Posts tagged Sleep

One of Life’s Great Mysteries: Solved

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It’s 4 AM when I’m awoken by a familiar sound: the creak of Oliver’s door slowly opening.  Yes, this is a creepy noise to hear in the middle of the night, but as it’s one I hear frequently, I’ve grown used to it.  I close my eyes and hope that he’s just going to use the bathroom.  No such luck on that front as I then hear the pitter-patter of his small feet as he makes his way into my bedroom.  Again, I have a small hope that maybe he just wants to come into bed with us and then we can all go back to sleep.  After all, I’d already been up frequently with Parker so maybe, just maybe, we could all just get a few more winks in.  Again, I’m nowhere near that lucky.  Instead, I’m told something that I can honestly say I’ve never heard uttered by another human being.  I could be weird and say that my three year old son was speaking in tongues or something along those lines.  No, the truth is strange on its own and far more humorous.

“I can’t find my pants.”

That’s right.  At 4 AM, my young son woke up and came into my bedroom to tell me that he’s lost his pants.  I’m immediately filled with questions.  How did he lose his pants?  Where could they have gone?  When did he lose them?  Why did he take them off in the first place?  I ask him one of these questions.

“Oliver.  It’s 4 o’clock in the morning.  How did you lose your pants?”

“I can’t find my pants.”

With a deep sigh, I get up out of bed and walk him back to his room.  He’s clad in his t-shirt and underwear.  Once we’re back in his bedroom, I pick up the flashlight on his dresser and shine it around to quickly find the missing pants, wedged between his bed and the wall.  I help him put them back on, tuck him in, turn the flashlight off, and then walk back to my room.  Fortunately, he went right back to sleep and stayed that way for another hour or two.

Being a parent is weird and I’m sure I’ll be faced with tough questions as my two kids get older.  I’ll have to explain death and the birds & the bees.  For now, I can be satisfied knowing that when my son loses his pants, I can solve that mystery.

Using Sleep as a Weapon

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I realized after I completed my previous post that I left out the main reason that I wrote it. Despite being almost 5 months old, my son still wakes up in the middle of the night a few times a week. Sometimes all he needs is a pacifier and he’s out cold. Others require a diaper change. When this happens, he wakes up a bit more and just starts smiling at me. It’s difficult to get annoyed at him for waking me up at 3 AM when he’s looking up at me like that. It’s like he’s saying “Hey Dad, let’s hang out.” I’ve read a couple parenting books and both of them say something about cherishing this time with your child. I can almost understand that but it’s still crazy. There’s no part of waking up at some weird hour that I enjoy. I guess the idea is that you’re never going to have time like this with your kid again. Everything is still and quiet. It’s just the two of you. Awww…

Anyway, with all that being said, I’ve come to the decision that one night over the course of time that Oliver is living under my roof, I’m going to wake him up one night. It won’t be for a little while and probably not until he’s at least a teenager, but one night, I’m just going to go into his room, wake him up, and hang out with him. If he asks why, I’ll point out that he always seemed to want to do this as a child and I wasn’t able to do so at the time. This sounds like cruel parenting in a way and I’m not saying I’m going to torture my child by preventing sleep. I’m planning on doing this just once.

I’m debating whether or not to tell this to Oliver or to just spring it on him. I think I want to tell him because that way he can appreciate every morning that he wakes up after a good night’s sleep. That was not an opportunity that was extended to me when he was an infant. I guess it can also be some sort of “Scared Straight” idea about safe sex. Geez, when I put it that way it sounds like I want revenge against my kid because I didn’t get enough sleep.

You Never Asked Me How I Was Sleeping Before

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I’ve already talked about the fact that when someone sees my kid, they inevitably think that he’s pooping. When they don’t physically see him and just ask me about him, there are two questions. They go as follows:

  • 1. How is the baby?
  • 2. How is he sleeping?
  • These are asked by everyone. Old people. Young people. People with kids and those without. Even if they’ve never actually seen a baby, they ask these questions. It’s a universal thing and 99.9% of people don’t really care. It’s just what you’re supposed to say, I think.

    The sleeping thing struck me as unusual at first. I’ve commented previously that the one piece of “advice” I received while Monica was pregnant was that I should get in as much sleep as I can. According to what I’ve read, the magic age for an infant sleeping through the night is 3 months. That’s the magic age for lots of stuff. They’re supposed to be able to roll over, keep their head up, and basically have more control over their bodies. These things are true but it’s not a switch that is suddenly flipped. Just as you have occasions where you have a good night’s sleep or times where you’re tossing and turning, babies do too.

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    We’re to the point now where Oliver mostly sleeps through the night. If he does wake up at all, he’s not hungry. He just needs a diaper change and a quick swaddling and he’s out in a few minutes. It’s still annoying to have to wake up in the middle of the night, but the whole process lasts maybe 15 minutes tops. Previously I’d have to make a bottle while he was screaming his head off then get upstairs, change him, and feed him. Meanwhile, he’d wake up Monica, thus disrupting both of our slumbers.

    Before you ask, yes I take the midnight shift. I take care of the kid if he gets up between midnight and 5 AM. I’m told this is rare. I can function on less sleep that Monica can and I got a system down early on for handling him. That being said, if I hear him fussing and the clock says 5:01 AM, I am not getting up. Sorry, dear.

    So, long story longer and to answer your question, my infant son is sleeping as well as any normal person who can’t stand up on his own or use the toilet.

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