Thursday, January 31, 2013

How Mama Got Her Knit Back

Without realizing it, I lost myself. Again. (Still?)

It's easy to do when you are *literally* chasing a toddler all day, and have a convalescing dog to add to it all. This last year, I had only managed to get Genevieve a few naps (less than 20) *not* in my arms. Or in the Ergo.

I'm incredibly lucky to have a knitting group full of brilliant, creative women. Most of whom have beta tested raised children who are all incredible adults. While commiserating about nap times (or the lack thereof), Ingenious Janice told me that when her boys were little, they all had a sheepskin that they would sleep on.

Honestly, if they had told me I had to ritually sacrifice a chicken to get her to nap on her own, I would try it. I was getting stir crazy and resentful of being pinned to the glider for between two and six hours every day while she napped. Genevieve hasn't been a child who "transfers well" - a concept I'm only now learning about. That combined with how low her crib is? No wonder it ended in tears for both of us.

The sheepskin in the crib was not successful. Mom has (as usual) been invaluable, and suggested putting the sheepskin on the floor in the living room (nowhere to fall from) and going from the glider to the sheepskin as soon as she was asleep. (If we nurse laying down, it becomes Cirque de au Lait.)

The first few tries were not successful, but with Mom cheering me on (silently, of course), this has been working really, really well for us.

Napping with Pat the Bunny

This has worked so well, in fact, that I started knitting again. A lot. Because, while I could do ANYTHING (within reason) while Genevieve was napping, what I did was knit and see what all the fuss was about Downton Abbey. (Which is surprisingly fantastic, by the way.)

Not only has it given me a little breathing room, but my creative side - which admittedly, had atrophied - is blooming. Andrew has noticed that I'm happier, too. And like we've all heard, when Mama is happy, everyone is happy.

Another naptime bunny. I'm noticing a theme...

An unintended bonus of using the sheepskin is that when Genevieve is starting to get tired, she'll mosey over to the sheepskin (which we put down around naptime) with a book and stay put for a few minutes. A clear indicator that her batteries are running down.

Even if she thinks she isn't tired enough for a nap, this is usually what she looks like about 15 minutes before she's out cold.

Reading The Very Lonely Firefly from Eric Carle's Very Little Library

She naps, I knit, and when she wakes up EVERYONE is happy. And better dressed, in the long run.


  1. I remember so well those early challenges of learning how to parent & every trick that worked felt like the greatest gift of all! I'm so glad that you're returning to the land of the knitting ... And your playful stripes cardi looks fantastic.

  2. oh how my heart sings that you have found something that works for your both. I'm so happy you feeing more 'you' again. imagine all the chatter you will hear when she wakes up on her own and talks to the bunny, 'reads' her books etc. such fond precious memories. Enjoy!

  3. I'm a Nurse Practitioner that works at a large Children's hospital. I usually try to refrain from giving unsolicited medical advise, but I really felt like I needed to say something for both you, your cute baby, and any other parents that are out there. The use of sheepskins as a sleep surface is not recommend as it can increase the occurence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians, as well as many other medical associations recommend agaist the use of sheepskins and other soft items. This is recommended regardless of if the parent is sitting close or monitoring. This is a huge safety concern.
    For more information, you can look at

  4. I was gifted a sheepskin for my son (5 months) and it is a lifesaver! He doesn't generally sleep on it, right now we use it mostly during play time since it is SO cold here in Ohio. It keeps him warmer than just laying on a blanket on the floor. However, we have taken it with us when we are away visiting family all day and use it there for naps. It's cozy and smells familiar and makes napping in other places so much easier!!

  5. Hooray for knitting during naps! Glad you all have found something that works. She's adorable.


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