Thursday, April 01, 2010

4:30 am: where all good plans go to die [Guest Post]

Without further ado, I present to you my sister, "Trixie".

It’s always good to have a Plan. So, for example, when your beautiful, lovely, awesome 6 month old wakes up in the middle of the night at a time when she is plainly not hungry, waking you from a peculiar dream about buttons, you know what to do. The six month old in question, my second-born, LambChop, is actually a pretty good sleeper. After diving into solid foods recently, she has started sleeping really through the night, which is to say, from about 7:30 pm to about 6:30 am. I know that just the mere fact of typing this point out will create such bad karma for me that the whole family will soon come down with the plague, but there it is. In any event, the Lamber is a good sleeper; she takes after her father. More on that later.

So, as I had reasoned out The Plan during daylight hours: since she had made it through the night numerous times successfully, if she woke up it was likely something she could make it through on her own. We would be Hard-Ass Ferbers, and would wait 10 minutes the first time she woke up. Then, I would send my husband in to her room in increasing increments to pat her back and soothe her (not me so as to not arouse any hunger pangs), and she would quickly be back to sleep on her own. We would not pick her up. We would not go in more frequently. We would be loving Guides to Sleep. Easy-peasy. I felt smug with my Plan, and Lamb Chop appeased me by not waking up for the first few nights of its implementation. Good girl.

Last night, though, it all went to shit. About 4:30 am, I hear the cry. Now, as Mommy C has told you, I sleep with earplugs because otherwise every time LC or her 2 1/2 year old brother, Monkey, roll over, I wake up with the splashed-water-on-the-face alarm that comes with your Mommy badge. But this cry makes it through the sound barrier, and I’m awake. I grab the video monitor, which I love, even though we live in a tiny house and I can hear her from her room without it, and I squint to see what has bothered my Lamby. My husband, Egg, is still snoring away (earplugs help with that too). I can only surmise that his snoring acts like some kind of white noise machine for him, allowing him to sleep peacefully while bombs drop on the house.

Anyway, I watch LC for about a minute to see if she calms down. No luck, she’s in full crying mode. Egg’s snoring reminds me that he should endure this too, so I turn up the monitor and put it right next to his ear. Nothing. Remarkable. They should test this. I poke him. Finally, he wakes up. Then, this happens:

Me: She’s crying.
Egg: Okay.....
Me (with confidence): we’re waiting ten minutes to go get her.
Egg: And you woke me because?
Me (exasperated): you need to know when the ten minutes is.

At this point, time slows to an unbelievable crawl. I check my watch. Damn, only a minute and a half have gone by. Finally, excruciatingly, we work our way up to 9 minutes. Close enough. I poke Egg again.

Me: Time to go in.
Egg: ZZZZZZZZZ.... Whaaa?
Me: Time to go in. Now listen, you need to make sure her blankie is nearby. And pat her back. Don’t pick her up. But do check her to see if she feels hot, like a fever. Or cold. Maybe she’s too cold. What if she’s gone poopy? I’m not sure about that. Come back and tell me if that’s true. Check to see if she’s spit up too. But don’t be in there too long. Ok?
Egg: ZZZZZZZZZ.... Wha???? (As a side note, I’m convinced that half the reason my children sleep through the night is that I can’t get their father awake enough to get them in time before they give up and go to sleep on their own. This is actually a valuable resource, and I’m willing to rent him out.)
Me: (pokes Egg, repeats everything).

Egg then stands up and starts to walk toward the door. I am, at this point, repeating my instructions for a third time. In between my sentences, you can just insert your own grunts as Egg’s responses.

Me: .... Also, do you want the monitor so you can see? No, ok. I’ll watch from here. Oh, wait. I think she’s starting to soothe herself. Wait. No. Now she’s crying again. No, no, go back. No - wait, stop. I think she’s ok. No. No. Umm... I don’t know. Go. Maybe. What do you think?
Egg (at this point, completely ignoring me and walking to LC’s room): CRASH
Me: oh, and I put the bouncer in front of her stupid door so that the cats don’t push it open.
Egg: you think?

So, I watch as Egg skillfully checks LambChop, and pats her back for a little. No dice. Still crying. He comes back into the room as I pepper him with questions. Poopy? No. Fever? No. Cold? No. Ideas? ZZZZZZZZZ...

Great. He fell asleep already. She’s still crying though, so I sit there in the dark, watching her cry, for another 5 minutes. Oh, hell. I can’t stand this. Egg clearly did it wrong. I’m going in. I know, this is in complete violation of The Plan. But who thinks clearly at 4:45 am? I’d ask Egg what he thought, but he’s asleep. So I go in, totally blind, by the way, from watching the video monitor in the dark, and I. Pick. Her. Up. Yup. Screw you, Plan. You haven’t heard Lamby cry. I give her two of those teething tablets (don’t judge), bounce her for a little, ignore the fact that she is on full open-mouth-give-me-that-boob alert, and put her back down, officially crying louder than when I came in. Great. I’m an Expert at this. I should rent me out.

But then, miracle of miracles, by the time I get back to our bed, she’s down to just whining. And in two more minutes, she’s out like a light. Ah... 5:00 am. Monkey, asleep. LambChop, asleep. Egg, asleep. Mommy.... wide awake. And thinking about the Plan for the day. ‘Cause that’s how I roll.



CaneWife said...


Sometimes, all they want is a little mommy snuggle.

LambChop will get there, and be sleeping as soundly as Egg in no time.

Anonymous said...

Why are we all using akas?

--Poodle in Pasadena

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