this is VERY important to her), and that means that she must go on to a new activity.
Rocking with Mommy won’t do, so she takes a ride in the sling. Pretty soon, that threatens to lull her to sleep, so she arches her back in an attempt to propel herself out of the pouch and into something that will keep her more alert — like her floor gym. Alas, the floor gym involves lying down, which is also done during — you guessed it! — sleep. Such a nice comfy position … we can’t have that!
At this point, Mommy is probably hungry and losing it, so on to the table, where Maddi will sit in a lap just long enough for the lap’s owner to settle down for dinner. Then, it’s too comfortable. Time to stand and bounce! Perhaps some maniacal screeches will liven things up! Wheeeeee! MUST … NOT … SLEEP!
This goes on and on, all night, until our purple-eyed baby is shrieking and bouncing from activity to activity like a chimpanzee on crack. Finally, it is time for her bath, massage and story. These are Maddi’s cues that she is about to get her nighttime sleep, which for some reason is acceptable to her.
After nine hours, she is ready to begin the day anew. New places to go. New people to see. New things to explore. New ways to avoid napping.
You can count on it!
And here, for your viewing enjoyment, is an 18-week picture of our wee somniphobe attempting to savor all the joy life has to offer … even if it makes her miserable.