Somewhere around her first birthday, Grace stopped allowing me to rock her to sleep, instead preferring her daddy to do it. I pouted a little, but after I thought about it, I was glad to give them time alone together and happy for some quiet time for myself.
I didn't rock Grace to sleep a single time during the next seven or eight months. Not even once. If I tried, she would tell me NO! Daddy! and point me to the hallway.
And then, the great 20-month sleep headache began. (Don't write and ask me where I read about the great 20-month sleep headache. I just made it up. I'm clever like that.)
About two weeks ago, Grace changed her mind again. She didn't want her dad to rock her to sleep. She didn't want me to rock her to sleep. She didn't want to go to sleep in her bed. She just didn't want to go to sleep.
You can imagine how that went over. Not so well.
Then she started asking for me at bedtime. Not wanting to give up my quiet time for writing, I dodged her requests. I really appreciate the quiet time to blog and read and talk to my girlfriends.
Every night, it was harder for Joe to put her to bed than it had been the night before. Joe struggled and got frustrated. A few times, he asked me to take over for him because he was losing his patience.
We did everything we could think of – even converting her crib to a toddler bed – so that she would stop resisting the bedtime routine and just go to sleep. And then, in the middle of last week, she requested demanded that I rock her to sleep.
Not only did she demand I take over, she refused to even sit down in the rocking chair until I held her. The next night, her dad was away overnight, and she went right to sleep for me.
The third night, Joe was shown the door and given the NO! treatment. The fourth night and the fifth night brought more of the same.
The pendulum has swung back. Joe is sad. He's lost his special time with Gracie.
I know how he feels, and I know that he'll get it back again one of these days.
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