Anybody who really knows me (and basically I'm talking about only the hubs here) knows just how hard I find it to catch forty winks. It was like this even before I had children, so these days it's damn near impossible.
However, where there's a will, there's a way....
It had been an early morning for me. Most mornings are early by definition (the boys have been beating the sun up for a while now) but usually I stay put in my bed and drift in and out of sleep with my little girl plugged in.
It's our 22 month old that thinks his day starts at 5:00am. And he's so vocal about it that our three year old always usually ends up joining the morning party - which Daddy hosts. Nursing gives me a 'free' pass, but like I tell the hubs;
'It's exhausting nursing - even if I am lying down with my eyes closed...'
But (as I mentioned in yesterdays morning's 6:05am post) I'd gotten some connected sleep - almost 6 hours of it - so when I woke up at 5:20am, I was bouncing around like Tigger (sorry for the Disney simile; Winnie The Pooh is babysitting the boys while I type this. Don't judge me! I'm hostage to a sleeping baby and Pooh is very effective at keeping them in my eyesight and out of mischief!)
It's really hard for me to go back to sleep when I get fully woken up (breastfeeding doesn't count - I can feed in my sleep). But yesterday morning I really needed to. By mid morning, when music class was done and I'd herded my tribe back into the minivan I was knackered. When I come down I come down hard.
Actually I think I was wrecked before we even left the house. That's why we rocked up in our jimmy-jams (my clothes may have looked deceptively like day wear, but I had indeed slept in them). Choosing not to load up a flask of coffee for the road had been a bad decision on Momma's part.
Anyway, instead of heading on to library Toddler Time for a bit of a social with the Mommies, I drove straight home, and luckily - in spite of my eldest being a creature of habit - he didn't complain about the last minute 'deviation' from his Monday morning routine.
I think he was as glad as Momma to be bailing on the outside world. A cold front came in a few days ago (last night was the first hard freeze in Texas this Winter) so it's really nice to get back inside and get all warmed up and cosy with the Chrimbo tree lights aglow.
When we got home my eldest nibbled his snack and actually asked if he could go to his Thomas bed.
"Sure Baby." I had to restrain my celebratory air punch. He likes me to tuck him in, so I followed him to his room and snuggled him in tight under his 'blankie'. He was away before I even left the room.
Step 1 accomplished.
Now for the slightly more challenging Step 2; getting L-Boy to sleep too.
It's impossible to get him napping in the room with his brother. Bedtime works, but naptime doesn't. (Don't ask me why). It's for the best, in any case, as L-Boy will often wail out during his nap and that wakes up S-boy too early.
When I got back to the cabin, Little Miss D (who had been snoozing in her car seat) was starting to stir. Suck. All was not lost though. It had been a short snooze. She most definitely needed more shut-eye...
L-Boy was playing 'Tracks' (awesome activity - I have to blog about it sometime) on the floor near Baby's car seat, which is probably why she was preemptively stirring.
"Nap-time!" I announced. "Couch or stroller?" It's a little trick I worked out some time ago. If I offer two options they always pick one.
Crazy simple, huh?
If I ask them to do the one thing I want they always wail 'NOOOOOOOOO!' but if I give them a choice they are seduced by the 'power'.
Even if both options are crap.
"Do you want some prunes baby?"
"Prunes or carrots?"
"Prunes please Mommy."
Works every time.
He hates being confined in the stroller to nap, so he quickly scampered up on the couch and closed his eyes. The next time I looked over at him had already passed out. What the....?
That was almost too easy!
The finally part of the challenge was to get Little Miss D back down in a safe place so Mommy could close her eyes too........
It's always best NOT get my hopes up though.
I realized too late that if L-Boy had been in the stroller I could have retreated to Momma's bed with Little Miss D. As it was, I needed to be on hand for my 22 month old when he woke up - just in case he decided to pull up a chair at the hob and fry eggs for everybody (I wouldn't put it past him).
I sat beside him on the couch and started foot-bouncing my now very awake little baby, who was holding her toes and squealing in delight at the bouncing action. Not really the effect I'd been hoping for but incredibly cute none the less.
She was happy but not going to sleep anytime soon (or so I thought). I laid my head on the arm of the couch and my eyes started to feel really heavy. I closed them and felt myself drifting off to that wonderful nothing place.
Then I was back.
I'd been rudely awoken by Baby girl's cry of objection the second her bouncing motion ceased. This happened 5 or maybe 25 times before I decided to snuggle her up beside me and milk-inebriate her to sleep.
But the girl can already roll. Dammit.
Safety First, Momma! I was suddenly more alert and strategizing my next move.
Without moving from my position or dislodging Baby (who had mercifully drifted off to sleep) I used my free arm to reach over and drag the little Target ottoman to the side of the couch.
Hmmm. Not quite long enough to catch my huge milk-fattened baby...
I desperately continued stretching and reaching until my fingers clasped the leg of the armchair and with all the strength I could muster I dragged it around the side of the couch lining it up beside the Ottoman. Safe as houses...
Bingo Bango BOOM! I was already asleep.
The next thing I knew, someone was holding a ghetto blaster (anyone remember those things?) next to my head.
Noooo, don't wake the babies!
My hand grappled for the ghetto blaster (which was really my phone). I'm far too stupid to silence it, seriously - I don't know how to do it. I read 'Daddy' on the screen...
"We're napping." I whisper croak.
"Ah, sorry Baby," he crooned, "Go back to sleep."
"No, I'm awake now...." I didn't want to miss my midday phone call. But I don't remember what either of us said next. I must have fallen back to sleep holding the phone.
The whining was coming from the couch beside me. He didn't realize I was right there. Without saying a word I pinned him down with my foot and he wrapped himself around it like a Boa constrictor with it's prey before going back to sleep.
It was 1:30pm when I eventually extricated myself from the between the two littlest. I could hear sounds coming from the kids' bedroom. S-Boy was already awake. And Thank God for that. He'd been asleep since just after 11:00am.
When I checked my phone I noticed Daddy had called at 1:02pm. I'd been napping for over an hour and a half even before he'd called!
Now that's what I call a nap!
I was so pumped, after my nap, I reenacted the whole thing over (playing the part of Mom and all three babies) to the hubs the second he walked through the door. To his credit he listened to it all with genuine awe and fascination (or maybe the goofy expression meant he was thinking; 'OMG - she's finally lost it.' Yep. That sounds more likely.)
I wonder if we can do it all over again today......