Of course The Baby would choose this week to flip out. This week, with his dad is out of town for a mediation with his ex. I would probably resent The Man for his absence, but given the choice between a screaming baby and a screaming ex, I'll take the baby. The Man's definitely got it worse.
Thanks for helping me keep it in perspective, The Man. (But also hurry home please.)
It started yesterday innocently enough. The Baby woke up an hour into what is usually a two-hour nap. But he woke up giggling, intentionally misleading me with his post nap cheer. Sneaky little bastard.
Within 20 minutes it was clear that all was not well. He was clearly still tired, unless he had some other reason for repeatedly attempting to claw his eyes out of their sockets. But he was not at all interested in going back to sleep. None of the usual tricks worked. Not nursing him, not rocking him, not swaddling him, not even the hallowed plastic nipple could pacify. I even tried shouting at him in frustration. Repeatedly. Nothing worked.
I gave up and decided to let him be cranky. I was certain it would only be the usual hour or two before he was ready for another nap. No big deal. In the meantime, I used all my experienced mommy tricks to keep him entertained and distracted from his own rancor. It worked (mostly) for the next hour, at which point it was time to head to The Kid's school for our monthly Roots of Empathy class.
He nearly zonked out on the walk to school, but the circle of 28 children smiling and waving and clapping seemed to perk him back up. Coincidentally, the theme for the visit was sleep. I told the entire class that The Baby is usually a very good sleeper.
That was a horrible mistake. My public arrogance angered the sandman, and he has refused to visit ever since.
The rest of the day was a tornado of screeches and screams and squirms. A day of vicious eye rubbing and frantic thumb sucking. But no naps. He usually sleeps five or six hours during the day, over the course of several naps. Yesterday, he slept a total of 75 minutes over the course of 12 hours.
When he finally fell asleep at 8pm, I slumped into a chair and nibbled on a cold dinner. The Kid, dejected after eating his own dinner alone, started getting ready for bed. I figured I had at least a couple hours, given the fact that The Baby hadn't slept all damn day, but he was up again at 8:45. The three of us piled into The Kid's bed, where The Baby was relatively entertained by The Kid's animated singing of nonsense lullabies. Finally, at 10:00, they both were in bed for the night.
Of course, by "for the night" I actually mean until 1:30 in the morning when The Baby woke up to eat. This is normal; there's usually a 2am-ish feeding. But he also usually goes back to sleep after that feeding, rather than groaning and grunting and screaming until 3:30. For two hours I crept around in the dark repeatedly soothing The Baby back into a restless sleep. Nothing worked for long, and soon the low gurgle that began in his throat would swell until it leaped from his mouth in a sharp scream. I was in the bathroom when one such gurgle started and, in my hurry to get back to his bedside before the scream erupted, I tripped over The Man's slippers and launched myself full-speed into the end of The Baby's bassinet, causing a chain reaction that ended with a lamp skidding off the edge of The Man's night stand and crashing into the wall on its way to the floor. Because I am awesome.
He woke up again at 6:00 to eat, and never really went back to sleep. Today has been more of the same. It's a little better, but not much. My mom is coming by after work to offer some relief, and The Man will be home tomorrow (assuming Dallas weather behaves and allows his plane to depart). Just a few more hours...
Revisiting the Bad Mother Manifesto
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