Monday, August 19, 2013

Teach me how to Shatner, Baby Girl.

Picture a 9-month old girl in pajamas doing exactly this. With a pacifier in her mouth.

So I hear stories of babies (and their parents) with nice, calm, gentle sleep routines. Bath, pjs, bottle/nurse, book, song, bed. Or whatever.

I want them to come to my house and experience the whirlwind that is my spirited little girl at bedtime.

First, the bath. All is well, she loves the bathtub and splashing water all over the bathroom. Generally she is squealing with happiness the whole time. (Our poor neighbors.) There are the attempts to stand up, the flinging of water from the cups she must have in there, the attempts to TOUCH EVERYTHING, including the drain stopper, overflow cover, and the faucet. Which I do try to keep clean, but this *is* a rental apartment, and must she try to lick them??

After the bath everything goes all to hell. Getting this kid in pjs is like wrestling a greased-up pig. Well, pajamas aren't so bad, it's the diaper that is the biggest issue. She's in the stage where she just wants to crawl away from diaper changes, so it's definitely a challenge these days. The past couple days she has added in a "I hate sleeves! I hate pants!" kind of mood, as well. So she's been in short outfits, because it doesn't really matter right now.

Bottle, mostly all good there. Until she is getting close to full and starts playing with it. She likes to take the bottle away from me (she doesn't hold it herself yet to eat) and flip it upside down, pushing the nipple around so she sprays milk or lets it collect in the palm of her hand. And she'll lick the side of the bottle. Weirdo. But not that big of a deal, I take it away and all is well. She's just learning how things work.

It's after that where things take a turn for the comical. Generally she finishes the bottle, starts to let her little eyelids get heavy, and takes a pacifier. A couple minutes of peace. On some occasions, she will actually fall asleep at this point. I like those times. It's sweet. Usually, though, there is still a ways to go.

If she can't quite settle into sleep, she starts a-flingin'. First an arm or a leg, but then she twists around and sends her whole body into the most dramatic Shatner-esque display of "I'm soooo tired" I have ever experienced. She stands up against the back of the couch, sometimes facing it, sometimes not, and leans her head against it with her eyes closed. Then she slides back down and falls over, until she is either laying in between the back and seat of the couch or is flat against the seat. Hand over face. Then she flings herself into a different position. Again, and again, and again. Sometimes she lays on me, half on and half off, rolling around. Just... can't... get comfortable... She does full 360 spins on her back/front. She goes from one end of the couch to the other. Climbing over me to get there. I try to keep an arm or hand in contact so she doesn't fling herself right onto the floor, and so I can kind of ease her flinging around so she doesn't hurt herself (or me) while on the couch, and she gets even more dramatic about how my arm is in the way of her flinging and laying. Tonight she even added in some pelvic thrusts while she was sprawled on her back next to me, starfish-style. She'll walk along the back of the couch, laying her head down periodically, until she reaches me and just collapses onto me. She lays her head on my chest, but it's... just not... right so she picks it back up, looks around, whips it into facing the opposite direction and drops it back like a rock onto my chest. My poor chin has been caught up in this more times than I care to admit. Puts her hands up by her face but something's... wrong so she tucks them underneath her, between herself and me. Then one arm up and the other down. One tucked, one hanging loose. Switch it up again. Then she sliiiiiiiiiiiiides back down into a cradle-hold position.

Sometimes she's done there. Sometimes she is still not ready. More energy to burn, more... Shatnering to do. Sometimes when she lays against my chest she slides down so she's in a squat position or puts her legs around my waist... and then flings herself backwards. Hand over face.

More than anything, the "hand over face" is her "I'm ready for sleep" sign. It's like she's so over the day she just has to *facepalm.* She does it roughly 8 gajillion times during this little ritual, because she really is ready for sleep. She just doesn't want to be. If the hand stops floating on up there, she goes back in the floor for more play time. (Because obviously the dramatic flinging is serious business, and not for fun. Don't mind the grunts and squeaks and smiles and squeals and random vocalizations. They're totally serious.)

But I love when she finally does settle down, whether it's in a cradling position or if she's laying against my chest, and falls asleep. Even if she flips her head from side to side a few times. She is a very independent kiddo, but she still likes to snuggle to sleep. I missed it when she had stopped for a few months. I really wonder if she is going to keep doing this and make toddlerhood super interesting, or if she's going to switch it up on me again and make it interesting another way. There's no telling, really. I'll just keep rolling with it, and try to stop interfering with her "process" by giggling throughout.

It really distracts her from her "process."