Struggle Series: From Snuggles to Disaster in 0.2 Seconds
Sweet Leslie baby, you sure are a morning bird! You were wide awake at 5am today and despite daddy reading books to you and mommy trying to snuggle you in your bed, you were awake. So, mama took you while daddy slept (thank you mommy!) and she fed you breakfast, packed your lunch, and when I came upstairs the two of you were decorating ghost and pumpkin Halloween cookies that you baked during the weekend. We snuggled and kissed and enjoyed time together before all leaving the house at about 730am. Papa biked to work (careful not to slip on the ice) and mama delivered Leslie to daycare before driving to town for her seminar.
Yesterday after work, papa rushed home to pick up Leslie from barnehage. You were sitting in Heidi’s lap outdoors when I arrived. You were so excited to see me and said “papa’n min! Papa’n min!” I kissed you all over your cold rosy cheeks and lifted you in the air and hugged you and asked how everything went for the day. Heidi said you had fun, played lots and were a happy little ball of energy all day long. But then, when we went in to gather your things and wash your hands before heading home, disaster struck.
You refused to wash your hands and fought me and I had to wash your hands for you, which made you even angrier. Eventually, you sat on my lap and we snuggled and I dried your tears away and we walked home. We picked Fall leaves along the way and waved to dogs and people and cars and said hello and I carried you in my arms, giving you snuggles.
When we arrived home, we went to the mailbox and there was a package for Leslie from grandpa Bob! How exciting! We came in the door and Leslie got mommy snuggles (or mommy finally got Leslie snuggles) and then you two sat together on the couch while I took over cooking dinner. We ate and talked about the day and Leslie was a little goofball as usual but did much better at sitting in her chair (almost) the whole meal.
Then, mama got Leslie ready for bed and snuggled on the couch while papa prepared for more painting in the stairway. Mama tried putting Leslie to bed and all went well until she left the room… Leslie was not sleeping and screamed and cried when Katrine left; so, Katrine went in and out a few times trying to calm her down and place her back in bed but with no luck.
Eventually I went in also and managed to calm Leslie down, but that failed yet again when we tried to put her in bed. Over the course of about 60–90 minutes, Leslie screamed her loudest and fought us until finally mama got her to fall asleep. Of course after this, we decided to postpone any painting since it was already past 8pm and we still had not cleaned up the house or finished other tasks.
We’re not really sure what to do with getting Leslie to sleep and I’m not sure there is any perfect answer. On the one hand, we want you to (re) learn to sleep alone in your bed and we want you to learn to go to sleep on your own without an hour of snuggles, warm milk and book reading. On the other hand, admittedly, we LOVE the snuggles, warm milk and book reading and need these probably more than you do.
It is so hard to get quality time with you during the day and it seems like everything is a rush with a few golden minutes in the middle where we get to enjoy time with you and so during the evening, we just love to snuggle on you and slow down and enjoy having you sit on our laps as we stroke your hair and kiss your forehead and read you books as you drink your milk. I’m not sure there is a perfect or “right” answer and I think most of this simply goes in stages because often everything goes well but there are occasionally stretches of a week or two at a time where everything is just disaster.
Admittedly, you were already exhausted and tired after being up early and a long day, so maybe we need to ease into this routine when it suits a little better and yet on the other hand there really is no perfect time to start a new routine.
We promise we are doing our best Leslie and we are not perfect. We love you and we want the best for you, both in what is hard and what is fun. Thus, the constant balancing and rebalancing of relationships between parents and their children trying to be likeable and fun yet at the same time serious and in charge. I’m not sure we will ever figure it all out and that’s why we simply do our best each day and try to treat you with love and do what is best.