Sometimes putting Cori to bed is the worst.
You have to wait until she gets tired to put her to bed, of course, but if you wait too long and she passes tired and moves on to exhausted, then you're screwed. She does not go to bed well. She arches her back in your arms and screams and cries. Nursing helps calm this, unless there is little-to-no milk (which is pretty much the case these days...milk supply is down to maybe 8-10 ounces a day total), and then nursing makes it worse because it adds frustration into the mix. When she finally calms down and starts nodding off, you lay her down with her favorite blanket. She rolls onto her tummy, and you lay her second favorite blanket over her bottom half. You rub her back, helping to soothe her through raspy breathing, cold sheets, or whatever else might be bothering her. She doesn't make a peep, so you quietly walk out and shut the door. Then she cries. Then she stops crying. Then she starts again and doesn't stop until you come and get her. You pick her up, and she instantly stops crying and is asleep in your arms -like *that.* But whether you lay her back down immediately, or wait a couple of minutes, or rock peacefully with her for 15 minutes, inevitably when you lay her back down, she wakes up and cries. Repeat 1-2 more times...then she's asleep.
"Let her cry it out!"
I know. We've tried. She'll just keep crying.
"Try just going into the room and soothing her with your voice but don't pick her up."
Tried that. She cries.
"But when you go and get her, she learns that eventually you will give in to her demands."
I know. You're right. At the same time...why shouldn't I? Yes, it's frustrating when bedtime stretches out into an hour long ordeal, but ultimately, she's a 10 month old baby who coughs herself awake who just wants someone to rock her or rub her back until she's asleep. She knows how to soothe herself to sleep, and when she's not overly tired and can breathe normally, she has no problem with bedtime. Why not let her dictate this one thing?
Besides...sometimes putting Cori to bed is the best.
You can tell she's starting to get tired. Eyes are a little droopy, and she's tugging on that ear. We go into her room and turn on the sound machine. Maybe we nurse, maybe not...eventually we end up with her in my arms, her head resting on the crook of my elbow, her favorite blanket already clutched in her hands. And because she's only sleepy, not asleep, and because she's calm, not screaming and writhing, she looks up at me, and I look at her...and she smiles. But because she's sleepy, it's like everything is in slow motion for her, so it's a really slow smile. When she blinks, it's a really slow blink. If I kiss her nose, she wrinkles it up a bit - slowly. Tonight, she tried to grab my lip, a daytime game that she thinks is hilarious and I think is painful. But it was a sleepy, slow-mo grab, so more feeble than anything, and when I smiled and whispered "ow" she gave s sleepy, gurgly, slow-mo laugh.
And it was the most beautiful moment ever. Seriously, I don't get super mushy or romantic about babies, not even my own, but that was precious.
Thanks to Grandpa Dan for watching the girls tonight since Chason and I both had other stuff going on. It's easy to appreciate these adorable moments when I'm just coming in for the last 5 minutes, and I'm grateful for his willingness to take on both girls on busy nights like tonight.
Speaking of adorable little girls...here's Pearl the Landlady. Most folks have probably seen this video, but on the off-chance you haven't, it's awesome. Warning: adult language.