Her Anthem

They start off so well.

Well, maybe not ALL of them, the babies. Our baby girl did though.

Settling herself to sleep, and then sleeping through the night.

She still sleeps through, when the teeth aren’t hassling her… but for a few weeks now, she just won’t be left to fall asleep on her own.

Hubbie thought of the idea to just stand in her room and wait until she dozed off, and then quietly creep out. This is a great idea, because it saves me the back-breaking task of rocking her to sleep, which I never used to do at the end of the day. She may be petite, but she’s still 13 months old, and a growing toddler (though she’ll always be my baby girl).

As great as the idea sounds, and yes it is effective…. It is effective EVENTUALLY. Because of her game.

I think she’s not settling due to some developmental thing. She’s recently discovered that she can pull herself up into a standing position, and is crawling right all over the place. And when I put her in her cot for the night, she sits up, and then pulls herself up so she’s standing against the cot railing.

I stand there, side on to her, staring at the space above her cot, not making any eye contact.

She might make some noise, or laugh at me because she thinks we’re playing peek-a-boo, and I quietly pry her hands off the railing and lie her down, tuck her blanket around her again, and resume my wall-staring.

Again she stands, this time her teeth gnawing at the railing.

I wait a while, and then frustrated that this going-to-sleep thing isn’t progressing any faster, pull her off the railing and tuck her in again.

She starts playing with the bars of the cot. Out of the corner of my eye I see her stand up again – I ignore it. Her intention is play, but it’s too late in the day, and her tired legs give way and –

PLONK.

“I get knocked down.”

I try not to smile. She temporarily lies down, sucking her fingers. I think ‘good, she’s become discouraged.’

Within seconds she’s sat back up.

“But I get up again.”

Standing up again, leaning against the cot, chewing on the railing. “Ehh!” she yells out in protest. Play with me Mum! is what she means.

I sigh, promptly lie her down, tuck her in firmly, and say “Shhhh.”

That’s all the motivation she needs. After all she just broke me: I spoke.

In no time she’s at it again.

“You’re never gonna keep me down.”

I ignore her and stare at the wall, closing my eyes, wondering why she can’t fall asleep while I standing there think I may soon become a sleep-stander.

“I get knocked down.”

Over she falls once more, and she swings her legs from side to side. I hesitate – is she settling in?

“But I get up again.”

Nope.

“You’re never gonna keep me down.”

Tubthumping indeed.

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