Saturday, September 5, 2009

Going and Doing

As Grandpa (Rivera) likes to say, we are always "going and doing." I'm sure you get what it means, we're an on-the-move type of family and like to go out and see what this city has to offer us. Actually, let me be honest. Jonathan is really the "mover" in this family, and I am happy to go along for the ride.

Now that Ben is in the picture, we constantly walk the line between "going and doing--just the right amount" and "going and doing--way too much." Today I think we crossed in to the latter category.

This morning we found ourselves and Pops (Jacobson) on a lovely boat ride around the Chicago River. Ben enjoyed himself, we enjoyed ourselves...and the mid-day nap was interrupted (nappus interruptus, to be specific) by the fog horn on our boat. What can you do? It was foggy and I didn't think slapping the ship captain upside the head and us risking a possible crash with another boat was the right way to handle this. So, the boy woke up after a 35 minute can nap. He was in good spirits, but obviously needed more sleep. Figuring that he'd catch up later, we didn't fret. After the boat ride we grabbed a quick bite to eat and hoped that I could get Ben to take another nap in his stroller. No go.

He then fell asleep in the car on the way home and figuring that I'd be able to transfer him from the car seat to the crib, I didn't fret.

Do you see where this is headed?

We got home, I schlepped my big boy up the stairs (and up and up and up--man kids are 10 times heavier when they're sleeping!) and into the crib. Pop! Up he sat with a smile that said, "Ready to play now, Mama."

Another failure of a nap. It was 3pm and bedtime was at least three hours away.

Fortunately, Ben was quite a (sleepy) champ. Some friends came over for dinner and disctracted him enough to make it to 6:15 then it was bottle and bed time. He was out like a light...for about 45 minutes, then woke up crying, then went back down, hopefully for the night. I'm exhausted just typing about it!

I could go on and on about the minutae of this sleep thing and how just when I think we have it figured out, something changes and we have to find a new strategy. Ben used to go down with no problems, just bottle then out like a little light. Now he cries for a while before drifting off. Jonathan suspects that all of the major developmental changes Ben's going through are interrupting his sleep and I agree. But how much of it is because we are cruising through his nap times, hoping that he can handle it? This doesn't happen every day, but I worry about how this is going to effect him later. Hopefully I'll look back on this time, just as I have looked back on other rough patches, and will remember to be easy on myself. Repeating my mantra, "this isn't how it's going to be forever" has been tremendously helpful, as has the glimmer in his eye when I go to retrieve Ben from his crib. It feels so good to be adored, even if it is by my own child.

Parenthood is still so much an art, rather than a science, and although I am trying to hone my craft, I still feel like I'm painting by numbers so much of the time.

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