Thread for Machine Scribbling

Poor Evan’s so thrown off this week I don’t know how to throw him back on. It’s hard when you know what your baby needs but you can’t figure out how to help him get it. I’ve put him down three times now for naps and left him to sleep, but unfortunately, sleep isn’t coming. The best I can do is give him the opportunity but it’s hard to know that I can’t actually give him what he needs. I guess maybe this is my first training in stepping back; training for years from now when he’ll need to solve his own problems, to quell his own dramas, to negotiate his own way in the world. Except obviously getting himself back in his groove isn’t something Evan can do on his own yet.

Times like these make me reach for my parenting books, even though I already know what they say. I sit holding Evan in my lap as he reaches for his toys (play!) while sucking his first two fingers and covering his eyes with his arm (sleep!) and try to read him, try to soothe him, try to give him the chance to let me know what he needs.

The sleepier he gets the harder it is for me to tell when he’s ready for sleep. It’s so hard.

Threads and Doodles

All I can do today is just sort of ride it out. I’ve spent “nap” times today doing a little machine doodling. Machine scribbling is maybe more like it. I don’t know if it’s the mindlessness of the work or the fun of watching patterns and shapes emerge that makes this the perfect project for today or if it’s the way in which the randomness of the threads, the cacophany of the colors and lines, mimics our mutual state of mind here.

Either way.


5 Responses to “Scribble”

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Peter Quinn

  2. My Evan always slept better *on* me. He was usually in a sling or in my lap. For naps, I’d lie down next to him until he went to sleep, then I’d sneak away… I got very good at the arm-under-the-head removal.

    I remember reading something about how my state of mind transferred to him… if I was holding him, thinking, “When will this baby sleep? I need some ME time. I’ve got to do the dishes, start dinner. Why isn’t he sleeping?” he’d pick up on that, and stay awake, but if I could clear my mind (ha!), breathe rhythmically, he’d go to sleep. That proved to be true, and was excellent training for later meditation. I’m not saying that’s the case with you guys, I was just kind of amazed how it worked. Like magic.

  3. 3 Julie

    He’s never been able to fall asleep in our arms but has always, always been a great sleeper. The week home last week, though, did him in completely. Between his recent transition to two naps from three and the hustle and bustle of being at Grandma’s, he’s just kind of messed up. He’s so much more social now that he wanted to stay up and play and see everyone and while we tried to keep things low key, it never all works as you planned and now he doesn’t know which way is up! This afternoon, though, he did finally sleep for over an hour. THANK GOD!!!

    I’ve definitely noticed that the breathing thing works to help slow him down before bed, though. That’s a great little trick.

  4. He’s reaching the stage where he’s afraid he’s going to fall asleep and miss the pony rides, right?

    Mira’s sleep is also suffering right now. I’ve been so busy that her second nap of the day is usually a quick catnap in the car, and she’s reacting by not sleeping as much at night now. (Sleep begets sleep. So true.) Her teeth aren’t helping, either.

    Is Evan teething? That could be another issue throwing off his sleep.

  5. 5 Julie

    Whoa. You guys have pony rides? I just invite all my friends over during nap time and we drink formula and play with things we’re not supposed to. I can’t figure out why Evan would feel he’s missing out on anything!

    As for teeth, his top incisors just broke through so he’s got six now and I think we’re in a between period with the teeth.

    In today’s news: Evan slept like, well, like a baby this morning’s nap and is back down for numero dos. Much better.

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