I was thinking tonight, after another scream-fest '09 at bedtime, about how I can approach this seemingly bad situation differently... with fresh eyes. I wrote a while back about softening, and I think this is a clear instance in which I need to soften and let go and release my expectations and everything else, really. Drop everything and just be present with it.
First of all, I dread bedtime. I can feel my muscles and mind start to tense up as soon as the sun starts to set. The whole day can be filled with yummy-ness like long walks in the woods, rocking on the porch, dancing in the living room, and dangling toes in the water. But that sun starts its decent and so does my mood. I wonder if this is not affecting bedtime somehow. Thoughts become things, right?
So I think I need to shift my perspective. Instead of dreading and thinking of these screaming hours as "bad" and "annoying" and "wasted", I need to reframe them as maybe... a good opportunity to show Veda that I will always be there for her. That I will not back down with my love and patience for her, even in the hardest situations. And I can look at it as a clear way to be with her and soothe her when she needs me most. And that shift in view might actually make me look forward to these opportunities to love her. (Well, that may be going a bit far. But let's just go with it.)
And lastly... she seems to calm down a bit when I sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" (the pretty Elizabeth Mitchell and Lisa Loeb version). So the last few weeks I sing this song over and over for hours. And it's become like a mantra. It does seem to do the mantra thing of freeing the mind -- for Veda (after a time) and myself. And even though this time is super difficult, the repetitive song makes it feel almost like meditation for me. I calm my core and get still inside because the song is so rhythmic and steady and repetitive. It's not a transformative sanskrit phrase, to be sure. But I think it's achieving the same effect... which is pretty cool I think.
Oh, one more idea: the more nights we go through this, the sweeter it will be when we finally leave this stage behind. Those future peaceful nights and fun bedtimes will be like sugary honey manna to us.
So there is my attempt to make peace with this time. I am going to carry these thoughts with me as I keep showing up for mamahood at bedtime.
Peace to all you mamas and papas and people out there. I'm off to get a little bit of sleep before she wakes again.