Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Is That YOUR Nose or Mine?

We've been working on keeping Lily Ruth in her own bed all night. It's going... pretty well... I guess... She goes to bed with a minimum of protest, but she is still waking up several times in the night and starting in with the 'Mama, Mama, Mama, Mommy, Mom-me-me, *sob*, Mama' then 'Daddy, Daddy, Daggie, Daggie, *sigh*, *sob*' repeat, repeat, repeat. It's enough to break your heart and ruin your R.E.M. sleep. So far, we've stayed pretty strong, and she has spent the majority of her nights in her bed. The two times that I have broken down and given in to the pleading, I've been so sorry. She retains the title of 'Worst Bedmate in the House'.

One of the positive things that has come of putting an end to the bed sharing is the way that she greets whoever goes in to 'rescue' her in the morning. No matter how loudly she was whining, as soon as her door opens, she pops up and says 'Hi! Hi Daddy (or Mommy)!' in the cutest voice that you have ever heard. If I'm still attempting to sleep as she joins us, she puts her tiny face right next to mine and just repeats 'Hi! Hi Mommy! Hi! Hi Mommy!' like a mynah bird until I respond. Then she curls up into my body and requests nursing.

Once she's done nursing, she plugs her thumb into her mouth and scoots up onto my pillow. Then we begin our daily power struggle for control of my body. Her favorite self-soothing technique involves twirling my hair (using an arm that has slithered under my chin) while breathing directly onto my eyelids. She also still likes to play with my nose using the fingers of the same hand that has the thumb plugged into her mouth. This means that we are nose-to-nose, eyelash-to-eyelash, and breath-to-breath. These moments are so sweet. I love the fact that she feels so comfortable with me. I just wish that attempts to remove myself from these embraces into a position that is more comfortable for both of us were not met with shrieks of protest and violent tugs to my hair.

She gets that from me. The ability to go from happy to absolutely furious in .001 of a second. It happens so fast that sometimes I'm not even sure what set me (or her) off. It's erie to see one of my least attractive qualities in another person. It's hard to watch her lose control and not have any idea how to get it back. It's even harder when we both lose it at the same time and neither of us is willing to back down. We glare at each other and clench our fists and she shrieks while I seethe.

At these moments, I can almost always see what it would take to end the standoff. Admission that I was wrong, a compromise, surrender of a position that I'm defending for no reason other than stubborn willfulness. Whatever it is, I just can't seem to make it happen for a good 30 to 60 seconds. In that time, I wait for the other person to give in to me, even if I'm wrong. I just can't give up immediately. I see that same look in her eyes. That feeling of 'dammit, I'm MAD, and you need to do something about it'. I know exactly how she feels.

I hate that I do this. I hate that I've passed it on to her. How do we change it?

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