Thursday, December 03, 2009

Night of the Living Dead Papa

As I mentioned before (as the millions of followers of this blog clearly remember after memorizing every instant cult classic quotable post) Blake is an easy Baby. He sleeps through the night from two months and the bad nights are very rare and often results in a disturbance of no more than an hour or two. So I shouldn't really whine and complain about it, but then again if I didn't what am I going to write about?

We had a bad night on Tuesday night this week. Since I teach on Tuesdays and Wednesdays it means early mornings and long days with no nap opportunities, so I value my six hours of sleep those nights.

So just as my head hit the pillow the cries started. Sometimes Blake cries in his sleep or wakes up for a second unhappy after banging his head as a result of performing somersaults in his sleep. So I waited for a few long seconds, knowing better than to run into his bedroom and pick him up. As expected (otherwise, that would be a really short and dull anecdote, while instead it's a long and dull one) the cries didn't stop. Oh, another one of those nights.

I went to Blake's bed and picked him up in the dark. Immediately the cries stopped. I took him to his daddy's study and we sat down on the sofa. He gazed up at me in the dark as I sang to him Wheels on the Bus and I'm the Music Man with my mesmerizing, beautiful and haunting voice (I'm thinking of starting a new career as a pop singer with the stage name Lady Papa). Actually I can barely hold on to the right note with a lot of considerable effort, but looking at Blake's response to my singing you'd think I was Edith Piaf. If I want Blake to come I can call his name until I am blue in the face, but if I sing he'd beeline towards me from the other side of the house. So as I was going through these two songs for the millionth time he just lay there and smiled sweetly having the time of his life.

Usually when Blake wakes up in the middle of the night, giving him the benefit of the doubt, I used to assume that he was in actual pain from teething, gas or something else he couldn't communicate to me. That would usually result in giving him Calpol and sitting him in the kitchen in front of the laptop to watch Baby Einstein while waiting for the medicine to kick in. Since that worked like a charm it was easy to assume that the medicine took the pain away, but it was more likely that it just knocked him out as a side effect, giving him just the right nudge needed to go back to sleep. The thing was, he only cried in his bed. As soon as I picked him up or took him to our bed, he'd quiet down. Obviously he wasn't in real pain.

It was then very clear that he simply woke up in the middle of the night wide awake and bored to death. He didn't like lying alone in the dark cooped up in his cot so he'd scream and scream knowing that he will be eventually rescued. I took him back to his bed and decided to let him cry it out. I shouldn't help him develop bad habits. There was still some light in his room from the night light and he had a few toys in his bed. It's not as if I buried him alive in a coffin - though you might think that hearing his screams. I waited until his screams subsided and he fell asleep - only to be woken up several times each time his screams started again. Like many other parents I decided to postpone the development of my child's habits to a different unspecified time and took him into our bed.

I stuck him in the middle between Miron and me. He lay there happily for a few seconds, enjoying his triumph. I enjoyed the lack of screaming, so I thought it was a fair deal all around and dozed off into sweet bliss - only to be woken up with a swift kick to the head. Again and again. At some point Miron tried to grab Blake and hold him close which was party done out of sheer affection and partly as a sweet attempt to protect me from the little ninja. It was no good. For the next fifty minutes I kept falling asleep only to be woken up by kicks, slaps and bumps as Blake was having the time of his life. This must be against the Geneva convention: Letting an exhausted prisoner fall asleep only to wake him up abruptly again and again is a despicable form of torture. Eventually I had enough and decided to take Blake back to his bed as suddenly listening to his screams seemed like a great idea.

I carried him to bed and placed him on the mattress and... Nothing. He silently rolled onto his side. I rushed to bed and fell asleep before anything else happened. Four hours were still better than none. Blake woke up extra early the following morning, costing me additional fifteen minutes on the other end  of the night, but who's counting?

Seasoned parents probably expect a twist that takes this to the next level. What, that's it? That's what I'm whining about? Well, yes. Being woken up from deep sleep physically was an immensely unpleasant experience. I guess being so lucky with Blake means that when those bad nights happen they have a more significant effect since I'm no longer used to them.

So I'm not really sure if I'm seeking sympathy or showing off...

--Mickey

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