Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bed Nomad on Standby

Bed Nomad on Standby

I’ve never flown standby.

Not that I wouldn’t, my life has just never suited it.

Waiting on the sidelines, with bag in hand, hoping to reach intended destination at a reasonable time. Wondering, where will I sleep tonight? Patience and time overshadow the feverish rat race. And now, in a roundabout way, I feel like I can relate. My Pillow and Blanket in hand. Not knowing where I’m going to sleep, or if I am going to be kicked out of my bed in the middle of the night.

This is an interesting game we play. We’re trying to get Emmett to sleep in his own room. I try to sleep where he is not.

There’s a fundamental difference between Emmett and Stella.

Stella took forever to get to sleep but when she was a sleep, she was out for the count. She would quietly wake up for her feedings and quietly go back to bed. No harm done, we all lived happily together in a room.

Emmett in contrast falls asleep quickly on his own. He’ll sleep a while and then he’ll wake up, his alarm bells spring into action. He could double as an air raid siren. There is no warm up phase. No Warning. Just a short gasp and then its full ear arresting, bone rattling screaming.

Some of the girls at Mommy’s PKIP class complain that they have to get up once a night. Through the 45 minute to 2 hour interval haze, Maja’s groggy eyes would love being woken only once a night.

This screaming really wouldn’t be such a problem if he were to say, quiet down shortly afterwards. Alas, it is not so. Lately, nothing can calm him down. It could be that we are having problems with his skin. It’s dry, red and inflamed. He scratches and scratches till he’s bloody. I can’t blame him. It would irritate me too.

Or it could be growing pains. He’s big, already around 8 kilos (17 pounds).

It could be over stimulation and he doesn’t know how to calm down. If he sleeps good during the day, he sleeps good at night. If he sleeps bad during the day, he sleeps poorly during the night. He has no sleep pattern at all. One day is good, one day not. He has no sleep pattern at all. One day is good, one day not.

Lately we have been dealing with the latter.

I have confirmed another parenting lesson. We know that Gay couples have more disposable income than parents. This is because they don’t spend their dough on any far fetched theory to try and keep their kids quiet, happy and sleeping. They don’t have a frequent buyer account at www.amazon.de

We heard that babies like a nesting feeling, like being back in the womb. We bought one of the large German breast feeding pillows to curve around him. Bam bam had other plans, pulling this nest of a pillow on top of his chest, beating the daylights out of it.

Strike one

He needs extreme body contact with mommy. Maybe a stuffed animal with a heartbeat to mimic the heartbeat he heard in the womb. We purchased Filo the fox. Emmett grabbed is little fuzzy ears and swung it around as if he was riding a bull at the rodeo.

Strike two

And so there I stand in the hallway, pillow and blanket in hand.

The Bed nomad,

Wondering if I will get to sleep in my bed?

Will I be kicked out in the middle of the night as he carries on? Sometimes, this bed ain’t big enough for the three of us.

Last night was a blood red full moon.

According to me, he slept well. That means I didn’t hear him. I didn’t even hear when Mommy put him in our bed. He slept through my alarm.

Oh I hope this is a sign that we’re headed in the right direction and not just the effects of a full moon.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The apple doesn’t fall far part 2

Apparently as a child, Maja was known for asking simple questions or stating the obvious in an inordinately loud tone in public spaces.

Things such as

“Mommy, that isn’t a very pretty mommy is she?


“Mommy, why is that man so big?”

When our daughter saw a tall bald man stooping over at the cash register the other day, she continued the tradition.

“Mommy, why doesn’t that man have any hair?”

Mommy had to turn away real fast to keep from laughing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Laws of Nature

The best way to learn is by doing.

I know this. I like to get my hands dirty.

And now with a young child who is learning everything for the first time this is even more apparent.

It’s a delicate process, trying to facilitate an environment where a child can explore and learn without coming to too much harm.

No matter how many times you say something, the child has to experience “it” themselves.

Teacher Tom recently wrote an interesting blog post about this balance. Natural concequences

Last week, Stella and I sat together on our swing set. She still enjoys the security of her baby swing where she really doesn’t have to hang on.

She likes me to push her high and hard.

We chatted and I mentioned that maybe this year she can graduate to the “big girl” swing so Emmett can have the baby swing.

She found this a tremendous idea.

I ask her if she wants to give it a try.

She responded with an enthusiastic “YEAHHHHHHH”

“Now” I told her, “You have to hang on…the whole time”

“Okay daddy” as I unscrewed her safety net…and push.

Lightly, just slightly back and forth.

I think she’s got it.

I push just a bit harder, still boring by our normal swinging standards.

And I blinked,

I heard a thud.

My daughter is lying on all fours, stunned, motionless at first.

At the apex of the back swing, when she should have kicked her legs forward and lean back, Stella let go.

Sliding with a “Whoomp” onto the ground.

The crying only lasted a minute when we established that all body parts were still working.

Lesson learned? Maybe. In Ratzeburg over the weekend, she ventured onto the large swing and when she was ready, she let me know she wanted to get down instead of just letting go.