Phew... this post is not really relevant any more since he is FINALLY sleeping soundly... but I thought I'd record some thoughts for posterity, rather than just blogging them in my head!
Baby Wombat, mummy's job is to be positive and cheerful and energetic all morning, no matter how little sleep she's had. She promises to feed you yummy food, to play, teach and entertain you, all singing, all dancing and all loving, and then to wind down into quieter activities which help you to relax, to give you lovely warm baths and read books until you are yawning and rubbing your eyes. Then she will lie down with you and cuddle, play soothing music and feed you as much mummy milk as you want until your heavy little eyelids close and you drift off into a sweet slumber.
In return, little Wombat, your job is to snooze. It doesn't have to be for long. It is better if you can stay asleep for more than 15 minutes, but so long as you get some sleep mummy will be happy to start the whole routine over again. But you must go to sleep! It is in our contract - in the rulebook AND the appendix. Otherwise mummy will start to get desperate and feel you are not keeping your side of the bargain, especially if you go along with all the preparations, close your eyes, start to snore and then immediately bounce up again as if mummy had been feeding you pure caffeine!
(I AM GOING TO STRANGLE WHOEVER IS RIDING A LOUD MOTORBIKE UP AND DOWN THE ROAD IF THEY WAKE HIM!!!!!!)
Consciously, I knew it was the pain from his teeth making him bounce around the bed like a pingpong ball every time he started to relax, but emotionally, I couldn't help shedding a few tears at the unfairness of it all. I don't want to have to medicate him every time he gets tired!
Yeti came and rescued me, taking Wombat outside to sit quietly in the rocking chair while I had a shower. He was perfectly content to cuddle up to Daddy, as he really was very tired, but as soon as he saw me it was bounce-city again. I gave him some Bonjella, took him back to his bed and stayed with him while he wore himself out playing, blowing bubbles on my tummy, nibbling on my knee and giving me big drooly toothy kisses.
Refreshed by my shower, I was able to be more philosophical, keep my breathing deep and even and daydream while I waited for him to wind down. After nearly an hour he eventually crawled near me, flopped down and agreed to another little feed. His eyes closed almost immediately, as he was totally exhausted, but even then his body refused to relax... it took 15 minutes of me murmuring "There, there... just relax... it's ok... shhhhhhhhh" over and over again before his feet stopped kicking and his arms stopped flailing and he finally fell deeply asleep.
He's now been asleep for nearly an hour and I have had the chance to catch up on a few of the jobs that I can't do when he's with me... we're running about 2 hours late on a normal day, but at least he got some rest... there have been days when I have had to give up on naptime altogether, which really upsets us both... all I can do is try to impose a consistent order of events, so he can predict what will happen next. The timing is up to him, and I have discovered that the only predictable thing about it is that it will be unpredictable. There was a period last week where each nap lasted for nearly 2 hours, and he was asleep almost as soon as he started to suckle! Really, these difficult days are in the minority... nine times out of ten the routine works just fine.
I'd better go do some more work now and take advantage of my momentary freedom before he wakes up ready for his lunch.
Baby Wombat, you confuse, frustrate and enchant me with your sweetness. I guess I must do the same to you. Sleep well, little love, and I'll be all smiles and kisses when you wake, no matter how little I manage to get done in the meantime. You are, and will ALWAYS be more important than anything else that might occupy my time. Sometimes I forget that, but my heart quickly reminds me.
It's in the contract - and the rule book - AND the appendix.