10.16.2012

PORTRAIT OF A TEAM AT NAP TIME


we've been having a hard time sleeping lately. 

the other day i imagined a magic genie appearing at my side and "what are your three wishes?" he'd ask me and then i'd say, "well!"

1. the ability to make people fall asleep whenever i wanted them to
2. the ability to make people stay asleep for as long as i needed them to, and
3. the ability to make people wake up happily when i'm ready for them to. 

surely one could rule the whole world with these skills!

after a full weekend with visiting family and not a whole lot of naps and increasingly ridiculous bed times, today huck staged a massive-scale sleepless breakdown on the living room floor. it was nuts. rolling from one end of the room to the other, shouting "OH, NO!"with such despondency, and finding that certain timbre of voice that can only be described as demonic. nothing i could do could help, not soothing, not joking with him, not ignoring him, not even bribing him with chocolate. i was plum outta ideas.

it was equal parts amusing and horrifying. my poor tired baby was exhausted.

finally he rolled himself into his bedroom and looked up at me from the floor. his eyes were brimming with tears, his chest heaving as he took big gulping breaths, his cheeks flushed and red lips swollen. i softly asked him if we could snuggle and he answered with a shaky, quivery little  "o-taaayyyyy." 

so we snuggled up on his big boy bed together, nursed a little and took deep breaths, until he finally drifted off to sleep, clutching my arm to his chest as tight as he could

it gets hairy sometimes. and i hope i always remember (though i know i often forget) that this little imperfect sleeper of mine, who rejects routines and insists on staying awake until his little body shuts down, this little dude and me are a team. we're in this together.




i call this, "portrait of a mom about to eat an impressive amount of m&ms"

69 comments :

  1. My Luc is 4 months old and so far, seems to be the same way. At night he sleeps in two hour stretches- IF I'M LUCKY. He'd rather scream himself into exhaustion. But boy do i ever love him!

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  2. My heart just broke a little. How sweet. I hate it when they get into the delirious sleep crazy stage. My 20 month old son has been waking up lately and he's a great sleeper. He's got 3 molars coming in at once. When he woke last night I just snuggled with him on the couch and he closed his eyes. He NEVER sleeps on me. I loved it.

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  3. My daughter makes the same nursing mouth *when* she sleeps. It's my favorite.

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  4. UGH such a sweet post. Makes my heart hurt. This whole "waiting for a little person to join my team as I pop a clomid" bit is frustrating to say the least - but this post reminded me to keep my eye on the prize. So thanks!

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  5. It's great to read such posts by mums, they are so inspiring. I guess the whole tiring and refusing phase is worth it when you have a small body eventually tucked by you ans holding your arm with his little arm and his cute face :)

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  6. You are a beautiful writer, and Huck is so blessed to have you for a mom. :)

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  7. I love this post - so beautiful and honest! Sorry that you're having such troubles, hope everything gets back on schedule soon.

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  8. Oh, Huck! What a sweetie. "O-taaaaay." A heartbreaker already!

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  9. i love this post. everything about it. it reminds me that i'm not alone in this world with a toddler who refuses to fall asleep on his own. thanks natalie!

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  10. Just discovered your blog, I absolutely love it!! And you are so pretty, am sure everyone tells yo that :)

    You will figure it out, yes....but sometimes the journey is very long & tiring!! I had one not so good sleeper followed by one brilliant sleeper. I miss those days of napping together snuggled together on the big bed....your photos took me right bsck to that time :)

    Love from London :)

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  11. I feel your pain. my boys were the worst sleepers ever until they were like 2, and since they are only 16 months apart it made it extra hard. one thing you could try is to get him to bed before he's over tired. it really made a difference with my boys when I could get them to bed before they reached the past tired crazy zone. another thing is to watch nap times, I had to cut out afternoon naps once they were 2 or I would pay big time at night. they ended up with more sleep per 24 hours once I cut the nap out.

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  12. Oh dear, this one really spoke to my heart. I have a little imperfect sleeper too and the first year was rough. So little sleep, so much exhaustion all the time. I have a special place in my heart for any other parent going through this and I really believe that none of my parent friends really understood what it was like unless they had little imperfect sleepers of their own.

    Hang in there, Nat! It sounds like you're doing an incredible job already!

    S.

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  13. This is so beautifully written!! It makes me excited to one day be a mother, stubborn toddlers and all. :)

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  14. Check out Joanna Goddards's post on how she sleep trained her baby. I know some people are very anti-sleep training, but when you see them not getting the sleep they need, especially after a year of age, it really is a good option.

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  15. Did you read a cup of Jo about this recently? She said her baby learned how to sleep from a great book she read.

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  16. So beautifully written and I can relate in such a big way. I'm on number 5, and I thought I had the sleeping all figured out. But my little one has thrown me for a loop in a big way, yet I'm not ready to let him cry. I just.can't.do.it. He is 18 months and I'm not sure I have slept through a complete night yet, and I know in part I am choosing not to go more extreme, but I'm continually torn with enjoying the heck out of his little soft white dimpled arms and legs and cheeks and watching his babyhood start to melt away before my eyes...I just want to cling on to it forever, and right now, I've accepted that I'm willing to trade sleep in order to snuggle him and give him a little extra when he is tired or scared, and that is ok. Because before I know it he will be grown up, and won't want those little snuggles from me anymore. And yes, I will sleep again! I have to tell myself that when I'm so tired and my body hangs on to that extra baby fat (it has to be lack of sleep right?). Thanks for this wonderful post.

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  17. poor little Huck. :( it must be so difficult for babies to have such little control over things like their sleep schedule.

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  18. This is my favorite post you've ever written.

    It makes me think of all the children who do this perfectly normal, frustrating behavior
    and are met with cruelty in response. Breaks my heart in half.

    Your boy is lucky, Momma.

    I started a Pinterest group called Children Need Our Help to promote preventing child abuse.
    To join look for me, fluxcapacitor74

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  19. My brother used to go, go, go until he eventually just dropped and slept where ever he was at.

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  20. I know how you feel Huck - that's me EVERY day. Hope you grow out of your sleep troubles.

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  21. THAT made me cry. So beautiful.

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  22. If I lived at your place, I wouldn't sleep either. Too. Much. Fun!! :)

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  23. we are all team naps over here too!

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  24. Nat, my littlest bean (a surprise number four of the bunch for us) is the same age as Huck and he is doing the SAME thing. In fact, around this age ALL of my children have. And what you may have to look forward to in all this (this has happened with all of mine) is that he may start skipping his nap and then start going to bed very early for the night (like 7:30pm)

    Hang in there Mama! You're doing a fabulous job! Huck is such a sweetie pie! And just think--he'll never be that guy when he's grown that can't get out of bed to get to work! :)

    XO

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  25. My son is definitely what one would call an imperfect sleeper. I have always wished he would sleep early and take naps during the day, but that's just never been his thing. I like to think I am a normal sleeper and would love for my son to sleep with that same pattern because I am tired. I know it won't always be like this, but in the meantime I will play with him until he is ready to sleep. Hang in there, mama!

    Theresa
    http://bomamma.blogspot.com

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  26. Aw, this post is timely for me. I'm trying to sleep-train an ornery and very cute 10-month-old. I really enjoy your blog, Natalie. Thanks for all the thoughtful posts.

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  27. This made me cry.
    I DO NOT give parenting advice... because everyone knows their own kid way better than anyone else... but have you tried (hard) to set him up to succeed with sleeping. Kids really do surprise you if you let them! I know you will roll your eyes... and I know you and the husband are smart people... but sometimes we just assume... "Oh, that wont work" but if you give them the chance to do better, they will... after some hardships of course :)

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  28. :-( I feel for you both. My little guy does the same thing, world's worst sleeper I call him. I feel that we've read every book on the subject and tried everything we can try, but my stubborn boy rejects them all. It's good to know we're not alone.

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  29. I feel you Nat! My daughter has been having a rough patch when it comes to napping. Hopefully, our children's sleep deprivation will be short lived ; )

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  30. This post hit home so hard. I am seriously teary eyed over here. I know exactly what you mean, I too have been there with my stubborn little sleeper. Thank you for this post :)

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  31. We have the opposite problem, friend. My Wes (18 mos.) falls asleep in his crib easily and sleeps 12-13 hours a night with a 2 hour nap in daytime. BUT- he is the worst kid ever when it comes to high chairs/strollers/carseats, and anything with straps. Oh these boys!

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  32. hang in there! all of us mama's have been there. the good news is that everything is a stage (though I have to remind myself of that often). you will both figure it out soon.

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  33. Beautiful Post! Loved the story of the blessing, Heavenly Father always knows exactly what we need if when we don't realize we need it.

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  34. Posts like this one is why I still read blogs. Thank you for your beautiful, sincere, and thoughtful words.

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  35. My daughter pulled one of these tonight. It's so heartbreaking and hard but it's worth it for the cuddles. I just remind myself that it won't be this way forever and one day, when she's a teenager probably, I'll be fighting with her to get out of bed.

    www.jackiemrussell.com

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  36. Oh golly I remember those days. We're mostly through them now and I am SO glad...it's one of the few things that makes me glad we're only having the one! But I would also give anything to go back and do it again.

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  37. As a mother of a very imperfect sleeper, I loved this. In my son's 13.5 months of life, I've had three -- 3! -- full 7-hour nights of sleep. And yet, when it's just me and him in the middle of the night, I can't help but love those sweet, quiet moments together. Beautifully written, Nat.

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  38. Oh, wow. This almost made me cry. I have an imperfect little sleeper man, too.

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  39. I hear you!
    4.30 am today
    And I have work!, yikes. Thank god for YSL and touché éclat :)

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  40. Beautiful post and very well-written. Huck would definitely tear up when he reads this post when he grows up

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  41. I relate to your posts so much, being mommy to my little 20 month old prince. Sometimes my heart could just burst from all the mommy love, and often I'm so tired. Hang in there, mama- sounds like you're doing a terrific job. xoxo

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  42. We had three years of hell, while our toddlers couldn't sleep alone or through the night.
    Then...then...I found the saddest and most effective method: FERBER!!!
    Now we are a happy, well rested family.
    Yes, they cried (no more than us :(
    But it was soooo worth it!!!

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  43. my almost four year old fell asleep on the couch while we were watching the debates last night. my six month old is turning out to be a lot like his brother. we've done gentle graduated sleep training many times over, and it's hard having to re-train after every little disruption (like travel). you and huck will find your way all in good time. and in a blink of an eye they're all gangly knees and elbows.

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  44. Hang in there. Try to get some uninterrupted sleep for yourself. Sleep deprivation is very REAL. I had a very irregular sleeper, and I didn't take care of myself properly, which didn't help either one of us. I just kept pushing myself further and further with little to no sleep. Was not good. However, I am happy to say, those times do pass, no matter how difficult.

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  45. My guy is six months and I am having the hardest time. I had to go to the hospital for a couple days and he stayed with my parents. We didnt want him in the hospital so he basically flipped because I wasn't around and it completely messed up his sleep. I am trying so hard to get him back on track and off my lap and in the crib. Good luck lady!

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  46. this made me cry a little because its so darn sweet. and these babies of ours, who cry and cry and then just when we're about to go insane, give in and grab onto us so tight, like we are the only ones who can make them feel better - well, they're just the best. lucky us, i say. you're doing awesome and huck is as cute as can be! xoxo

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  47. I had an aunt who said she would hold her youngest child in her arms and wouldn't let him down when she knew he was tired out and ready for a nap. He'd fight her for about 5 minutes and then zonk out on her shoulder.
    I used FERBER on my last child. After a Grandpa visited and trained her to fall asleep in his arms...and then went home.

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  48. Ah, sweetness. You and Huck. My girl is ten and still not a good sleeper, but at least now she can communicate fairly rationally about it. Some of them just come out that way. Huck is lucky to have such a compassionate and loving mama. I love that you are honest about nursing your boy too...it's such a soothing thing to be able to share and not so many people understand extended nursing. Be well:) xx

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  49. You are a good mom! You are my idol! :)

    xxx lena


    http://joyfuldiary.blogspot.de/

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  50. I just wanted to let you know, I get really sad on days when you don't blog. It's like waiting for a friend's phone call that doesn't come. Hah! Love your blog.

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  51. Oh gosh, you always have the best stories to tell. I love the way you write. And all those sleepness routines make it seem all worth it for that little "o-taayyy" and clinging to you while he drifts asleep. Absolutely adorable!
    And here's to hoping you get that mini-snickers ;)
    xo TJ

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  52. i could have told this very same story about my 2-year old but it wouldn't have come out near as lovely. i would have probably been a lot more complain-y, though. thanks for changing my perspective. the sleep issue is the one thing that makes me scared of having a second babe. i'm already a complete zombie as it is. hope things get better :)

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  53. I love how honest you are and to see how you go about handling different real life situations, I am a good few years from having a baby of my own, but I know that I will refer to your blog for a perspective change and inspiration often when it comes to be my time to care for my babies.

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  54. I thought I was the worlds most perfect mother because my first son was SO redonculously easy, like not normal. He started sleeping through the night almost immediately and has kept it up for almost his entire five years. It was like God knew how much I need my sleep! Then I had Wilder...my second little boy. He completely rejects routine and everything I've ever known to be true about babies. To avoid feeling like a failure, I in turn started rejecting ALL advice about the "right" way to get kids to sleep and stick to a routine. My second baby is just different. Different from my first, different from every other baby in the world...I mean, we named him Wilder for crying out loud, what did we expect?

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  55. My son was a terrible sleeper...I think he slept on top of me for months. Hopefully Huck will just eventually hit his own routine. Until then just remember that you're doing a fabulous job!

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  56. Getting that adorable little guy, let alone ANYONE, to sleep through city noise is a talent in and of itself! of course, if you are like me, there is something comforting about it, too. Precious pictures! And for a sleep-deprived momma, you still look great!

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  57. Hang in there! I know first-hand how hard it can be to watch your sweet little one struggle with the exhaustion that comes from resisting sleep ... and please forgive me for what I'm about to day, lest I sound like another one of the jillions of people who have doubtless offered you (unsolicited) advice on the issue. But have you read any books that clicked with your own personal needs and your mama-ing style? Dr. Weissbluth's idea that "sleep begets sleep" really resonated with me, and we've had great success with our little sleeper since reading his book. I 100% realize that these "sleep books" are everywhere and the last thing you need is more advice when you are dead tired, but some of his ideas really helped our little family a lot. Good luck, we'll be praying for you! :)

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  58. Hang in there! I know first-hand how hard it can be to watch your sweet little one struggle with the exhaustion that comes from resisting sleep ... and please forgive me for what I'm about to day, lest I sound like another one of the jillions of people who have doubtless offered you (unsolicited) advice on the issue. But have you read any books that clicked with your own personal needs and your mama-ing style? Dr. Weissbluth's idea that "sleep begets sleep" really resonated with me, and we've had great success with our little sleeper since reading his book. I 100% realize that these "sleep books" are everywhere and the last thing you need is more advice when you are dead tired, but some of his ideas really helped our little family a lot. Good luck, we'll be praying for you! :)

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  60. stunning pics!

    http://navlandstyle.blogspot.ca/

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  61. Oh my goodness, I definitely know what that feels like. Actually now at 2 years old my toddler still has a hard time. I remember those first months of life feeling just the way you did, thinking I could rule the world if only I could get my baby to sleep. Unfortunately those sleepless behaviors never went away. These days I console myself with the fact that my little lady is just different, who's to say there's a right way to sleep anyway?

    xx Jenee C.
    {camo meets couture}

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  62. Very pretty and classy, love the look :)
    I follow you now!
    Follow me back on facebook ,twitter,and GFC
    love you dear :)

    Marcchanelette.blogspot.com
    Marcchanel'ette

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  63. My bad sleeper is almost 10 and I know it sounds crazy when you are deep in the sleepless trenches, but sometimes, now, I want to sneak in, wake him and MAKE him stay up and cuddle with me. The craziest, hardest, sleepless moments are really the best ones. Enjoy them and the snuggles that come with....

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  64. Thank you for this. I read and never comment, but I have a 2.5 week old who is terrible at the sleeping thing and in the middle of the night when I'm exhausted and lonely, we don't feel like much of a team at all. Thanks for the reminder that we are.

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