If there’s anything I’ve learned in these nearly nine months as a mom, it’s that our instincts are usually right — and that we ought to trust them.
I’m not with Maya 24/7, but I know her cues and feel pretty confident in my ability now to know her needs almost before she expresses them. It wasn’t this way at the very beginning–of course not — but within the first month or two, we really fell into a nice rhythm and though I couldn’t say I am perfect, I feel pretty good about my intuition now.
Today was one of those days where I felt like everything just gelled — and it’s a good thing, because we spent most of it glued to the TV watching 9/11 coverage.
Maya woke up at 6:15 and this is way too early to be her usual wake-up time, so I figured she needed to be changed. Sure enough, she did. But she was still rubbing her eyes and I wasn’t ready to wake up … so I put her back down in her crib and she rolled to her side, cuddled her musical seahorse and little giraffe Wubbanub … and was out cold til 8:30!
She ate and we played and again around 10 she began rubbing her eyes. Logic told me she couldn’t possibly be tired … she had barely done anything (not even played in her jumperoo yet which is quite exhausting!) but intuition said otherwise: “look for the cues!” Sure enough, she barely made a peep when I put her down for a nap … and proceeded to sleep til 11:30.
During this time, I was able to clean the house, shower, and get myself ready for the day — so I had no complaints about the free time … but I was definitely surprised she slept that long, especially so soon after her other nap.
When she woke, she ate, we played … and around 2 she appeared disinterested in her toys and a little fussy (a word ONLY mothers use, I’ve come to realize). Yup … you guessed it. Down from 2-3:45! When Luis came downstairs from studying he asked where Maya was and when I pointed to the nursery he said, “Again?” Yup. Again.
Granted, she always has two naps per day (sometimes three), but usually they’re spaced a little differently. Still, she knew what she needed and I am glad I listened to her cues instead of pushing ahead with my agenda for the day (we had some shopping to do and had wanted to go for coffee).
After she ate again, we ran some errands and skipped coffee out in favor of dinner in so we could keep her as close to her usual schedule as possible. Though she’s been going to sleep between 7-7:30 lately, I knew that was too early … but that any later than 8 would throw her off. Sure enough, she made it til 8 on the nose and was out cold.
I share these details because I think our instincts as mothers are generally spot-on — if we are willing to listen to our internal cues and our children’s external cues, that is. Sometimes one is louder than the other … (today–Maya’s) but in the end, listening is what helps us achieve one of those text-book “good” days … even on a day of tremendous grief and sorrow.
How about you? When did you feel you really KNEW your little one?