Thanks to the sleep antics of my precious little daughter, I got a lovely little vocabulary lesson today when trying to remember (in the midst of mommybrain) the distinct differences between a hostage and a captive. Now why am I comparing anything in relationship to my beloved offspring to a hostage or a captive? Well, in the last week we went from two steps forward to about five steps back on getting her to sleep without nursing. I thought – I really thought – I had made progress by working so hard for two weeks to put her down for naps and for night without the aid of milk. Granted, I was having to walk and bounce and sing to her for 10 minutes and then rock her for another 5 or 10 each time, but hey, it was a good workout (I have killer arms these days & the rest of me isn’t doing too bad either considering I have zero time for “real” exercise) AND it was working. I was actually able to get her in the crib and have her stay there for various amounts of time (sometimes even up to two hours!).
But then she got another cold the weekend of Ben’s graduation, so the last week saw us reverting to Do Whatever Works, Even if it Means NURSING to get her to sleep. *Sigh* So that’s what I did. But I was determined not to let it be a complete backslide, so I’ve been working the last few days to get back to the wiggle jiggle settle routine that we established earlier in the month. No dice. Well, dice in the sense that I can get her to sleep, but no dice in that I can’t get her to stay that way as soon as I go to put her in the crib. Pretty much any time I try to set her down, her eyes pop open and usually they are of the Owl Nature that we experienced back in her newborn days – big and so-not-going-to-sleep eyes.
Actually, in some ways it has been worse than before. Before I could at least stand up from the rocker and she would still be asleep. Yesterday I couldn’t even do that without her stirring, and sometimes that slight movement was enough to bring full on fussing, crying, or waking! What the world?!
Several times in the last few days I have spent an hour or more trying to get her to sleep and out of my arms and into the crib because the minute I set her down, I have to collect her right back into my arms and head back to the rocking chair. Hence my vocabulary lesson on the difference between a hostage and a captive.
Thanks to my trusted guide, Dictionary.com, I now know that a hostage is a person “given or held as security for the fulfillment of certain conditions or terms, promises, etc., by another” whereas a captive is simply a “prisoner.” I went with Rocking Chair Captive because I highly doubt Raegan would trade my arms (or her daddy’s) for anything at this point. She so clearly wants to sleep in those two places only that no ransom would suffice, making us not hostages but captives of her sleeping preferences.
Now, thankfully we haven’t had to sit up in the rocking chair all night with her; eventually we do get her to go to sleep and stay that way in her crib, but Oh My Goodness, it is work getting there. One of the trickiest steps in the process, I think, is getting my one arm out from underneath her head. I can get the one that holds her bottom half out with little problem (usually), but that darn side that is holding her head and shoulders is next to impossible to remove without disturbing her. (I would call her Sleeping Beauty in this moment, but I have adamantly said we are not going down the Princess Route, so I had better not start with any princess nicknames, eh?) Nope – so tricky is the arm/hand out from under the neck/head maneuver that I have found myself, many a time, wishing I could just chop my arm off at the elbow and leave it there with her. Seriously! In the moment, that seems like such a good solution.
But then I wonder how I would walk, wiggle, rock her to sleep the next time and I decide instead to keep my arm intact.
And when the Owl Eyes pop open, yet again, I at least try to thank my lucky stars that they are such very pretty eyes.