The 1010 WINS news slogan “You give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you the world” runs through my head every time I’m trying to put my baby girl to sleep and my toddler son wants my attention. I have tried many times to explain to him that if he gives me a couple of uninterrupted minutes to get her to sleep, I can give him my undivided attention for the next hour or so. I have tried to entice him with baking or special art projects or playing catch as a reward when I return. I have tried putting on his favorite show, not telling him what I’m about to do, and sneaking upstairs. I have tried setting him up with something new that will keep him occupied independently, but five minutes in to each of these, he’s shouting for me at the top of his lungs, thus delaying the process even more.
My son also doesn’t seem to get that if he lets his sister stay asleep, we can, as I explained before, play more, one on one. She doesn’t need to be poked or hear his fire truck’s siren while she’s napping. Yes, it would be lovely for him to sing her a lullaby, but he doesn’t need to accompany himself on his drum, marching band style. And, as nice as his hugs and kisses are, climbing into the co-sleeper to give her one while she is sleeping is not a good idea, and he should consider any dangling limbs (if she’s asleep on me in a wrap) off limits.
I try to give him as much dedicated mommy time as I can, and I wish he would understand that it is much easier to do so when I’m not strapped to the baby for every single nap. Why is it that he can entertain himself and seem to not need me at other times of the day, but patience, logic, and rational thinking always seem to fall by the wayside right at nap time? If you give me 22 minutes, my son, I’ll give you the world!