Here’s what I don’t get.
Why don’t babies just sleep?
They’re little, they’re clearly tired, it’s not like they have a to-do list to check off before they turn in for the night so for fuck’s sake, why can’t they just lie down and nod off?
When I brought home newborn LD, I was shocked to discover that babies often need to be ‘taught’ how to sleep. What? Newborns are pretty much perpetually ready for a nap, their tiny bodies worn out after half an hour of blinking so I can’t fathom why it should be so hard. Even if they didn’t want to sleep, shouldn’t sleep just overtake them anyway? Why do they even get a say in the matter?
And toddlers. What’s up with those little siesta-haters? Sure, I read the books and I understand that the very act of being alive is thrilling in the extreme to little people and this leads to an active resistance to sleeping. But again, when they started the day at 5.30am and have been tear-arsing around for hours without pause, their eyes rimmed with red from the constant rubbing, wouldn’t it just be lovely to have a little lie down?
At this point, if someone demanded I have a nap, I would assume I had gone to heaven. And that’s without the parade of enticements like warm milk and bum pats, forehead stroking and lullabies.
Sometimes LD likes to reverse the roles and put me to bed. I get a (half-hearted) pat and just as I’m settling into a little coma (some 13 seconds have transpired since the beginning of the tucking in), the room floods with light and a sing-song voice declaring, “Morning time!” In some ways, I really hate this game. It feels Guantanamo-esque to me.
So, sleep. I don’t get it. Literally and figuratively.
LD, while sleeping through every night now (after some standard arsing about before bed time), refuses a day nap – a nap he sorely needs. A nap I very sorely need him to have.
Zee, since his arrival, has been a sleep resister. I could count on my fingers the number of times he has slept through the night – and I mean, ten or more hours, really, really slept through. And during the day, he will almost always wake after one sleep cycle (about 45 minutes). At least in more recent times, I can resettle him and get another hour or so.
Getting him to sleep is a bitch when he knows his big brother is still up playing. And being the lightest sleeper in the world means that keeping him asleep is even harder. If, during the resettling process, Zee hears a noise that is obviously coming from his big brother who is obviously playing, the resettling is pretty much fucked.
So LD spends his little brother’s nap times being constantly shh-shhed. I hate to stifle the kid’s creative play but hey, I know a way to solve the whole problem. You have a nap, too, LD!
Short of that, I think the only solution is separate sleeping quarters - another wing, if you will.
Either that or a couple of nannies.