Setting a “firm” date of “next week” always seems like a good idea when you need to begin something you really don’t want to do. It gives you the feeling not only of progress, but also of virtue – as if you have begun already. If you want to really get specific, you can always pencil it in “a week from next Tuesday.”
I thought about this this morning as I rocked The Grandbaby Moose while he slept. I have been rocking this young Moose for the past seven months and it is just about my favorite thing to do. The Moose has skin that might as well be made of rose petals; he is cuddly plump with creases and dimples in all the right places; and he snuggles right in. What’s not to love?
With The Moose on my lap and snoring in that wuffly way babies do, I have been able to watch the leaves turn to all kinds of orange before piling up at the edge of the woods; I’ve been able to watch the snow drift up against the stone wall; and lately, I’ve been able to watch a pair of robins build a nest in a dogwood tree.
The first time around, I don’t recall rocking babies as being so consistently peaceful and unhurried. Probably because I was always punch drunk with lack of sleep and hurrying on to something else: writing the abstracts for the articles that came in each week, playing with or reading to the older child, or cooking or cleaning or even begrudging the nap time because I had errands to run.
But now The Moose is nine months old (how in the world did THAT happen?), and it seems to me he should be spending his nap times in his crib, not in my arms. Besides he is enormous. There is a reason we call him The Moose.
So last week I set the date – I said “next week” I am going to start putting him down and teaching him to sleep on his own in his cot. And I felt virtuous at the progress.
There is no progress. Monday he was restless and I told myself that he would never sleep without someone to lull him back every time he surfaced. And so we rocked.
Tuesday it was dark and raining and I couldn’t imagine a better day for cuddling and rocking. And so we rocked.
Yesterday, he fought and fought naptime and did his best to keep his eyes open. It was only with determined rocking that he got any sleep at all.
I tell myself that he won’t still be napping in my lap and rocking with me when he is four or seven or ten or eighteen. It will all sort itself out and so, in the grand scheme of things, what difference does one more day make?
I think we will try again “a week from next Tuesday.”