Why don’t they come with instructions?

I went for a walk today. Dog and baby accompanied me. Along the way I mentally composed blog posts that I have been mentally working on for, well, about 9 weeks now. There’s the one that I am still determined to write that tells the story of Nathan’s birthday. There’s the one about politics and how much I hate all politicians right now. There’s another one about politics and how mad I am at people who vote for politicians for ridiculous reasons. There’s still another one about how I am worried that I am never going to be able to log on to WoW for a raid night ever again. Why am I not typing all of these posts right now?

Because I am exhausted. Because I can’t figure out how bedtime should work for a two month old. Because even though my child has managed to sleep through the night three times now, I can’t figure out what we did to make that happen.

Friday night, we started the bedtime routine as usual around 6:30pm. All we wanted was some time without him to try out our new Wii game — Smarty Pants. Nathan, knowing that we had plans, was uninterested in sleeping. Eventually, I put him in his velcro swaddling outfit and he fell asleep on me. I beat Mike soundly twice before taking the kid upstairs to his bassinet. (I am the Smarty Pants! very fun game, btw) At 4am, I woke up in a panic because Nathan hadn’t woken up yet! Victory! Or so we thought.

Saturday night he was back to his usual routine — asleep in the bassinet around 7:30pm, wake up once for a snack around 8:30pm, and then awake for food at 12ish, 4ish, and 5ish. =( Too much awakeness.

Sunday night, Nathan was again uninterested in sleeping. He wasn’t crabby or crying, just awake. By 9pm, he was still awake and I was tired of walking around, bouncing him. There had already been two failed attempts to put him down in his bassinet, and I really wanted to finish the laundry folding that I had started. So I set him down in his crib (not swaddled), stuck a pacifier in his mouth and walked into my room. Fifteen minutes later he was sleeping. And he stayed that way until 4ish. Hooray!

But no. Monday night he was awful. Screaming, unhappy and fully awake until 9pm. Mike tried bottles, pacifiers, Vikings football, nothing worked. He would fall asleep and then wake up right away when Mike put him in the crib. Finally, I velcroed him into his sleep sack, fed him again until he was out cold and put him in his crib around 10pm. At 5am I woke up because he was still sleeping. He stayed that way until 5:40am. Hooray again, right?

Not so much. Tonight he was demon baby again. He skweed when offered a boob, he skweed while nursing, he skweed when the boob was removed from him, he skweed when I walked, when I rocked, when I put him down. He was ridiculous. At least he’s funny when he’s skweeing. I’m probably not going to win the Mom of the Year award for it, but when he screws up his little face in silent anger, I sit him up in my lap so I can get a better look as the skweeing begins. I am not alone in this; Mike also thinks that Nathan is hilarious when he skwees. But I digress. We were talking about sleep. Or at least, I was going on and on and on and on about it. Anyone still reading? Somehow I managed to convince the demon baby to eat what will tonight pass for an evening feeding (40 minutes punctuated by who knows how many minutes of crying). He was asleep then, but as soon as I moved he woke up (even though I waited 10 minutes before moving). So I put him in his baby straight jacket. He screamed some more, so I convinced him to eat a bit more until he was looking a bit drowsy again. Then I gave him a pacifier and bounced him around for a long time. Around 8pm, I was running out of tricks and patience, so I headed upstairs hoping for inspiration. The phone rang, so I deposited the baby in his crib and told the person on the phone that I have no money for whatever cause he was raising money for. When I hung up, there was silence. No crying, no fussing, nothing. Around 8:30, there was fussing, so I ran upstairs and gave him back his pacifier. Since I was completely unconvinced that the child would EVER sleep, I sat in the recliner in his room and read my book for 15 minutes. Now it is 9:45 and he is still sleeping. *sigh*

Swaddling sometimes works, the pacifier sometimes works, putting him in the crib awake but drowsy sometimes works, how do I know what will work when? I guess I should be happy that once he is asleep he seems to be staying that way longer. But really, I would rather get up in the middle of the night once or twice if I could have my evenings back. I just want to play my silly game with my silly husband and our silly online friends. Just once in a while. That’s not so much to ask for, is it?

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2 Responses to Why don’t they come with instructions?

  1. Emily says:

    Kim, I just LOVE this post. So honest and raw and FUNNY. You have this brilliant way of illustrating how motherhood (or parenthood) is simultaneously the greatest thing that can happen to you, and the most difficult. You make me even more excited to someday have that crazy and wonderful experience. Be well, and keep writing (and post some more pics, will ya?)

    – Em

  2. Kim says:

    aww, thanks! More pictures coming up! =)

    and hey, when are you going to start blogging again?

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