There are few times in Adelaide's childhood when I've turned to the baby books. Long ago I threw away most of the standard books which seem to come to you when you have a child via well-meaning relatives or friends. I found that relying on my gut served us much better, rather than worrying what, for example, my child should be doing developmentally on her 232nd day.
I am not dedicated to one specific parenting philiosophy, and I have found no one book which is my parenthood bible (although I have discovered a few gems that will stay on my shelves: How To Raise An Amazing Child the Montessori Way, You Are Your Child's First Teacher, Simplicity Parenting). But mostly I prefer to pick and choose that which resonates with me and leave a lot of bits right out.
But then, there are some experiences with my daughter that have left me curled on the floor, crying to myself and wondering just how I will survive... I'm sure all parents out there know exactly what I am talking about! This is how I found myself when, for the umpteenth night in a row Adelaide was awake for all hours delusional and screaming. My exhausted brain and blurry common sense weren't helping me this time... Time to drag out those books.
And so, realising how much of Adelaide's world was mixed up with vacations, family visiting, and increasingly later bedtimes, we have implemented a tighter family schedule. Dinner at 6, bathtime at 7, storytime and bed before or by 8. And, one absolutely magical special sleepytime candle.
I can't remember which book recommended a candle for bedtime, but I cannot thank the wisdom of the author enough. I kind of thought it was just an overly simplistic idea - to have a special candle especially for a little child's bedtime - but I was at a point that I would try anything and so out came a candle. We make a special event of dimming the room, and lighting the candle together with a match. When the candle is lit, it is a magical, special, quiet time. We speak in whispers. We watch its dim light glow reflect throughout the room. And it is time for sleep to come.
This special bedtime candle has worked absolute wonders with Adelaide, whom was never really a great sleeper. It seems to even have helped with me (I've never been a good sleeper, either) And the two of us have been sleeping wonderfully well in it's soft glow ever since.
Another magical even has occured since the introduction of the special sleepytime candle - I have tried it out and with it lit Adelaide has begun napping mid-afternoon again, several times a week. Before the introduction of the sleepytime candle, she hadn't napped at all in well over 6 months.
I am not sure who is more thrilled with the special sleepytime candle and Adelaide's new sleeping and habits... Myself or Elliot. He is just ever so pleased to have his little girl napping once again. (This can't doesn't miss a beat!)
PS. I now have my computer back, but I am still sifting through it's remains, hopefully and anxiously. But 2 years of Adelaide's childhood in photographs are just... gone. I am left thankful that I've kept this blog because I still have it and it's record of many of my days and experiences with my daughter. And... I've missed all of you, too! I hope you are all happy and doing well.