I find it amazing how, when I spend less time on my own, I end up thinking more. Our week has been pleasantly full, yesterday Sebastian and I ran necessary errands before going to the park - and at every stop we found some lovely, light conversation. Following a very tense non-nap, we packed into the car and headed towards New West, our ultimate destination was a good friend's house where we had dinner plans. Sebastian, quite predictably, fell asleep shortly after take-off.
Dinner was great - food from a local won-ton house - and was followed by a blissful period of child and husband/fiance-free time. My friend's fiance treated himself to a new Xbox (and Halo, of course) and Andrew and Sebastian went along for the ride. Meanwhile, my friend, Shannon, and I got to drink tea and talk. It was wonderful and something I had been craving.
We all stayed up a little later than we ought to have (she had an early shift and we had a grumpy boo, but no one really wanted to rush home to bed). We came home to a house that looked like I had rushed out the door with an uncooperative toddler... normally not something I would worry much about, but I was hosting my very first playdate the next morning. We stayed up a little later tidying before deciding to leave it and sleep.
This morning was spent cleaning, tidying, discovering that none of the markets nearby open before 8, but that if you order decaf at 7:40 at Blenz by Capers they make you an americano (YUM). We spent too much on organic produce and rushed home just in time to sort toys, vacuum and welcome our first guests. I quickly finished tidying (read: hiding all the crap that ends up on the dining room table) and when the second guest arrived I ducked into the bathroom to do my hair. I was a bit of a frazzled host and Sebastian was a bit of an ungracious one - but we had fun and I think most everyone else did too. People left within an appropriate span of time and the one family that stayed later was very much welcome. Sebastian had a great time playing with a slightly older boy and I really (*really*) appreciated the support and advice I got from an experienced mama of two. Again, something I had really been craving - just someone to tell me that a) everything will be okay and b) my bully-son is a perfectly "normal" two-year-old.
After everyone had left and we had eaten a quick lunch, I took Sebastian to the bedroom for a nap. The child was beat and we had talked a few times about how much better he would feel after a nap - but I was scared. Naps have not been going well around here and I was really doubting my ability to put this child to sleep (which of course is compounded by my vivid visions of trying to console a crying infant while trying to get a belligerent toddler to take a necessary nap), for a few weeks now, naps have been a black cloud over our days. The fight to get him to sleep would leave me so emotionally drained that I could barely function - and my mind would be left racing and unable to rest. I've been absolutely useless.
Today, however, would be different. Today I had a greater presence of mind - having spent time discussing all sorts of things with other adults - and I had a greater sense of myself - having begun to read and really internalize (parts of) Birthing From Within. Things started predictably, the moment we got into the bedroom Sebastian went from sleepy to excited, he drank his milk and then wanted to play/cuddle/read/etc. I stayed calm and focused and read from the same bad script I had been trying to follow since things started falling apart. But then... I decided to improvise. I figured that the worst that could happen would be that he wouldn't nap, again. So I decided to roll with things and see where we ended up and guess what?? He was asleep within 15 minutes. I had so stubbornly been sticking to my cool and quiet routine that I hadn't considered that he may need to start again from a more comfortable place. I went back a few months to where we came out of our last napless funk and put my hand on his back as he fell asleep... and he did fall asleep. I shit you not I almost cried.
The lesson is to not be so rigid and to work with the flow of mothering. A good lesson to have learned today and one that will help me both in my day-to-day and on that bigger day, the one where we welcome our new family member.
It is a tractor - he built it himself with just a little help getting the bits together
He was so proud (as were we).