adventures and misadventures in parenting, marriage, and life
Monday, May 23, 2011
The Waiting Game
Hypersensitive to my son's cries, I routinely wake up at the slightest sniffle, snort, or wail. Unfortunately, my son does not. Night after night, I find that in the time between hearing him complain and getting to the door of his room, his face has returned to a peacefully slack visage. Because I am trying not to raise a second child who wakes up two-three times a night until the age of two, I now spend at least an hour or two each night shuffling between bed, the bathroom, and Benjamin's room, trying to wait until he's actually awake to pick him up out of bed, change his diaper, and feed him. In fact, minus the actual baby, it's not a whole lot different than when I was pregnant.
I even tried not changing his diaper, in an effort to wake him less and try to shorten the length of time I was awake with him (and therefore, he was awake with me). That effort was rewarded the next time I fed him by a soaking wet baby, blanket, sheet, and mattress pad. Every. Time. I. Tried. It. And I tried it numerous times, hoping for a different outcome each time. Adding insult to injury, even when I woke the poor kid by changing his diaper (which includes exposing his delightfully warm body to the cold night air), he was sometimes still too sleepy to eat well--and thanked me by waking up two hours later to eat vigorously and intently.
Short of sound-proofing Benjamin's room, I'm not sure how to curtail my own night wakings. One thing it makes me acutely aware of is how "normal" it is to wake at night--and even to want to wake someone else to share the insomnia with. Already I can thank child #2 for helping me better understand child #1--even though I stand firm on insisting both sleep in their own rooms, with the doors closed.