It’s important (mostly for my own benefit) for me to begin this post by saying my baby does sleep better than he used to. Things have improved. Napping is not going to get the better of me, oh no. I will crack it, and my babe will sleep.
(Please just lie down, just rest your little head, yes that’s it, no don’t get up again, ahh!)
There is one thing I can guarantee will happen to me every day, and that is that I will spend time sat on the stairs holding the tiny baby monitor screen, praying and cursing in equal measures, and repeating the mantras above. Still, even trying to focus on the positives doesn’t make listening to my stubborn and headstrong baby screaming and stomping to avoid sleep any easier.
(Please lie down, please lie down, oh god he’s never going to lie down)
He has many different strategies for trying to lure me back upstairs. He has the loud scream and the painfully hushed wimpers; the super angry face and the save-me-mummy-I-need-you face. I persevere, stay strong, don’t give in. He hits the bars of the cot, jumps up and down, throws himself around. He makes as much noise as possible, making sure I am completely aware that at this moment I am an awful mum, an awful person, I have abandoned him.
(Please lie down, lie down for mummy, come on you can do it, snuggle up with your ridiculously expensive comforter, feel soothed by your starry night projector and your lullaby player. Why are you doing this to me? Come on, just lie down already!)
Once this battle of wills reaches around ten minutes, we enter a new phase: dirty warfare. The crying reaches choking intensity. Reaching begins. The threat of vomit on a clean GroBag. Do I go up and prevent this? Do I ignore it? I try to remain calm, I try not to think about the smell.
(Come on now, mummy needs a coffee, mummy’s going crazy, mummy needs a break)
The crying subsides for a second. He lays down. Could it be? Yes, he is settling! I creep into the kitchen, silently fill the kettle and put it on. Is that… Oh there is a god! A long-forgotten Galaxy Caramel reveals itself from behind something in the cupboard! Oh happy day! Now this is living!
And then, just as the fantasy version of me has reached her sun lounger on her perfect fantasy beach and in the kitchen the kettle boils and clicks off: a noise. A scream from above. A glance at the screen and he is pulling himself up to standing. I’m sure I spot a knowing smirk at the camera as he pauses to take breath before the explosive screaming begins again.
Big, big sigh.
Fantasy happiness and real-world tea abandoned, I might as well go an get him.
Nap time has evaded us this time, but we will try again tomorrow.