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Monday, November 18, 2013

Resisting the Urge (Week 21, Day 3)

Labor Day weekend was a chance for our little family to lay low after several busy weeks. We had made very few plans, and were thrilled to have the weekend mostly wide open to relax. I can say we somewhat accomplished our goal. While the weekend was not rushed or busy, with Maddy's cold and diaper rash it wasn't altogether restful. Her sleep patterns have gone backwards, and she is now up every 2 hours at night, if not more. After a few weeks reprieve, this change was difficult to take on again. At the same time, I had decided to begin training for a 10k run in October, and decided to start by going back to a trainer. Trying to work out with a military style trainer on no sleep should be classified as some sort of torture.
By Labor Day itself, Madeline was starting to feel better, the rash had all but disappeared, and Mommy's soreness from training had started to subside. Labor Day itself was filled with the highs and lows that only a parent can appreciate - a lovely breakfast at one of our favorite spots, ending in a major diaper blow out and trip home to do several loads of laundry. The afternoon was spent enjoying the last of the beautiful Chicago weather at the beach, toes in the sand, listening to Madeline coo and talk endlessly. This trip ended because the nap we thought we could get Maddy to take with the sounds of the lake lapping in the background never happened, and we knew we were in for tears and a struggle at bedtime later.

At the end of the day, after bath time and story time and quiet time to prepare for sleepy time, I gently laid Maddy in her crib drowsy but awake, so that she would soothe herself to sleep. This is something we try to do routinely and she is usually fast asleep in minutes, after finding her comfy spot in the crib. Today was not one of those days. She wiggled around, and began talking intently to the mobile above her head. This is always the moment that is the hardest for moms, because you want to go in and try to get your child to sleep, however also want to allow them to learn and grow on there own, and discover and explore their surroundings. Since Madeline was not crying and in fact was enjoying herself, I chose to watch on the monitor and see what she was learning. I'm so glad I resisted the urge to go in and soothe for her, because as I watched on the baby monitor, she wiggled around the crib, until she found her binky, and placed it in her mouth. She would suck on it briefly, then take it out and hold it in her hand, talk to the mobile, and put it back in again. I'd never seen her do that before! It made me realize how important (and hard) it is going to be to allow Madeline to chance to learn and grow on her own without hovering too closely. I can see this getting harder as the years go by!