Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our second anniversary as parents by inviting our entire families over and a couple of friends... and showering our daughter with presents and cake. Technically I think it's called a birthday. There were the usual hiccups as my daughter could sense this was a *SPECIAL* day so she wouldn't nap. You heard me. I put her down, she goofed around for an HOUR (I'd go in every once in a while and tuck her back into bed, but it did NO GOOD). Finally my in-laws arrived a little early for the party and I gave it up for a bad job. Of course, once she heard 'Gamma Judy' calling to her, there was no way she was going to settle down after running around downstairs for a little bit. She was amped.
By 4:30 it was decision time. Now she had her grandma and great grandma showering attention on her, but to no avail. She was getting crabby. Sunny disposition was going out the window, and I knew I could either tick her off by putting her to bed with all these guests she wanted to play with arriving, or let her slowly wind into a colossal meltdown. She was SO furious when I put her in bed, she screamed at me - just screamed. Red faced with big ole tears streaming down her face. 3 minutes later she was fast asleep. Even knowing I'd made the right decision in helping her get the rest she needed... I felt pretty mean. As I came downstairs and everyone could hear her angry frustration loud and clear through the baby monitor, I had to look at all the concerned faces of my husbands relatives and remind myself that it's ok to put my babe to bed when she needs sleep. And remind myself that last month when a similar situation happened, staying up there to keep her company totally backfired. She was convinced it was play time and wouldn't settle down til she got so overtired she was sobbing about everything. (Waaah, want TEDDY, WAAAH diffrent teddy, wah want on the bed, ::flings teddy off bed:: wah where'd teddy go??) I finally kissed her on the head, and she was asleep in minutes.)
So anyway, I got to explain as the rest of the guests arrived that the birthday girl was napping, and invite them into the back room to eat dinner while she slept. I got her up around 6 which makes me cringe. My husband's grandmother is extremely opposed to the idea of EVER waking a baby up. To the point that on days where she watches my daughter (usually at her house) she will drive over on a moments notice so I can go to work without waking her up, and she never complains about being stuck at my house without anything to do but watch my daughter play for 8 hours. And, I kind of agree. With all the studies about sleep being vital for learning and functioning, why not let her determine how much sleep she needs? BUT I had 20 people at my house who had brought her presents, and I wasn't going to send em home without letting em watch her open em.
It ended up going pretty well, though she was intimidated by the crowd. This is why I didn't invite any neighborhood kids - with 20 ppl on the guest list from family alone she'd have gone nuts if there were also a bunch of kids playing with all of HER toys. Too much mayhem for one little tot. She made out like a bandit though. Lots of toys and cute 3T clothes for when she's done outgrowing the stuff she's got now. After that we did cake and ice cream, and then she begged me to go up to her room with her so she could play without so many people oohing and aahing over everything she did. After things settled down a bit, daddy and I gave her the present I picked out. We got her a little toy kitchen, and I'm happy to say, she really seemed to like it alot. I was worried about spending so much on one thing for such a little kid, but she played with it for an hour, and would have kept going but it was past time for bed. She's waking up now, so I'll end the narrative with this vid of my crazy 2 year old.
(Caution - it gets quite loud, but is not anywhere near funny without the sound)