Mommy 1, Munchkin 0

I think I won an important battle yesterday.

We got back from lunch with my grandmother at about 3 pm. Both kids had fallen asleep in the car. The difficulty is getting the Munchkin into the house and into her crib without waking her up. Add one more complication – rain. I whisked her in as quickly as I could, but to no avail – she woke up. She did wait quietly in her crib while I got her baby brother out of his car seat and bundled up for a nap. Then he and I went into her room to rock while she (supposedly) went to sleep.

No luck. She lay there fairly quietly for an hour, while I drifted in and out of sleepiness and Baby Boy snoozed in my arms. When an hour was up, she decided that she was going to get up, too.

Enter Mommy’s iron will. I took the baby and left the room. She had napped for less than 10 minutes in the car, and there was no way on this earth that she was going to get up without sleeping some more. I had no intention of putting in a miserable evening with a cranky Munchkin. So Baby Boy and I sacked out on the couch while the Munchkin threw a first-class screaming fit. Maybe I should have laid him down and rocked her. But frankly, I was too tired to deal with her antics anymore. I needed some rest myself if I was going to be functional for the rest of the evening.

Forty-five minutes later, things quieted down. I finally felt confident enough to put the baby down, and I peeked into her room. There, fast asleep and clutching her pillow, lay the Munchkin. Praise God.

She slept for an hour and a half before I woke her up for dinner. She went to bed with minimal fuss tonight – courtesy of the Webmaster. We are working on a new bedtime ritual – we read Goodnight Moon to her, rock her for a little bit, and then put her in the crib. If she’s still awake at that point, we rub her back for a little bit and then leave. Her door is left open, and we promise to check in on her. Music is left playing. Usually within a half hour, she is asleep.

This is a dramatic improvement over rocking her until she is asleep. With the bedtime bottle now in the past, we had to find a new way to “decompress” her and make her relax enough to go to bed. It’s working, thankfully. And now we have to tackle naps. Sometimes, she is so tired that she wants to go to bed. But sometimes she just doesn’t feel like it. And since rationalizing with a 21-month-old strong-willed little girl is an exercise in futility, I just have to suck it up and let her be, no matter how loudly she screams.

If the police come to the door, they are welcome to try getting her to nap. In the meantime, I hope that she learned a lesson today – why not nap, if Mommy’s not going to come running?

Even if she doesn’t think she needs the nap, I need her to have the nap.

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