My baby doesn’t crawl. She does not talk or even stand up without my support. She is only six months old but I swear to God she manipulates the shit out of me. I am the weakest link and she knows it so well.
She got used to falling asleep in my arms and she does everything possible to do so every single day: 10am nap, 1pm nap and 6:30 night time. This costs me lots of time. I could do with a bit of extra ME time. The second she falls asleep I know I have to stay there, not move much, hear her breath and count her movements. I know that when she starts humming like singing to herself she is close to proper being asleep. Five more minutes and her breath gets lighter and I can finally put her in her bed and mind my own business. Don’t say it. It’s my fault. You think I don’t know it already? I do. I know it so well. Thing is I never thought this little human can be so smart and have me wrapped around her finger.
I know when she is tired. I know all the signs. She starts touching her ears, rubs her eyes, pull her hair and gets grumpy. Whenever one or more of these happen she needs to take a nap. I leave her in my bed or hers, watching Sidney sailboat or Rescuebots mumbling in her baby language and blowing raspberries. You would say she will just be fine on her own but it’s not true. The second she realised I am not there she starts screaming her head off. I read it has something to do with separation anxiety. Maybe she has it. I don’t know. The only thing I am sure of is that she calms down when I come next to her. She grabs my hand and puts it around her face. Her tiny hands are wrapped around my hand and I can easily observe she feels safe. She closes her eyes and I can swear she is already dreaming. I try pulling my hand slowly but she grabs it firmer making sure I am there, I’m not leaving anywhere. So I watch Tiny Pop for a while until it’s ok for me to let go. By this time she’ll only sleep for another half hour. Fourth minutes tops. What shall I do first? Speed light I run around the house and get things done. When she opens her eyes sometimes she gets confused so she starts crying. I go to her and I see how scared she is. She stares at me hardly believing I am there. I pick her up and feel her tiny hand on my cheek. She love it and I hold her so tight reassuring her everything is fine.
Worst is at night time. For the past six months I haven’t had a full night of sleep. Not even half of it. 6:30 she gets her milk and falls asleep while eating. I hold her for a while so she can get the air out and move her in her bed after a while when I feel like she is fast asleep. Thing is, no matter how delicate I am she still knows the movement. I have to shove the dummy in her mouth so she can ignore me. It’s is a short term fix basically. She will eventually lose it and she’ll wake up for it as she needs to have it. Helps her soothe. This is why I have to wake up every night so many times. Plus the one feed. Damn dummy. Can’t wait to get rid of it.
I sleep like a rabbit. I can hear every little sound and I jump off the bed in a blink of an eye. By the time I realise what I’m doing I am already by Ruby’s bed with my eyes closed trying not to fall asleep over the cot while she holds my hand. Few minutes pass and I am back under the covers stretching my legs, feeling painful needles in my lower back. I fall back asleep almost instantly ignoring all aches. All until next time. After an hour or two. And every day I start it all over again. Few days ago we decided to let her fall asleep on her own at night. First attempt took around two hours. Fake cries looking for attention and lots of willpower from myself. I was tempted to go and pick her up, give her the dummy or let her grab my hand and stick it to her cheek. Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t let her cry properly. This was only her trying to trick me as usual. She knows mummy is weak and gives in to the attention seeking sobbing. But no. She is six months old. She needs to learn. Mummy needs to be strong.
Two hours later Ruby fell asleep and I have to admit it was the first night since forever when I slept five hours straight. She woke up for her milk and went back to sleep until 7:30 in the morning.
Aha! So it is possible. She can actually sleep without me. And she can do it even better if I’m not jumping next to her every five minutes in the middle of the night.
First night daddy was home so it was easier. But the second night it was me alone with the little munchkin. I done all we done the night before but somehow things weren’t working out. I left Ruby in her bed hoping she will eventually get tired and sleep. Instead she started crying. Not the attention seeking cry but the desperate, painful one. I thought something must be wrong so I gave up. I went to her and the minute she saw me things got so clear. She was screaming, staring at me with puppy eyes while having her arms raised towards me begging me to pick her up. God. It melted my heart and I almost cried myself. I picked her up, gave her the rest of milk she had for dinner and miracle. She fell asleep. Again in my arms. The only thing is, this time it was without the dummy. I prayed she would have a good night and she did. Thank God for that. I would have blamed myself for it otherwise. What I learned though is a valuable lesson. She knows me so well. She knows she is my weakness and she exploits it to the max so she can get what she wants. If she wants to fall asleep in my arms she will. Just like if she wants to sleep by herself. And me, like an idiot I give in to her desires like I have no choice. It sure feels like I don’t. She is the boss of me and I am the monkey jumping up and down on command. When did things turn this way? When did I become so weak? When did I forget to be strong and stick to my guns? Probably the second I found out I was pregnant. It started with food. She was eating through me and I was craving pickles. I forgot coffee and wine, eggs Benedict and calamari and I learned salads, cereals, natural juice and fresh fruits. That was the moment when my life changed and I became so sensitive and lost my brain. That was the moment when I knew I won’t ever be my old self again but the mother my little munchkin will always need. Even if it’s only for attention most of the times now. But I will always be there for her until my dying day no matter if she wants me for a silly reason or a real one. I am being manipulated by a six months old now but I don’t care. It’s the most beautiful feeling to know I am needed.
SONG OF THE DAY should only be