Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wake Up, Little Westley

Westley is a fantastic sleeper. I am beyond grateful that he still goes down for an afternoon nap (almost) every day. Unfortunately, because Westley is such a stellar snoozer, I find myself having to wake him up from naps lest his body decides, "This is great! Let's just stay asleep!" And then wake up, after a full "night's" sleep, at 1:00 AM. No, thank you.

So at the two-hour nap mark, I go in and tickle his feet, talk to him, and, when that doesn't do anything except make him grunt and turn over, scoop him up. It feels mean, jiggling a sweetly sleeping child. Not quite as mean as jiggling a sleeping baby, but close.

Westley was a sleepy newborn. He was really tuckered out after his journey earthside (long labor = baby jet-lag?). Or perhaps Rob's swaddles were a little too effective. Regardless, Westley was more interested in napping than nursing.

We called the midwife. "What do we do?"

"Wake him up!" she said

Of course, this had occurred to us, but it felt so wrong.

We tried to do it gently, first by unwrapping him, then undressing him, stroking his cheeks, carefully jiggling him... We sang a little song, which you may remember if you've been here a while, more or less to the tune of "Wake Up Little Susie" (sing along, long-time readers!):

Wake up, little Westley, wake up
Wake up, little Westley, wake up
You know it's time for food, 'cause you are in the mood
I'm shakin' you to waken you 'cause you're my little dude
Wake up, little Westley
Wake up, little Westley
It's time to eat food

Finally, Rob broke down and put a cold washcloth on Westley's feet. Misery ensued.

As I hold my sleeping almost-three-year-old across my lap and sing to him, it's like having my baby back for a few minutes. Only now, I'm better able to appreciate his sweetness. I could feel so hostile towards that lazy baby - all frustration and "why-are-you-doing-this-to-me"? - but my slumbering toddler brings up nothing but joy (and a little false nostalgia for the baby he's not). It only took me two-and-a-half years, but I'm finally grasping the temporary-ness of all of this.

Yesterday, about an hour and 40 minutes into naptime, I heard Westley's door open and the scuffle-run of little bare feet coming down the hallway. Westley zoomed into the living room. "Hi, Mommy! I waked up!"