Naptime, Tanturms, and Baby Bonding

Warning: This post is full of sappiness. But sometimes you have to appreciate things in life, and if doing so makes me sound sappy, then I’m fine with sounding sappy once in awhile!

Today was a good day with my baby girls. I was loving being their mom and enjoying every moment of their preciousness. I especially love when I’m able to take the chance to realize this.

Greg was closing at work, which means he works 7 a.m. until about 11 p.m. because, as the closing manager, he’s the last one to leave the store. So days like this can be more tiring, with the prospect of taking care of the kids by myself from morning to night with no help. But why have that attitude when I am truly blessed to have these children in my life?

Each time I’ve been pregnant, I’ve liked to think of it as though I’ve been given a child as a gift to take care of. I’m not sure how many other parents think of it this way, but I do. And remembering this helps me appreciate my kids and not fall into parenting ruts or take them for granted.

Adrianna and Alyssandra playing on my bed

Today, Adrianna (who is 22 months now) was in a sweet, cute mood. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case nowadays because she’s been going through throwing screaming fits when she doesn’t get her way about something. This especially happens when she’s tired, though, and usually means I can put her down for a nap. When these fits happen, my method of dealing with it has been either giving her a nap or just popping her in her crib for a minute until she calms down.

If she’s ready for a nap, she’ll usually calm down and go to sleep as soon as I give her a bottle. If she’s not ready for a nap, I tell her, “You can get out of your crib as soon as you stop crying,” and walk away. Although she initially might scream louder when I put her in her crib, once she understands she can get out if she stops crying, she stops crying. Sometimes it takes me walking away for a minute and then coming back and repeating myself for her to quiet down, but so far, this has worked.

I know this isn’t exactly the popular time-out method as seen on Super Nanny, but at 22 months, I think Adrianna is a little young to be made to sit in one place without any sort of confinement. I don’t think time-outs are a bad idea, but I think that as long as you are stern but loving (not losing your temper), stay consistent with your rules, and don’t give in (showing your kids that you’re in control not them), then discipline works. Of the parents on Super Nanny who can’t control their kids, it’s usually because they are too wimpy to be firm about consistently enforcing their rules, and the kids think they don’t have to obey them and are therefore out of control.

Anyway, back to today. When I went into my room to give Alyssandra a nap at around 11, Adrianna followed me in like she normally does. Alyssandra’s crib is still in our room because she is still nursing and wakes up briefly a few times a night to eat before falling right back to sleep. For the moment, it’s easier to have her right there so I can feed her without getting out of bed, and so she doesn’t wake up Adrianna when she wakes up (because they will be sharing a room).

Alyssandra sleeping at eight months

So Adrianna followed me into the room like she normally does and sat on the bed with me. After feeding the baby, I laid her in her crib and she fell asleep. Adrianna had a stack of over-sized Legos she was playing with and kept taking them apart and re-stacking them. I laid down on my pillow because I was kind of tired from going to bed too late and waking up to get Jaiden on the bus in the morning. Adrianna took turns plopping down on the pillow next to me as though she was going to take a nap too and then sitting up and playing with Legos again.

Laying there, I started thinking about how lucky I was to have my little girl next to me, and how cute it was that she always followed me into the room. She is like my little companion, always wanting to be close by. Although she often follows me around the house and tries to help me fold laundry, or sit on my lap when I’m on the computer, I had never really taken the time to think about and really appreciate that I have such a loving little daughter who always wants to be around me. She often plays around the house on her own, too, but she always ends up coming back to find me and be where I am.

Adrianna

Of course, she’s still not yet two years old and as she gets older, she will obviously get more independent. But I found myself appreciating the closeness that we have now. I think if you realize it and nurture this closeness from the beginning, your relationship with your kids is bound to stay close as they grow up.

When I was growing up, my mother was always very loving and always there for me whenever I needed her. As I got older, becoming a teen and an adult, our close relationship never faded and there was never a moment when I felt I couldn’t turn to her. And I still do, to this day!

So eventually, Adrianna laid down on the pillow and fell asleep. I put pillows on the other side of her so she couldn’t roll off the bed, and I fell asleep too, since I felt like I could use a nap. That was the first time she actually took a nap with me on the bed. She’s usually too energetic and excitable to lay down and rest unless I put her in her crib with a bottle and it’s clearly nap time.

After a little while, I woke up and quietly left the room. About ten minutes later, Adrianna came toddling out of the room. The baby slept awhile longer. Adrianna’s nap was probably shorter than it would have been had she been in her crib, but it was okay. I love moments like this that really make me realize how lucky I am to have these sweet children as my companions every day.

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