This might seem like a "no duh" to those experienced parents out there but sleep begets sleep. When Lakin has good daytime naps, she's more likely to make it through the night, not to mention, a much happier baby.
Problem is, Lakin fights sleep like chemo fights cancer; its aggressive, painful, and effective. She thrashes her body, wiggles her head right before she drifts off, and cries... a lot when she's exhausted. This is something I just don't understand. Sleep is one of the most fantastic things in the world. It replenishes and restores the body. Why, oh why, does baby girl think its so horrible? Long gone are the sweet newborn days where she would nod off in an instant in the most uncomfortable of positions. Now, if the settings aren't just right, she ain't doing it.
So while Mizzou was having its meltdown against Nebraska, we were having a meltdown of our own in the Jaeger household. I have never seen her to this degree. It was Chris' day off and it was spent holding, soothing, rocking, bouncing, and grimacing in frustration at her strike against sleep. Naps, if they happened, would last all of twenty minutes and there was no coaxing her back to sleep.
When we offered comfort, Lakin would shut one eye but leave the other open as a reminder that she wasn't giving in that easy. We had a Halloween party to go to that evening and were worried if she would be a true "monster" at the event. Finally an hour before party time, she was asleep and we tiptoed around her as if she were a hibernating bear. When it came time to put her costume on and get her in the car seat we hesitated, knowing any disturbance could unleash the beast we'd seen all day.
Turns out Lakin was a perfect angel at the party. People couldn't believe she'd ever been fussy. She slept in Casey's arms the whole time and even napped in her car seat in the other room until it was time to leave. Total 180 from her mood that day. We were thankful she picked the window spent with others to be her pleasant, charming self.
I think naps are hard for her because she doesn't want to miss anything. I might have been that way as a child too. It reminds me of a Growing Pains episode where Chrissy refuses to go to bed because she thinks there are all kinds of fun things that happen after she falls asleep. She even dreams one night that her parents throw a party the second she's in bed, complete with ponies, and balloon animals....anyone with me? If not, understandable. In light of that episode and the day we had yesterday I've penned this short note to Lakin:
You've proven you are strong. I respect your will and determination. I think you should give day naps a chance. They are so cozy and you wake up feeling all warm and refreshed from them. I promise there are no ponies playing, no parties being held in your absence. In fact, Mommy and Daddy read books, check Google Reader, and clean when you're asleep. See? Boring. So do us a big one and shut those little eyes and slumber. You'll rue the day you gave up naps when you get older and naps are a luxury.
Then again, this might be from all the Halloween candy we've been giving her...