Thursday, August 11, 2011

A little reputation repair

Poor Jamie. I realized that all my griping about his nighttime wakings has given everyone a wrong impression of him. I realized this yesterday morning when he had a hard time settling down for his morning nap and I started having flashbacks to Judah's and Sofi's babyhood. Judah had chronic nap issues for at least the first year. So did Sofi. Oh my goodness, the hours I spent tiptoeing around, afraid to breathe too loudly lest I wake the monster. The grey hairs that sprouted as I stressed over arranging my day to protect the Perfect Moment-- the moment during which Jude would actually fall asleep. Any earlier, any later and our nap was toast. The standing riiiight outside Sofi's cracked-open door so I could swoop in-- the disciplining angel-- the moment her tiny feet hit the floor. The over-whelming despair at the sound of a train whistle going off, just in the moment I opened the bedroom door to walk out. The chasing them around the park or yard to ensure an properly tired child by naptime.

Oh my. Yes.

Jamie, on the other hand. The number of naps he's skipped of his own volition, I could probably count on my two hands. In his whole life. There was one bad-ish patch in there when he was about six months old. We had some nap troubles for about one? maybe two? weeks, and then we were right back to our normal, peaceful routine.

In addition to pretty much napping by the clock, Jamie is also one of those few-and-far-between children who doesn't seem very much affected by the loss of a nap. Sofi and Jude were unbearably grouchy if a nap was even shortened, say, to get to church on time, or extend a shopping trip, or a playdate. Jamie, however, is pretty much just his normal cheerful self, despite only 20 minutes (or none!) of sleep.

Also! He doesn't take days (literally, days) to return to a normal schedule after a disruption, like the other two did. He might completely miss his morning nap one day, and the next day he'll go down without a whimper and sleep his normal 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

We have tested this pretty much to the max. For example, three day-long beach trips, where Jamie takes a "nap" in the van (45 min, max) on the way there, and then sleeps another hour in the van on the way back after dinner. And the whole day long, he was pretty much his normal self. Not kidding. We've also wakened him every Sunday, a full half hour to 45 min before his normal wake time, to get to church "on time." And on Monday morning, he's right back to his usual 2 hour nap. No sweat.

This may not seem all that significant to you, but in our family of not-great-sleepers, it certainly is. Let me tell you, I would have rather poked my eyes out with a blunt fork than ever take Sofi or Judah on a no-nap day trip.

And even with all his night-wakings, he very rarely does anything more than ten minutes of nursing and passes right out again. A handful of times, we've done some pacing and rocking and tearing our hair out-- but not much.

So, all in all, ten months old and still nursing at night notwithstanding, Jamie really is our best sleeper so far.

Let the record stand corrected.



Jennifer said...

I know so many parents that claim the "my child MUST stay on schedule or..." stuff. And I gotta say, I seriously wonder if it's the kid or the parents. We're all taught that kids MUST have a strict schedule - that consistency makes all the difference, etc. I don't know - but I find it hard to believe that any kid really has that much trouble if they miss a nap. Despite being upside down in her sleep schedule for the first 3 months, Evie was/is a great sleeper. She never had a strict schedule, other than morning nap, late afternoon nap, nap whenever tired. As she grew, her tired times changed and I had to change along with her so that she got sleep when she needed it. We're still kinda that way - though, I try to keep a decent bedtime which sometimes works and often times doesn't;)
School is going to be interesting for us - a real scheduled bedtime and a real wake up time...could be the death of both of us;)

Herb of Grace said...

*heaves a tortured sigh*

Trust me, it's not always "parents not the kids". Sometimes, maybe. But not always. Not in my case. I started out with each kid thinking "Maybe THIS time we can be a little more relaxed..." And... No. Not. At least, not till Jamie. I have become BLISSFULLY relaxed about his schedule. Although last night, after four beautiful nights of regular sleep, J went in to "cuddle" Jamie when he squawked a little at 11:00 and he woke up three more times before morning!!!

Have you not ever experienced Susi's girls after/during a missed nap???

Denise said...

I have to say, I am always very interested in what works for different children and families.

For us, predictable naptimes ensured almost zero fussing until Elyana got old enough to have an opinion and get upset it was crossed or not always satisfied. Like, over a year old. I had the most compliant and sweet little girl of almost anyone I'd seen. And I believe a lot was due to never letting her get over tired. A predictable "once you're awake X number of hours you go to nap" really worked. Also, a very strict bedtime.

I always have been so curious whether the child's temperment or what the parents set them up for...

canningmama said...

your kids are cute. and resemble each other an amazing amount!