Ok, so I know I dropped off the face of the earth for just a little bit.
But, ya'll, I've been busy!
We celebrated Ansley's first birthday. We welcomed a house full of family for a weekend. We visited a very special little man that made his way into the world.
And, we've had some frustrations. Ok, so maybe a lot of them.
I love my daughter. With every ounce of my being, I love her from head to toe. But, sometimes she gets the best of me and I want to crawl in bed and just cry. Because I can't take it.
Overall, Ansley is a very good baby, er, toddler. With the exception of a bout with reflux which we were able to make some lifestyle adjustments for, she has been easy. She never fussed between breastfeeding and bottle feeding, took a variety of bottles and pacifiers, preferred to be put to bed awake, and didn't freak out when we stopped the bottle a couple months ago. She's never fussed about eating different foods, and actually prefers peas, and as I discovered last night, broccoli.
The only difficulty: the routine and schedule. Not setting it, but functioning without it.
I've heard that babies really enjoy having a routine. This I discovered early on with Ansley. Dinner, bath, playtime/snuggle, bottle, bed. She turned into a pumpkin at 8:30. And if we didn't follow this, she was a terror. As we discovered this weekend.
We took a trip to visit that new little man. Two hours away (though, really, it turned into about a 4 hour trip after dinner, ice cream, gas, tire pressure, yada yada yada). She slept in the car, which was fine, because we hit the road close to pumpkin time. What happened next, I can't really explain.
She was happy. She visited with Gramma and Pap-Pap. She played. She laughed. She was so.stinkin'.cute. But the time came when Mommy and Daddy were ready to hit the hay. So after another short car ride, it was bed time.
She went down easily, and I went to shower and get myself ready for bed. The mistake came when I reached in the crib and covered her with a blanket. She hadn't been asleep, but was just chillin'.
The sirens went off. Normally, I would let her cry. But, as guests in the house, I didn't want to wake those just down the hall. So, I put her in bed with us. Disclaimer: I know this is frowned upon in most circles, but I loved having Ansley sleep in our bed with she was younger. I liked cuddling, since she is opposed to that regularly.
Anywho, she couldn't get comfortable. Toss, turn, flip, turn, roll, toss, turn, jump, flop, climb, turn, toss, climb, roll, b-i-n-g-o. Ok, well, she wasn't crying, so how bout a few toys until she fades? Bang, laugh, howl, hoot, laugh, yell, bang, Bang, BANG, laugh, flop, flip, turn, use mommy and daddy as jungle gyms.
Next step: rocking in the recliner. Nope. Ain't.Gonna.Do.It. Ok, back to the bed. She slept for about 2 hours, and the process started over. Seriously, I finally took a blanket and tried to sleep on the floor hoping she would settle down if she had more room. Yep. I caught about an hour cat nap while she played with the car keys and the headboard.
It's so easy to have a kind heart for your child when they are upset, or ultra tired, or hungry. I found it very difficult to be patient when she was in a good mood and playing.
But it was 4 in the morning!!!!
And I haven't made up for it. When you have an infant that wakes in the middle of the night to eat, your body has learned to function with minimal sleep. But when your child has been sleeping through the night since 4 months, you get very angry. Especially when coffee isn't part of your vocab and you are a very grumpy person without sleep.
So, the point of this post? Don't feel like a bad parent for finding, and sticking with, a schedule or a routine. Obviously, you don't want to starve your child because it isn't dinner, but, speaking from experience, they really like that routine.
And, you know what? I do too.