Wednesday, November 09, 2005

This Is a Hard One For Me: For months and months now (maybe a year!) Shiloh has been in nap transition. Her need for a nap doesn't really catch up with her until around 3:00 or 4:00pm. If she naps then, she wakes up an hour or two later, then is ready to stay up until 12:00 or 1:00. If she doesn't nap then, by 5 or 6 it's so awful. She's exhausted and cranky and so sensitive (as I would be if someone was telling me I couldn't go to sleep). But I need to keep her up until atleast 7 or she still doesn't sleep through. I try soothing her. I try comforting her, distracting her. I'm not into trying to convince her she's not feeling what she's feeling, but I also am trying to keep her even-keeled. Meanwhile Iva has needs too at this time of day. She's a little tired too, plus it's dinner. Interestingly, once we get past this tough period, that is once it is, say 7:00, she gets her second wind and might stay up playing happily until 9:00. We've managed thus far, but I am amazed that it's lasted so long. I mean, it was really different and easier with Iva so this is a new experience for me. But I'm worried that I'm implanting in Shiloh this precedent to ignore her body's messages (ie "You're sleepy") , and I feel like it is a real point of conflict between us, even if I am trying to be supportive. The thing is, her staying up until 1:00am just will not work for our family. It's not just that I want her to go to bed at a "proper" bedtime or something. And maybe for some families it would present no problem. But I really need this evening space to get myself recharged for the next day. It is my quiet down time, and regular solitude is essential for me. When I don't get it, I can definitely tell a difference in my ability to parent creatively and patiently the next day. This time of year Keith is only working two jobs, instead his spring/summer three/four (depending on whether you consider running a plant nursery and doing farmer's market as one or two jobs.) Oh, wait, I forgot he is doing a part-time construction job 2 days a week now. Add in another job. He doesn't get any space for himself either. But I'm talking space from the little ones, so that I can be a good mom. It is really the only non-kid space I get, except for 7 hours at work once a week. But that's not my time either, in the sense of getting myself grounded. So it's a toughy. I'm not trying to bitch too much about how busy we are, I'm just trying to explain that I've tried to convince myself that maybe I should just let her stay up with me, which sometimes I do. But that is just not sustainable for us right now. I've tried making quiet time earlier in the day, like around 1:00 (or even 2 or 3 when I can tell she's really tired) and encourage her to take a nap then. She just hangs on and fights it. Amazing. She's such a beautiful person, so unwilling to miss a second of this exciting world. I feel so sad for her when she's so sleepy and I'm telling her "you can't go to sleep right now". Any ideas?


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