The Night Owl

IMG_3432 (2)A few posts back I wrote about the winter of 2016 wreaking havoc on my family.  It’s been a rough one for the baby.  Last year he was pretty healthy, but this year he’s endured a severe diaper rash, lingering cold, a virus, and an ear infection.

A few doctor’s appointments and rounds of antibiotics later we’re all mostly recovered—mostly recovered.  One thing remains unsettled, Cristian’s sleep pattern.  Sleepless nights are something Dad Bloggers write about—along with drippy diapers and do Dads parent their children or babysit them.

I went back and checked, fifteen of my posts mentioned sleep deprivation or Cristian’s sleep patterns in one way or another—maybe I should chime in on the parenting vs babysitting debate.

Establishing a toddler’s sleep pattern isn’t an exact science, it requires lots of trial and error.  We started putting him to bed at 10 pm with a bottle and Sesame Street or Pepa Pig running on a tablet.  We were making progress until he got sick.

I miss nights like this one
I miss nights like this one

Lately he’s been knocking out between eight and nine, which sounds like a good thing—but really isn’t—it only upset the balance.  Cristian used to wake up once a night, upon receiving his bottle, he rolled over and went back to sleep—not anymore.

I’m now staggering down the hall two or three times a night, like a sleepwalker carrying a dog named Lulu (let’s see who gets that reference).  After taking the first bottle, he’s up an hour or two later.  When a second bottle or walking him around doesn’t work, it’s time for my fellow tag-team parent.

Mommy working her magic was once the gold-standard in soothing our cranky baby.   It irritated me a little, but if it got him back to sleep so be it.  Lately Mommy’s magic stopped working, so we’ve resorted to desperate measures.

For the past week we’ve tried exhausting our wired son binge-watching every baby program imaginable, with mixed results.  Some nights we only needed 45 minutes. However other nights we’ve taken turns napping while Cristian turned laps around the living room.

It’s amazing how children change things—once upon a time a sleepless night meant Esther and I went to work slightly exhausted but smiling.  Now it’s just exhausted.

 

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Can I Ask for a Do Over?

4162016 hasn’t gotten off to the start I expected.  Is it too late to ask for do over?  January started off well-for about nine days–then things started unraveling.

Unraveling started with a stomach virus—changing my definition of morning run.  Being the unselfish guy I am, I shared my virus with the family.  Mom was first, enjoying the queasiness and extra bathroom trips so much, she shared with the baby.

He repaid us too—with crankiness and we’ll-loaded diapers.  That kid could really load one up.  Not wanting to feel left out, Cristian got Mommy sick, completing the clean sweep.

We recovered in time for the Blizzard of 2016—Cristian’s first blizzard.  Taking him out to play after digging out was a highlight.  Then we all got sick again.  The doctor said it was viral but it felt more like the flu.

Taking care of a sick baby sucks, especially when you’re both sick at the same time.  I’ve gotten used to staggering out of bed and bringing Cristian a bottle in the middle of the night.  He usually gives me a pissed off, what took you so long look before snatching the bottle and going back to sleep.  That’s on a good night and we haven’t had many of those since he’s gotten sick.

Cristian experiencing his first blizard
Cristian experiencing his first blizard

We’ve shared a steady diet of sleepless nights trying to soothe our screaming son.  We’ve taken turns walking him around the house.  Being unable to calm a screaming-feverish baby giving off furnace-like heat is the most helpless I’ve felt as a father.

Although the fever broke the next day, this past week included a steady diet of binge watching Sid the Science Kid, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Caillou at 3 am.  You know I love my son if I’m sitting through episode after episode of Caillou.

Although I foresee another late-night/sleepless baby/kiddie programming evening, Pepa Pig tonight, there’s hope.  Cristian’s smile returned today, he spent the afternoon running around getting into mischief.  He’s not there yet but hopefully soon.

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