Thursday, April 25, 2013

Music Soothes the Savage Beast

Things that happened in the last fifteen months:

 Got a new job…Pete moved home….we bought a house…..we got married….oh, and this:


Henning Miles Daniel

7lbs. 2ozs. of pure sweetness!


Should you wonder if hindsight says this was a timeline more people should adopt, I can promise you that hindsight would slap you upside the head. With a mallet.

 So, even though Pete and I have absolutely no idea what we are doing, Henning seems to be thriving and I don’t think we have messed him up for life yet. I have discovered, however, that we have absolutely no consistency as to what either of us does with Henning when the other is not looking.

 Like when he sleeps.

 Generally, at six weeks of age, Henning will go to sleep around 9:15 pm and wake up anywhere between midnight and 1:30 am for a bottle. I give him a bottle and then we have a sing-a-long in the rocking chair. We have a regular playlist of 70’s singer-songwriters and children’s music, including Carole King, the Muppets, and that song Maid Marian sings in the Disney version of Robin Hood. And we always include Sweet Baby James. I think he’s actually starting to recognize that one, but it could be wishful thinking.

 Between the bottle and the rocking, there’s roughly an hour involved in this routine until he falls asleep and I can slide him into his crib. If he wakes up while I try to move him, we start over for a song or two. And I have been congratulating myself on getting this handled in the middle of the night with no fussing.

 He then sleeps until anywhere from 4:30 to – if we are very, very lucky – 6:00. If it’s nearer to 4:30,I will take the second shift, but the later it gets, the more likely that Pete will handle it. Fairly often on the weekend he will give me a break and take both night feedings, which is fantastic. Some mornings I wake up and he has given Henning a bath and fed him and they are watching tv in the den. It’s pretty awesome.

 Last night we made an important discovery. Henning stayed with his awesome Aunt Nicole yesterday, and playing with Amelia and Annie tired him out and he fell asleep on the way home. There was no waking the boy, and it was close to 9:30, so I put him down without worrying about a bedtime bottle. Mistake. Big mistake. He woke up around 11:00, which never happens, for his first bottle, drank it, and fell asleep before even finishing it. I put him in the crib – and actually felt sad that I really hadn’t spent much time with him between work and being out on the Ponderosa for dinner with the Comerfords after his afternoon out there.

At 2:39 am, he woke up and I stumbled into the nursery, to find Pete already at the crib. We did the late-night mumble: “You got it? Yeah? Umph. Bed.” And he took him, but I heard Henning whining a little while later and got up to investigate. Pete had fed him, dropped him in the crib and gone back to bed in the nursery twin bed. I’m trying to think of a word for what I felt, but I don’t have anything better than naked, blind, rage. I was cussing him out inside my head. “Why can’t he rock him if he’s going to feed him? What the hell does he do when I’m not looking? What kind of father does that……” So I picked up Henning and he was WIDE awake. Just looking at me with these huge eyes like he is ready to play. We got in the rocking chair and sang our whole playlist. Not even a blink. We rocked silently. Still looking at me. We started singing again and he finally closed his eyes, only to wake up when I moved him. It took FOREVER to get him to sleep, and I was SO mad.

 At 5:55 the same thing happened. Pete got up, fed Henning a bottle, and went back to bed. Henning started whining again and I stormed into the nursery, ready to do battle. After all, I had to be at work this morning! I needed my sleep! I got Henning out of the crib and got ready to get back into the rocking chair…again. Pete, who could see that I was steaming mad, rolled over and said, “Can he not go to bed without an hour of that?” and I said “He’s a BABY. OF COURSE he wants to be rocked. You can’t just feed him and dump him in there!”

 And my husband said, “If you lay him there for five minutes, he’ll go back to sleep. I usually just shut the door so you don’t hear him fuss.” And I laid the baby in the bed. And this child, who keeps me awake rocking and likes to be completely asleep before he is ever-so-gently placed in the crib, CLOSED HIS EYES AND SIGHED.

I think I got played by a 6 week old.