I have, what one parenting book terms as, a “wakeful baby.” That is a nice, euphamistic way of saying, Dean’s a bad sleeper.
He acts like me when Paul and I watch a movie at night. I’ll invariably fall asleep, Paul will nudge me and ask, “You aren’t falling asleep, are you?” And this is the part I still don’t understand: I deny it. I open my eyes nice and wide and tell him I’m perfectly awake. How dare he insinuate I’m a party-pooper?
That’s Dean. Whenever he is plum tuckered out, his eyes get droopy, he burrows his sweet little head into my shoulder and yawns. Then, when I try to, ever-so-gently, lay him down, he perks right up as if to say, “what, I’m awake, I’m awake! I must have dozed off for only a minute…what did I miss?”
One minute indeed.
His longest recorded nap is 45 minutes. Nights? All I can say is, getting better. When he was younger, I tried to let him cry it out, but then he’d develop some horrible sounding cough and I’d just have to scoop him up and put him in bed by me. By the time he’d recover, he’d get it again. Finally, when he was way too old to not be sleeping through the night and healthy as a horse, I pulled the pillow over my head and decided to let him cry it out. Tough love, baby. I finally fell alseep. He didn’t. I woke up hours later to a still-wailing baby. I thought I was going to incur long term psychological damage at that point and gave in. And so our nocturnal relationship began.
My other kids weren’t this way at all. Andy used to reach for his crib at night. Same with Kate. Luke is 3 and a half and still takes an involuntary nap every day. (He won’t lay down in his bed and take an official nap, but I will find him passed out in the house somewhere everyday between 2-4pm.)
By the time I had my third baby, I was firing up the blender and vacuuming during nap time. But with Dean, I find myself cursing the person who has the audacity to ring the doorbell during the middle of the day. I roar in a stage whisper at any kid who so much as talks at a normal volume within 20 feet of Dean’s door.
“Ssssshhhh!!!!!!!! Are you crazy??!!! You’ll wake up Dean!!!!!” I shush as loud as I dare. And that’s another thing: I’ve become a shusher. And frankly, I hate shushers.
Our new home has walls so paper thin, I can practically read through them in full sunlight. So as not to disturb my other 3 slumbering cherubs, Dean gets picked up to snuggle in with mom and dad whenever he calls, whatever the hour. This can’t last forever, can it? The one ray of hope shining through this thick cloud of no REM sleep is that that hour gets later and later. He’s sleeping until 5:30am these days.
Oh, wait! I don’t want to jinx it. Forget I said that. In fact, come to think of it, all this typing is rather loud…