Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sleep Training

It's amazing our species endures when you consider how delicate the human baby is, and how little time that baby spends considering its own vulnerability as it pushes its sleep deprived parents to the brink of madness with its non-stop crying at bed time.  Particularly about three hours after said parent has started rocking it to sleep - which is about the time that you start dancing the fine line between "rocking the baby" and "shaking the baby".  And "spinning the baby by the ankle into the ceiling fan."

Edie's not as bad as her brother.  At least she's kind of quiet when she's refusing to sleep, unlike Finn who screamed as it you were stabbing him with a thousands little knives for hours at a time, unless he was being bounced on a yoga ball.  Edie only cries as she pitches that last futile battle against her eyes closing - squirming and screaming in a little personal game of "screw sleep" before passing out.  For ten seconds.  At which point, we begin again.

We've had to learn the whole "transfer sleeping baby from arms to sleeper" move all over again. You need some Kung Fu Panda 2 inner peace delicacy to pull that move off.  Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about.  Everyone's seen Kung Fu Panda 2 five hundred times, right?  It's some delicate work, yo.

Finn was like that too.  I tiptoed out of our room last night after putting Edie down and peeked in on the boy, just in time to watch him roll over on top of a quacking duck stuffed animal that quacked loudly at least 10 times before I could pull it out from under him.  He didn't even change his breathing.  Finn's not like that any more.

Everything changes - this too shall pass.  Which is what we repeat in our heads over and over and over again during those three hour rocking/shaking/spinning sessions.  When we're not mentally stabbing our children with thousands of little knives.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Meatballs & Beer

It took three weeks, but last Sunday marked the first time that I found myself with both children, while Kitty went out and tried to pretend she was an actual human being with some semblance of a life.

Poor poser Kitty.

That left me with both kids for more than ten minutes for the very first time.  Alone.  And I did it all without crying.  Thanks to beer.  Lots of beer.

Finn had a stellar day, laying waste to every playroom and lego set in the Tri-State area.  Mostly our playroom and our lego set, but who's counting as they're cleaning it all up?  Certainly not me.  I was too busy watching my son have a blast with his friends, hanging out with my new daughter as she adorably slept in the Bjorn, eating meatballs with my buddy at the meatball-making/eating contest at the coffee shop across the street and drinking beer.  Lots of beer.

After all of this awesomeness, and after I put Edie to sleep in relatively painless fashion, I crawled into Finn's bed with him to bask in the gloriousness of all of the fun we had had.  After pointing out that a Sunday with three distinct play dates, capped off by meatballs, sugar cookies and hot chocolate may well qualify as one of his best days ever, we high-fived right as Mommy came home and upstairs to his room.

Smiling, Finn looked over my shoulder at Mommy to tell her about what a great day we had.  Only he didn't tell her that.  Instead, he asked, "Mommy, do you want to get into my bed?"  Followed by - when Mommy nodded her head - "OK, Daddy, get out."

Oh well.  It was fun while it lasted.  Perhaps I'll have more luck with Edie.

And if not, at least I still have beer.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


With three Edie-weeks under my belt, I now have a far greater respect for parents of multiple children.  I always tell first time parents that there's no way that you can prepare yourself for the disruption of having a child.  I'm really smug when I say that.  Because I'm all knowledgeable and worldly.  And an idiot.

I certainly didn't anticipate that adding a second child into the mix would be all that disruptive for me.  Smart people would just look at me with pity, laugh, and make a joke about the challenges of going from zone defense to man-to-man.  I'd just think, "Whatever, old man/lady.   I know what I'm doing here.  I've got this thing nailed."  I barely took a week off of work, I was so sure that this was going to be a cakewalk.  

I clearly didn't fully appreciate the skill that is required to jam the shocker down your screaming baby's throat, while simultaneously yelling at your other child for something stupid like not paying proper attention to your lesson on the appropriate way to hold a pen.

This is bad.  All of this child juggling is tiring.  Really tiring.  The worst part?  When I tell Kitty about how hard this is for me, she doesn't seem to care.  So selfish.  I'm not sure why she's so cranky, with the baby sleeping through the night and all.  Or at least I assume the baby's sleeping through the night.  I can't say for sure, since I'm out cold.   Now that I mention it, though, she's awake every time I look over in the middle of the night, staring into space with red eyes.  Whatever.  Not my problem.  Did I mention I'm tired?

Thank goodness for work.  My respite.  Where I know how to solve the problems.  And where I can spend my days hiding in my email box and getting picture texts from Kitty, playing "guess that stain."

Of course, no matter how much harder it appears to be raising two kids, there's something infinitely more impressive about saying that I've got "kids" instead of "kid".   I've finally got credibility as a parent.  

And that's worth a million mystery stains.