We’ve all heard of the stories of friends whose children won’t go to bed. Children who want to stay up, playing, feigning such problems such as hungry, thirsty, afraid of the dark. Parents who sit outside of their children’s door, saying repeatedly, “You must go to bed.” It seems like it’s just part of parenting: fighting with your children over going to bed. Heck, there’s even a book about it: Go the F**k to sleep. (it’s a great book, fun to read for all ages!) I figured it was going to happen at some point, but at six months old???
Last night Alex was in a great mood. She had taken four naps at daycare, when she usually only has three, so she was very well rested. We had such a good time when we got home, playing, talking, singing together. (you know, as much as a six-month old can sing with you…) I knew she was very rested, so I started the bedtime routine a little later than normal, as she wasn’t fussy at all. She took her bath, and had a great time playing with her toys in the bath. Then we got out, lotioned up, put her pajamas on, and sat down in the rocking chair in her room for her last bottle. Usually she pounds down 7 ounces, and is in a food coma when she’s finished. We usually read a book quietly, sing a lullaby, then she goes to sleep in her crib very easily. Well last night she had something else in mind.
Alex finished about 3 ounces of her bottle, and then wouldn’t eat anymore. She sat up in my lap, flailing her hands around, ready to play! I didn’t know what to do – this wasn’t normal! So I pulled out a book, and she loved it. She started flipping the pages, and I read to her, and she would pound her little hands on the pages. She grabbed onto the book, and was having a great time playing with it. Every few minutes, I tried to give her the bottle, but she shut her mouth and turned her face. So we would play some more. This continued for about 20 minutes – playing with the book, reading to her, trying to give her the bottle, and getting rejected. Finally she looked up at me and yawned. I gave her the bottle, and she relaxed in my arms, lay back, and finished the rest of the bottle. She was in her normal food coma at the end of the bottle, she cuddled with me, burped a bit while I sang her a song, and then I put her in her crib, where she slept quietly until morning.
I can’t believe that at six months old, she deliberately was able to tell me she wanted to stay up and play for a little longer. Every day, she can do more, and likes to play even more. I can see more of her personality every day. She’s such a happy little miss, and it was so fun playing with her on my lap. The first of many times in her life, I’m sure, when she said very clearly, “But I don’t want to go to bed!”