Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Daycare 1, Mommy 0

When I picked Kaylee up from daycare last Friday, she was asleep in a bouncy seat with a blanket wrapped around her. She looked peaceful and serene, but when I went to pick her up I realized the blanket was essentially acting as a straightjacket.

Her arms were pinned to her sides so securely that she couldn’t move them at all. As I was unwrapping her, I thought, “Jeez, she’s not a cannibal. It’s not like she’ll lunge for your throat if you let her use her arms.”

My annoyance quietly smoldered for the rest of the afternoon, until I decided to try to get Kaylee to go to sleep. She’s reached a point where she fights sleep with every fiber of her being, and she’s mastered the art of squirming off of laps when she thinks an evil adult is trying to put her under. (Unfortunately, she can’t sit up or crawl, so she just squirms off to the side and then whines because she’s landed herself face-down on the couch.)

Anyway, as I cuddled Kaylee and rocked her, she was in her full-throttle I’m-never-going-to-sleep-again mode, even though she could hardly keep her eyes open. Her legs were kicking, her arms were flailing, and she kept yanking out her pacifier or smacking herself in the face.

So I decided to try the daycare’s methods and wrap her up in a blanket. (I used to swaddle her when she was a newborn, but she quickly figured out how to break out, so I stopped.) I couldn’t get the blanket straightjacket-tight, but I was able to keep her arms under control.

It was like magic. Within seconds her eyes started to close, and she was sound asleep within five minutes.

All right, daycare people. You win this round.


Jamie said...

My daughter is two and that still works.

tom said...

Hmmm, do child-rearing books have nothing in them about history? This is an invention as old as recorded human society. Child carriers, papoose, swaddling cloths, yadda yadda yadda.

There's a niche you can fill if no one else has, Heather: parenting book with practices supported from history and archaeology!

tom said...

... on further consideration, I wonder if the principle has anything in common with the hug machine designed for calming cows and autistics?

(And if you want to calm an autistic cow, BOY HOWDY do we have the machine for you!)

Heather McDonnell said...

I think I've been misunderstood. Yes, I knew about the concept of swaddling since well before Kaylee was born, but it STOPPED WORKING a couple of months ago. And here she's suddenly decided to give in to it again. Daycare picked up on that, and I didn't.

tom said...

Ahh! So in other words, she was just messin' wit' ya. It's a little amateur compared to how well she'll mess wit' ya when she's a teenager, but remember: a mighty oak of messin' wit' the parents always grows from a tiny acorn.

Heather McDonnell said...

I agree -- this is just the beginning. And if she starts taking tips from Rob about how to mess with me, I'll need my own straight jacket by the time she's 5.