My day finishes/starts at around 5:15 pm every day, seven days a week. That is the time when little one gets sleepy and hungry and grumpy. Not necessarily in this order. Just after five I see her rubbing her eyes, lifting her arms so I can pick her up and making weird noises that actually are her way of singing.
I give her a bath, she has her milk and let the party begin. Sometimes she falls asleep in my arms while eating. And I am so happy thinking there it is. Peace and quiet. I can have my me time now and sleep after. But no. This is the quick fix. Half hour sleep followed by waking up, realising she is not in my arms anymore and crying until I pick her up again. This is why we decided on the hard way. After she eats I put her in bed and wait for her to feel comfortable and fall asleep by herself.
So hard. I never imagined it takes so long and so much effort for a baby to fall asleep. Just looking at her I get tired and feel my red closing slowly slowly. First she shows how annoyed she is to be in her bed, followed by moaning about me not holding her hand or touching her (I figured this out in time), rolling from one side to the other, moaning a bit more cause I don’t have about five hands to hold her, going sideways in bed (her favourite sleep position as well – no idea how she can do it) and so on while I whisper a made up song she got used to hearing before bed.
And this is only the beginning. After all this she finally starts to feel exhausted but she loves fighting it to the end. Just the moment I think she is getting there I am in for a new surprise. She loses her dummy so there we go. I give it to her and she thinks we are playing so she takes it out and gives it to me. I give it back and she goes further: we have the bunny she sleeps with so she feels the need to show she is not selfish and hands him the dummy playing back and forth for good few minutes. When she is done she grabs the damn dummy and starts scratching the board of the bed just because she likes the sound I guess. By now I feel exhausted myself so I am thinking I’ll just pick her up and she’ll just sleep in my arms and I’ll put her in bed when she is fast asleep. Joke. If anyone thinks it’s easy they are mistaken. Badly. She puts her head on my shoulder, starts to sing (more like humming) and I smile peacefully thinking this is it. Two more minutes and she is done. Nope. Not at all. She starts pushing her legs and bouncing up and down cause she is too big so she’s not that comfortable anymore.
Here I go getting more and more annoyed and tired while she lifts her head like a cute little meerkat and staring at me while sucking on that silly dummy. I am good now. I already forgot we are playing this game for over an hour now. Let’s start again. I start singing while slowly putting her in bed and I play repeat. She is rocking herself humming while holding my hand through the bed’s bars. She rolls from one side to another getting angry that my hand doesn’t reach everywhere so she loses my finger from time to time. And than she grabs the bunny’s ear (named hoppity hop) like for luck and starts throwing it from left to right until it gets dizzy and falls asleep.
Finally she discovers the bumper and she starts touching it and rubbing her palm against it like it’s covered in honey. This is how she falls asleep every day. Just around 6:30 towards 7:00 pm. It is the sleeping game that can drive anyone insane. It is the time when I finish my day and start it as well. Another me wakes up ready to have her well deserved glass of wine and do some readings and/or writing. It is the moment when I gather my thoughts and I start to worry about a million things (grown up ones). I get sleepy and try to fight it myself. I am not as strong as Ruby. I give up and surrender. I go dreamland so I can only be away couple of hours later. See, it’s like I buy a train ticket and train stops in between stops just to annoy me. It only stays a minute but it’s enough for me to skip the dream and start another.
But what can I do. It’s our ritual and no matter how much I complain about it I got used to it and seeing her sleep so peacefully makes me happy. And if there are hundreds of things I still need to do it ok. Just like Scarlett O’Hara was saying: “After all, tomorrow is another day!”