Monday, July 27, 2009

Closer to Fini

I Went to the Doctor / I Went to the Mountains Kentucky
Because life is so much more interesting when there are plot twists, the entire crew decided to be sick over the weekend, and Jack's cutting a tooth or two. How mundane would having an enjoyable weekend have been? Exactly. It was better this way. H.M. and I sat our sickly butts in front of the enjoyable little flick, Elizabethtown. Orlando, Kirsten, a dead guy, that dude from MacGyver, and a truly memorable soundtrack... Me likey. Wifey likey too. Why am I talking like this? Me idiot. Anyway, I'm startled how Tom Petty's It'll All Work Out sounds in it. You don't care. You wanna hear about Jack. Got it.

I Looked to the Children
And saw him pushing a toppled barstool back and forth across the house. In Parisian society, they say, it once was common (probably still is) to sit at a café and just watch people go by for the sake of entertainment. And as you were destroying your crêpes au Grand Marnier and a half bottle of fizzy water, you'd wonder about whoever strolled by. What they were doing, where they were going, and why. I ponder that as Jack traffic jams the other barstool against the first one behind the couch. And while he makes these Herculean sounds, turning red, as he tries to lift one like a wheelbarrow.

I Drank from Played in the Fountains
As for the other chilrun, it was only going to be for an hour. We left the (daft) First Mate in the backyard, and returned to see the silliest English Setter in the galaxy, soaked, her speckled hide caked in mud. What's that one about not being able to come in from the rain? This dog makes the use of a thesaurus necessary to help describe her...*turning pages*... puerility. Yeah, puerility. For more detailed descriptions of my animal, see this.

There's More Than One Answer to These Questions
OK, we need help. No, not like that. OK, maybe like that, too... OK, focus, alright? Focus. We, the party of the first part (that's us), solicit you, (that's you) the party of the second part (you again), to help us with SLEEP.

How do you get your kiddos to sleep? Jack's sleep patterns are so erratic that he could be a member of The Ramones. Doesn't nap, naps at different times, won't go to sleep at night, wants to party with room service at 3-5am, you name it. It's killing Her Majesty, which transitively is killing me.

So let's have it. All the books say the same stuff. Fine. But I'm looking for non-expert practical advice that doesn't include Baby Benadryl and a lava lamp. LURKERS AWAKE! YOUR CAPTAIN ADJURES YOU. SERIOUSLY.

Oh, go check the new pic album out too, ye dogs.


Jessica said...

I may be the wrong person to offer advice on this since we are just now (at almost 16 months) starting to sleep through the night, but I'll throw in my 2 cents anyway. Daycare has been a lifesaver for us in that they have established a nap routine/timeslot. M-F from 12:30-2, he has to stay on his cot, whether he sleeps or not and usually he does. So at home on the weekends, he usually crashes between 11 & 1. When he does finally give it up, we let him sleep as long as he wants.

Also, we try to prevent napping after 4 o'clock. Those are the killer naps. If he manages to sneak in one of those, he'll be up until at least 11, sometimes 12 or later. When we see the sleepy signs (eye rubbing, hair pulling, general crabbiness) we put the jammies on, get a bottle, and he snuggles up in my lap. We put something calming and boring on the TV - yep we're bad parents - and he's usually out before he finishes the bottle.

But there are some nights he's just not having it. When we've tried everything else, he goes to bed with us and we make him lay down until he falls asleep. We still have nights when he wakes up for an hour or two and no amount of bottles or rocking or soothing will help him get back to sleep. We just have to ride it out.

So I guess my advice is really this: Keep it together and this too shall pass. I know some days it doesn't seem like it will ever get better, but it will. Eventually. Probably.

wendy davenport said...


Jennifer said...

Do not use Babywise, ever! It is so cruel and inhumane. I cannot imagine leaving my baby alone and crying with no hope of anyone coming to help. Babies who are responded to are much more loving and sensitive and attached to other people (esp. Moms and Dads).

I love THE BABY BOOK by Dr. Sears. And check out www.askdrsears.com for immediate info on sleep stuff. It advocates a more loving, hands on method of parenting baby to sleep. Both my older kids (8 and 5 year old boys) were lovingly parented to sleep with bathtime, teethbrushing, reading and snuggling in bed. If they woke up at night I brought them in bed with us and we all slept soundly without waking for the rest of the night.

Then, when it was time to move to big boy beds, they both did without a complaint and never once got out of bed in the middle of the night.

When babies are secure, they are happy and my babies (and kids) knew that if they needed mommy she would take care of them.

Right now we are starting the same adventure with our little one (9 months old) and we are doing great. I am not saying life is perfect, for instance we are waking up nights with teething like anyone else, but when I respond quickly she settles and goes back to sleep. And so do I!

As for naps, some babies NEVER get a "normal" nap schedule. But how to define normal? I like that my 9 m.o. sleeps 3 times a day for 45 minutes because it makes our day flexible. I need that with big sibs. Trust me, I have tried to encourage longer naps, she doesn't need (or want) them.

And like Jessica said, this too shall pass. Soon enough they will be grown and not want mom and dad in the same house anymore!

Jennifer said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention that my 5 and 8 year old boys have never once fought us at bedtime. They don't come out repeatedly and ask for stuff, they don't make excuses or whine. I completely attribute this to how we have handled bedtime. And it was a wonderful window into their lives to spend that time with them at bedtime. Special, special time to get close and snuggle and love them.

And I forgot that we did the same thing at naptime as bedtime and the funny thing was that they always seemed to fall asleep faster at naptime than bedtime. Go figure.

As you can tell, I am VERY passionate about this subject and take it personally whenever anyone wants info, so let me know...

El Comodoro said...

Wow, thanks for the advice, everybody!

A good friend of ours told us before Jack was born that there was a spectrum of books on how to deal with your baby, and that BabyWise was on the far right of that spectrum.

We've always been more Baby Whisperer (RIP) types, and her book falls I guess in the middle of "My Baby Smokes Hash" and "Teaching Infants to Goosestep".

But a common theme I'm picking up here is that everyone and hence every baby, is different.

So we're on our own. Sortof.

Anonymous said...

small amount of vodka.
If neither of those work... get a rag... douse it with chloroform.. and it is lights out baby!

** for those with no sense of humor, this is meant to be funny. I have not used and do not endorse ANY of these methods... well maybe a little benedryl once or twice on the little ones - and maybe a little vodka for myself once or twice so I could sleep... what was I talking about? oh yeah... PLEASE do not call CPS on me.**

Actually, the one thing that J did with our boys, was to just suck it up and let them cry til they went to sleep. sounds harsh I know, but after a day and a half, it was MUCH better in getting the kids down to sleep and sleeping thru the night. The good news is that Mel can start it with nap time during the day while you are at work and you sir will not have to listen to the little one.
Good luck!
Ryan "not going to be parent of the year anytime soon" Gentry

Donna said...

I'm sure you thought I'd have something to say on this matter, but I really don't. We are more of the middle-ground baby whisperer types as well, but we've actually had three really good sleepers so far. I did have to let them cry it out for a night or two if they started getting erratic (after the newborn stage of course and after I was sure they were not hungry). Usually that got them back on track. And of course it is absolutely true that you may have to move bedtime UP if they aren't sleeping well or give them more/longer naps which is counter-intuitive. Sorry about the sleep issues- but it's a small price to pay to have such a charming Captain all day!