Hope has taken to her crib. When she was much smaller, she hated being put to sleep. It was a true endurance test. We'd read to her, fill her with Pediasure, rock her 'til we nearly dropped and pray for the best. She usually didn't fall for it. The moment we put her in the crib, her back would stiffen, she'd begin to wail and we'd have to start all over.
My routine was to count backwards from 100 once I believed she'd succumbed. I needed to move very slowly from the chair to her crib, gently transfer her from one arm to the other and place her down like a princess awaiting her pea.
It rarely worked. We'd be mid-tiptoe, the crying would start and dreams of a quiet night enjoying "Intervention" reruns would be quashed again. Likewise, when Hope awoke, the entire house knew it.
Eventually, Big Mo made a declaration: No more, she decreed. We're not going to spoil her by rocking her to sleep every night. And thus it was so. Sort of.
Now, I usually have to count to only 30, but Hope doesn't mind her crib. In fact, it's become just another place in the house to play. We'll put her to bed, think she's asleep, and then 20 minutes later, the cooing and giggling comes over the monitor. It begins quietly, a tee hee there or a wee there, but often gives way to full-blown, one-hour laugh riots at the wonder that is sheets and a bed. She eventually gets to sleep. We think.
Long story short, we often catch her awake far on the other side of the crib, in the ghetto of stuffed animals. Her arms will be wrapped around a stuffed Elmo, her beloved cloth rings or the god-awful "Ziggy as Frankenstein" that I won at the crane game to make amends for thoughtlessly discarding Mo's beloved "Ziggy" address labels that came in the mail.
Thursday, we caught her in the act, two hands clutching a ring, a stuffed mallard propping her up and her upper torso surrounded by her stuffed animal pals. She had a look like, Huh? Bug off, buster. Can't you see I'm busy here with Ziggy?
We know we're not winning any plaudits from Dr. Spock with the stuffed-animal in the crib arrangement. We'll probably have to move them now. But it is pretty cute. And who doesn't like Ziggy?