Thursday, April 2, 2009

My son, the night owl!

We are never really certain what nights we will be able to catch our ZZZzzzz’s lately. Our newborn son, Mauldin, loves to keep his new mommy and daddy on their toes. Although, only being a week old I am more than sure he doesn’t understand what “sleep” time is; considering he sleeps 90% of the day. How can he actually determine when he should be sleeping and when it is optional? So, I guess I can cut the lil’ guy some slack. Talk to me again about this in six months.

“I think Megan will be voted off tonight,” I said while sitting on the couch next to Laura. “She is really cute, but I just can’t get past the tattoos!”

It is Wednesday night, and nothing we really watch is on TV, so we watch whatever is available. This season we have caught maybe two episodes of the Fox reality talent show, American Idol. I pretty much loathe the show, but we still catch the occasional episode to stay up on the pop culture phenom that has spread across the nation.

Carol, my mother-in-law, is sitting, comfortably, rocking Mauldin, in the wooden rocking chair that was my grandmothers while my wife, Laura, and I sit, side by side, on our laptops, lounging between the pillows, on the couch behind her. We sometimes enjoy our laptop time right before bedtime, in the bed, or just sitting around in the kitchen, but most of the time it is on the couch in front of the television. I had just finished my late-night cup of decaf coffee and bowl of cheeszits. This used to be a normal night for Laura and I, minus the mother-in-law, but we have not had time lately; mainly because Mauldin really likes to monopolize our time! How dare he, I know.

“There,” said Laura. “I just got finished uploading pictures to facebook for the first time since we got home from the hospital.”

Ever since we have gotten home, a week ago, we have taken probably 150 pictures… so if you really think about it is about 21 pictures a day… give or take. I am not counting the ones we’ve deleted! I mean can you blame us? Obviously, we are a little fanatical about our first born.

We usually head up to bed around 10PM. I hop off the couch and make my way over to Laura’s mom to scoop up the little man. This sometimes comes with some form of protest because Mauldin is such an addiction that anyone who holds him becomes entranced in his aura. It is like his baby pheromones, he gives off, trap anyone who has embraced him.

“Alrighty, Mauldin, it’s time to go upstairs,” I say with a fervent voice… I always plan for a whining and “awwwhhh” to follow after I spout the words from my lips. He looks so comfortable and cozy. The little man is in his little onesie that dawns a baby blue elephant, on the front, with the words, “lil’ peanut” embroidered under it. Mauldin squeaks a little as I slide my right hand under his warm head and my left under his itty bitty booty.

“All-right little man, it’s time for your late-night din-din!” I exclaim.

I always try to wake him up before he eats… otherwise he will just lie in Laura’s arms, his face against her bosom, totally zonked out. Now please understand… our child sleeps probably 18-20 hours out of the 24 hour day our Earth is known for! I asked our pediatrician how long this will go on for and she winced at the very utterance of my query.

“Usually babies continue on this type of sleep pattern for about..” she said while pursing her lips and pausing to look through his manila office folder. “About three-four months,” she finished.

“Please wake him up…” says Laura. “It is so hard to feed a sleeping babe.”

“I’ll do my best!” I replied.

One certain way that I know can wake up our child is to take him and place him on the changing table… Our child, for some reason, hates to have his diaper changed. I have a theory, as to why he does not enjoy the changing of the diaper. My hypothesis is that he is brought back to a time when he was strapped down and a cold clamp chopped off a bit of his… well, you know what I mean. That certainly would make me rethink some things! So, lately he has been a little more docile when we have gone to clean up the mess that was left on the underside of his buttocks. Maybe he has placed the memory of the circumcision waaay back in the black hole of his baby psyche.

“Mauldin, comon’ lil man, lets wake up so we catch have some of mommy’s yummy lactation!” I said.

“Eric… that would not make me wanna wake up…” said Laura while positioning herself on the bed with a brown boppy by her side.

“Well, what else should I do?” I reply with a raised eyebrow.

“I don’t know! Be creative!” replied Laura.

Thankfully, he awoke from his slumber, still a little groggy, but a form of consciousness! This time is the perfect window to introduce the “milk” to him. However, after about 10 minutes of feeding Mauldin tends to start slipping into his milk coma. Although, this night was not one of those nights. The more Mauldin eats, from his “breast” friend, he more he is roused to an awakened state.

“No, this is a little bad…” I said… “Why is he so awake? It is almost 11:30 PM! He needs to start winding down again… for his bed time!”

“I don’t know…” said Laura. “Maybe he slept too much today! Maybe he has to poop, maybe he has gas… maybe he…”

“He what? He wants to stare at the fan more?” I said in a confused and perplexed voice.

That is just what the little guy did… he laid in my arms and kicked and squirmed and would not stay still… then I heard the beautiful sound that I had been waiting for… *burrrp!* He burped! He usually does this about 3-5 times before he winds down for sleepy time and the sandman isn’t far behind. But, this night the sandman must of taken a vacation. Mauldin laid on the bed wide-eyed and awake. It is now 12AM and my wife is lying by my side asleep. I know this little guy is not going to give in anytime soon and I have to get up at 6:30 AM to get ready for work! I did the thing I really didn’t want to do… I gave in… I got up from the warm bed and made my way into the guest room where my mother-in-law was sleeping soundly. Or, for all I know, was lying awake just waiting for a little knock-knock on the door. Mauldin’s crying was so sporadic it was hard to tell if he was upset or just irritated that we were trying to make him go to bed.

Maybe he is just a night owl and wondering when he will be able to stay up and watch that colorful screen that his parents watch on a daily basis. What if he is just testing us to see how much power he has… “Maybe I can change the entire time-clock in this house! Mwhahahahaha!” –thinks Mauldin.

All-in-all I felt really bad giving up my son, to someone else, to Carol, my mother-in-law, to soothe to sleep… I am his father! Why can’t I do it? I am thankful to have had my mother and my mother-in-law the past two weeks, but, I, honestly, almost cried about it because after Friday Laura and I are on our own. What if this happens every night? I was hoping I would be a better father… A father who could soothe the savage beast inside my son. How could it be that our son would be put in the statistics book of the amount of children who grasp hold of their parent’s night and choke them to death until they are reduced to a walking Inferi, a zombie-like corpse that is dead to the world yet still sits behind a desk during the day…

It would be that as soon as I ditched my pride, for my sleep, he quieted down almost immediately. Well, I guess this parenting thing is about compromise and right now my sleep is being highly compromised. Well, let’s hope and pray by… counting in my head the months… June… he will be a little more adapt to our sleep schedule. I anticipate we will successful and can blend our son into the normal society sleep program. If not… I may need therapy, or a long nap!


Tami lee said...

All I can say is "I don't miss that feeling!" Trust me though, it won't last forever!! After about a month or so, it gets better and he gets his days and nights adjusted. I am not saying he will sleep through the night, but he will know when it is night time! You are great parents. Every baby cries and sometimes nothing will calm doesn't make you a bad parent! just normal! :) In a couple weeks, I would recommend the Book Becoming Baby Wise. I did not agree with everything in it, but it really, really helped us set a this day he still pretty much follows the same schedule, just with tweaks in the napping and how much he eats. Good luck!!

Jenn, Beau and Raleigh Batchelor said...

I does get better. Laura will be the one who gets to keep up with him in the following months. Raleigh still gets up for a feeding a night. I nurse her for 15 mins and she goes right back to sleep. He'll be getting it soon enough.

Anonymous said...

Every baby is different so it's hard to know when he will decide it's time to sleep all night but don't blame yourself if he decides he's not going to agree with your schedule. You and Laura are great parents so don't take it personally when Mauldin decides he's in charge and you're not. Both of my boys were horrible night-time sleepers and Melissa was great - she slept night and day - only woke up to eat and then right back to sleep. You'll eventually learn to function while suffering sleep deprivation.......good thing it isn't deadly or alotta parents would be goners. LOL! Hang in there - every day is a new adventure with a child in the house. :) Billie

James said...

Good luck. Really though your sleep will not be normal for quite some time so get what you can when you can. Just remember: It does get better. Soon enough you won't even remember the late nights. Well, not much at least.

iVegasFamily said...

There you've done it. You've turned into us.

Anonymous said...

When he's peed in your face, you will officially be part of the club. That club is the one for men who find that they feel ill-equipped for this lil' bundle of...whatever...that the Lord has blessed them with.

But, I must say that I am VERY jealous. A baby that sleeps the majority of the day! I would kill for a baby like that. Neither of mine were sleepers, and this third one was tossing around much like the other two so it ain't lookin' good.
But catch your sleep when you can and remember, "A crying baby can't fall off the floor."

Anonymous said...

It really does improve and probably sooner than you think. The first six weeks are the hardest, you're already 1/6th through it! : )

As for not being able to sooth/settle your little guy, we're finding that Jared is a real mummy's boy. Even his poor dad has trouble settling him and he's had experience!

Hang in there : )