I love to know how things work.
Always have, always will. Which is probably why I love Google so much. (You can read about how much I love Google here, here, here, here, and here. Obsess much?) Google has the answer to all my random questions:
-How do noses get "stuffy?"
-What causes thunder?
-How do emergency vehicles change traffic lights?
No joke, I have googled all those things.
Now imagine, if you will, how having a baby has challenged me.
I never know anything.
It's a real dilemma. My love for knowledge has created a real problem here. I need to know what to do, what to try, in any given situation. I need to research and compile. Experiment. It's not enough to just say, "Oh, I guess the traffic lights are just programmed to do that" or "your nose just gets stuffy when you have a cold." I need to know what actually happens. Even though sometimes I can't understand it. (Like you know how much I love Apollo 13? Try googling the phrase "gimbal lock." Good luck with that.)
So how does this play out? It means I read. Voraciously. When Natalie was born we read Baby Wise. So happy we did. And I have spent countless hours on a blog reading about its implementation from one mom's perspective (see here). I read a week-by-week baby book, and the What to Expect version for infants. I'm currently reading The Wonder Weeks and let me tell you, is that ever applicable! (We are in Wonder Week 12 right now, if you've ever read it.)
Mostly this knowledge is beneficial. Why is Natalie so clingy/fussy this week, and why won't she nap? Answer: it's a wonder week. How did Natalie sleep through the night (10 hours) at 8 weeks, and never look back? Answer: Baby Wise.
Sometimes though, it's not. For example, nap time. I have spent hours researching Natalie's 45-minute naps. Hours. I have tried every suggestion out there, and grown more and more frustrated when mother after mother said, "Oh, this worked for me!" and I struck out repeatedly. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. So one day, about two weeks ago now, I decided OH WELL.
I have tried every suggestion with no luck and decided to just give up. I cannot force her to sleep. All I can do is provide opportunities. And as she is generally such a happy baby, and so content even though she barely naps, I've decided to just go with it. Her personality is really coming out: she now knows it's nap time, and she doesn't like it. We'll go into the bedroom and I'll start to swaddle her, and she'll start to scream. And it's not the swaddle. It's the nap. We used to sing "Jesus Loves Me" before nap times (because I read infants thrive on routines) until it got to the point where she'd start crying when I'd start singing, because she knew what was coming.
What a smart little stinker.
So while it seems like knowledge has failed me this round, I would say there are some things I have taken away from my experience. Primarily is that I know my baby better. When she wakes up in the middle of her naps, I can usually tell whether she just needs some help getting back to sleep or whether she's just going to lie in her crib and scream until she gets up. Six weeks of four challenging naps a day will do that to you.