This may look like a picture of a chubby baby sleeping with crazy mad-scientist hair, but what it actually is, is a picture of me failing for the eighty millionth time at keeping Olive on a schedule.
Here is the deal. My daughter has always skewed more towards the “night owl” end of the spectrum than the “early bird” end. This never surprised me, because this was the schedule that I kept the whole time I was pregnant – working until 9pm at night, eating dinner at 10, going to bed at 1-2 am. It is the schedule that feels most natural to me, I feel my most productive after 10:30, and get the most done in the wee hours after midnight,
So, it was no surprise when 3 month old Olive was going to sleep for the night at 11, and I never did anything to change it, because who cares, really.
Then at around 6 months old she settled into a 10pm-10am routine, and that was fine too. And then she started waking up a million times a night and I got so so tired that I would go to bed shortly after she did, and sleep in with her until 10 am to make up for all of that broken sleep, and the result was that other than naptime, I didn’t really have time in the day when I was awake and Olive wasn’t.
She was awake with me or I was asleep with her and dang, I wanted some time, you know? I wanted some time in the evening to read a book that didn’t involve farm animals or sound effects, to eat snacks without having a tiny grunting face appear at my knee begging me to share. Plus there is the fact that even if I have the same amount fo awake, productive time as someone who wakes up at 7 am, it just feels lazy to wake up at 10am. And awkward when mom friends text at 9:30 saying their kid has just gone for a nap and do we want to get together after and I have to admit that we’re not even awake for the day yet.
Lazy moms for the win! To this end, several times in the past month I have attempted to ward off this night-owl behaviour and put Olive on a routine scheduled situation: Awake at 8, nap at 10:30-11:00am, nap again at 2:30-3:30 and bed by 8pm. Sounds good, right?
Well Olive is not the type of child you can just start putting to bed an hour, or half an hour, or even fifteen minutes earlier. My girl is fascinated and engrossed and inVOLVED in life. And she doesn’t want to miss a thing. So to start this thing off I had to approach it at the other end, and just start waking Olive up at 8am.
Brutally, meanly, cruelly waking a sleeping baby when she’d only had 9 or 10 hours of sleep instead of 12 and in the process of conducting this evil experiment I realized that holyshit that two hours was the key to the universe.
That two hours was the difference between my sweet, smiling, giggling goofball and a surly PMSing teenager who would be cranky and ornery and every time we had to change her diaper or get her dressed or put her in her car seat or take something away, every time anything happened at all it was the END. OF. THE. WORLD. and it was horrific.
Nonetheless, I committed. And let me tell you, those days when she went to bed at 8pm, bliss! We watched movies! We shoved popcorn in our faces without having to feel guilty for not sharing! I read books! Plural! We sometimes left her with grandma and went and did things! Fun things! Adult things!
I don’t know how, then, to explain how we always seem to end up back here. Here where she went to bed at 11:30 last night and I sat there at 8am this morning and looked at that face – the one in the picture above – and just could not bring myself to wake her. How do you wake a sleeping baby? It’s sacrilege! And after only 9 hours of sleep?! I feared for my life.
Anyone who knows me knows what I am like when I’m not getting enough sleep, Olive is like that but tiny and screaming and not even allowed to have coffee, which just seems unnecessarily cruel.
So I sat there and watched her sleep. I took a picture with the intent of outing myself as a bad mom on The Internets. And then at 9:30 I started softly playing music, and I called Adam in, and as she slowly opened her eyes she saw her two weirdo parents having a dance party in her bedroom. That’s pretty good payback for being woken up three hours early, right?
The problem here is me. I can not do routine. I am allergic to it. I have never signed up for anything without missing at least one or two classes. I never went to 100% of my university lectures or had perfect attendance in high school. My schedule varies wildly from day-to-day, sometimes I wake early and eat three full meals and go out and do things. Other days I sleep in and subsist on little more than coffee and overwrought internal melodrama.
This is my jam. I love it. It’s like the soundtrack to my life keeps switching stations instead of playing the same song over and over, but I know that this mix tape isn’t great for kids. Kids love routine and repetition. They love to hear the same song on endless repeat.
I would like to take this opportunity to blame this allergy to routine on Ayurveda. Remember Ayurveda? I am a Vata dosha, as I’m sure you all remember. Vata dosha types are the ones who benefit most from routine, but perversely, are also the types for whom keeping a routine is the most challenging (heard that!) So Ayurveda is working against me while Olive’s adorable surrender to sleep foils my attempts at early(ish) mornings and here we are. Again.
We’ll give it another go. I’m hoping for a 9:30 bedtime tonight, and a 9:00am wakeup tomorrow, and then a 9;00pm bedtime, and then an 8:30am wakeup, and so on and so forth and maybe I can finally stick to something for once in my life goddamnit.
In other news, CAKE PLATES! Here’s what happened. For Olive’s birthday (are you sick of hearing about it yet? One more month and then you’ll never have to hear about it again! Except for endless recap and “remember when?” posts. Apologies in advance.)
I am making two cakes. One, a big cake for everyone to eat, and the other is a mini cake for Livvie to smash and destroy and smear around her person as she sees fit.
I really wanted to get my hands on a vintage cake stand or two for the occasion, but damn if those things aren’t impossible to find! I finally stumbled across one in a Victoria thrift shop and snapped it up on the spot. It looked like this:
I took pictures because I was going to do a dramatic before and after post, featuring it spray painted it to get rid of the old lady flowers, into a jadeite green or happy yellow.
Long (Looooong) story short: no. There was scraping of the gold paint with razors and an attempt at covering it with porcelain paint and finally a guilty guiltfest after we realized that it was marked “Handpainted Porcelaine de France” on the bottom, which sounds all sorts of fancy and I suddenly felt horrible for befouling what was probably a grandma’s prize possession at some point.
Anyway, when Olive was napping one day I adventured to our local thrift store (secondhand junk, I love you) and bought two plates and two glass candlesticks. I washed it all, used Gorilla glue to attach them together and HELLO adorable cake stands!
A sunny yellow for the big cake, and a tiny one with sweet designs along the edges for Olive’s smash cake. The whole thing cost me $12 including glue. I kind of want to make seventeen more, now.
This birthday party is quickly getting out of control. I need to stop (I can’t stop!)
Anyone want a cake plate?