This morning, as I tried desperately to get my baby boy to nap, I had a revelation. Like grief, there are stages sleepiness, and my baby was at the cranky stage.
It was obvious that he was tired. Every time he stopped moving his head would start bobbing and his eyes would close, and then they would pop right open again. He refused to admit defeat and fall asleep! He even went so far as to strip himself out of his diapers and hit me with them in order to show how displeased he was with me for trying to get him to nap. Luckily, they were just wet and not chunky!
Anyway, I realized I was in for a long long morning at that point. And to think, it was only 7:30.
I was really tempted to get on you tube and have the sweet voice of Samuel L Jackson read that new book to him I have heard so much about. I believe it is called “Go the F*** to Sleep!”
I thought better of it. After an hours worth of struggle, I put on Shrek instead and instantly he fell asleep, and, like the crappy father I am, I left him exactly where he was.
Sprawled out on the middle of the living room floor snoring like a fiend.
Yeah, it seems like a crappy thing to do, but after the major fight to get him to nap I am not taking any chances on waking his little butt up! He is going to stay right there until he’s done snoring and ready to run around again.
Now, is my chance to note all the Stages of Sleepiness that my toddler has shown me today.
The first stage of him admitting his tiredness is the droopy stage. This is when his little eyes are only half open and he isn’t running around the house wreaking havoc. This stage of sleepiness is really the only time that the rugrat can stay still for more than a second or two. He’s usually too busy climbing the furniture, tipping over the furniture, or attacking me to be still.
I also call this stage the hopeful stage because at this point I always hope that he is going to fall asleep right away. Yeah right! By now I should know better. Droopy eyes are only the beginning. This stubborn little tyke still has a lot of fight left in him, so don’t get too excited.
I often find the similarities between people and animals remarkable. This similarity is no different.
Do you know how puppies and kittens get kind of crazy at night, running around and chasing everything? Well, my baby boy does the same thing before naptime. He gets really energetic, even more so than usual, but not by much. He’ll shriek and laugh at nothing at all. Then, he’ll run around in circles, and if he had a tail he’d be trying to catch it.
This is his first real attempt to stave off sleep. He knows he is tired, but he refuses to acknowledge it and fall asleep. His theory is, as long as he is moving he can’t possibly fall asleep. It doesn’t matter that he is stumbling and falling all over the place when he walks because right now he is all goofy and all that falling down is funny to him somehow.
Well, that changes fairly quickly.
Immediately following the stage when everything is funny, is this whiny stage of sleepiness where everything is tragic.
He’ll cry and throw a fit over everything!
If he stumbles over a toy it is the biggest deal in the frickin’ world! He’ll throw himself to the floor and kick and scream. Doubtless, during this tantrum he will toss the toy that is in his hands away, and then he'll cry because the toy he had magically disappeared and he really wanted it.
Oh, and if his trains come off the tracks while he is pushing them when he is at this point of sleepiness, the world has officially ended. There is no coming back from that. There is absolutely nothing I can to do soothe him. If I place the trains back on his track, I swear he says “They are Just going to fall off again!” and cries even harder.
This is when I start pulling my hair out!
If hadn’t started pulling my hair out yet, then I am sure to start soon after he starts getting cranky.
The two upsides to this stage are that one he isn’t crying about everything, and two he is sure to crash in a few moments. The downside is he starts to get violent, which is kind of cute at first, but that changes after a second or ten.
During this stage there is absolutely no pleasing the little guy. In no time at all he turns into an evil little troll that isn’t above biting. I swear, sometimes I feel like I am living with a tiny Marv Albert.
The little guy finally falls asleep just when I start to wonder if I have any hair left!
Suddenly, everything that happened to get him to this point is forgotten. Yeah, I may have bite marks on my back and arms, and I may have a few bald spots, but just look at him! Daddy’s little angel all crashed out on the floor. So adorable!
I shouldn’t move him, but I can’t leave him on the floor. I'm just going to gently pick him up and put him in his pack and play.