So, I reached a new low– literally and figuratively (I’m sorry I said literally, Jill. But I really mean literally)– in parenting the other night. It was last Thursday night. I teach 35 bright collegiate minds on Friday mornings for 3 hours and have to get out the door, professorially presentable, by 8:30 am. So on Thursday nights, the deal is that I handle baby’s wake ups before midnight. BF gets them after midnight. This is BF’s deal. He’s motivated by the fact that my professor gig pays for his car.
Anyway, baby had a rough night Thursday night before going to bed which led me to believe it might be a rough sleep night. A good sleep night is baby waking up every two hours. A bad sleep night? Every 45 minutes to an hour. Our nights fall into one of two categories: did we wake up with baby 5 times (every two hours) or 14 times (every 45 minutes). There is no in between, really. So, baby goes down around 8 pm on Thursday night, and I hear him crying at 9:10. In I go with a bottle and some belly rubbing, and he drifts back to sleep. Just as I go to turn my light out at 10:15, I hear baby stir. By 10:20, it’s full on. Out the bed, to baby, who is wide awake and having no part of my little bit o’ bottle and some belly rubbing plan. Not having it, Ema, he practically grins. Play with me, woman. So, seeing that he’s not going to go easy, I pick baby up and sing to him. He likes my singing because he knows I’ll pay him money to tell people that one day. Anyway, he drifts back to sleep, and here is where we run into my problem. I CANNOT put baby down into his crib when he’s asleep and not ruin the whole darn thing. And that night was no different.
Baby woke up, saw that I was trying to surgically remove the arm that was under him from my body so I could make a break for it, and he called me on it. Loud. Furious. Game on protesting. I scooped him back up and came up with my next plan. I would get baby to sleep and then wake BF to get him to place baby in his crib. BF is always able to do it without baby protesting. So, I got baby asleep and then put a request in via baby monitor for BF’s help. He made his way to baby’s room and tried but it didn’t work. Baby freaked. BF tried his hand for a few minutes, and with baby staring him in the face and screaming his “I will thwart you scream”, BF gave up and handed baby back to me. “All you,” he said and ran so quickly out of the room that I started laughing. Still, it was baby and me, and it was 11 pm. I needed a strategy.
I went into my office, turned on my ITunes and started singing songs to baby from the Indigo Girls, Counting Crows, and Sweet Honey in the Rock catalog. He got some Tracy Chapman and REM. He even got some old school Cyndi Lauper…
All through the night, I’ll be awake and I’ll be with you.
All through the night, this precious time when time is new.
All through the night, knowing that we feel the same without saying…
Anyway, it was just the thing to calm baby back down, but we still had the “I can’t put baby to sleep and put him in the crib dilemma’, and I had zero desire to put this awake yet calm baby in his crib and make him an awake and furious baby.
What do I do, what do I do, what do I do? went the chorous in my head.
Well, I did what every sleep-deprived mother (I think, hope, pray) does at 11:30 pm when she is desperate to get her baby to sleep. I went in baby’s room, built a little pallet of quilts on the floor (on top of his rug), placed my swaddled little boy on top and proceeded to lie next to him and sing until he quietly fell asleep (for those of you fearing SIDS, our boy doesn’t roll over yet– I promise I wasn’t that sleep-deprived!).
There are things that I will do that I am sure my son will tell on me about later– to his friends, his wife, probably a therapist, who knows. I am just hoping that in the grand scheme of mommy mishaps that will befall me in the next minute, day, week, month, year, lifetime, the night baby slept on a couple blankets atop our hardword floors won’t make the list. Then again, that notion leaves me a little bit frightened about what will.