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Monday, February 15, 2010

Trial sleepover

This weekend an ear infection snuck up on me and Saturday at 6 p.m., after Annika had spent the day with Toyin, I called him and said I really needed him to attempt keeping her that night. I told him I was in so much pain and felt so crappy that I didn't think I could be a good mother that night.

He was hesitant to try it. He said he thought the plan had always been that would work up to it, but I was insistent. I could not be the nighttime parent tonight.

This wasn't how we had envisioned it. I'm not really sure how we envisioned it, but this was definitely not it. There would have been more planning and we would have talked to Annika about it. Other than that, I have no idea how it would go. Toyin hasn't put Annika to sleep in several months. He wasn't even sure what our routine was anymore.

For instance, he wasn't aware that she didn't really need to nurse to sleep anymore. I still do nurse her to sleep most nights, but occasionally nursing is just a distraction and she falls asleep without it. I imagined that he would do everything I do to get her sleepy, except nurse and then just cuddle her to sleep.

He asked me to bring a couple of things and leave them outside. I brought the stuff he requested along with her favorite books and a teddy bear.

He did not follow my usual routine. He stuck to his own regimen of walking, which is how he put her sleep when she was an infant. At first he drove her for a while. She got sleepy, but didn't fall asleep. Then he walked her around his building to and around the apartment until she fell asleep.

She awoke around 11 p.m. after falling asleep at 9.

He was able to get her back to sleep with more walking, but she awoke again at midnight and cried for 30 minutes before he called me and said he was bringing her home.

By then I had had several hours of uninterrupted sleep dosed up on ibuprofen and Vitamin C and I although I was not 100 percent, I was feeling much better and welcomed her home. She fell asleep after nursing heavily for about 20 minutes.

At that point I had not nursed since the morning and I was pretty engorged, so I was a little relieved to have her home. I guess even a part of me felt some reassurance that it wasn't so easy to stay over at Toyin's. She still needs me. 

This situation snuck up on us and I wonder in amazement that this is the first time in 21 months that I have been unable to care for Annika every single night.

I also wonder how things would go if I was totally incapacitated. She would be fine. Toyin would probably be in worse shape. He was pretty stressed about the whole situation.

So, now, I wonder when and if we should start hard core planning for her first real sleepover. Part of me is so ready for it I can taste an entire night alone in my own bed, able to be loud in the house, able to do whatever I want without worrying that she will wake up and need me.

But the other part of me, the mama bear in me, says, no, she's not ready. We should wait until she's completely ready and even excited at the prospect of spending the night with Daddy.

But that could be another year or more.

I would love to hear and suggestions or ideas for helping us transition Annika to the idea of spending the night at dad's.

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