Thursday, February 04, 2010

Chinese Fire Drill!

At the foot of my bed, I find John. At the head of my bed, I find Ainsley. I stumble to the kitchen to find coffee.

I read the book. I followed the plan. The baby slept. I declared victory! A little too soon, it appears.

Friday night began like a dream. I nursed Ainsley as I read stories to John. Lights out at 7:30!

Around 11:00 Kolbe had had enough of Pinewood Derby preparations. He curled up in our bed and was out like a light. At 11:30 Ainsley started fussing. By 12:00 Ainsley's fussing woke up John. I carried John into our room in hopes that Ainsley would settle down. John took one look at Kolbe and barked, "Get out of the bed!" Kolbe complied. Out goes Kolbe, in comes John. Ainsley never settled down. Out goes mom. I spent a fitful night soothing Ainsley, dozing in John's bed, and snoozing in my own.

Why is this, I wonder? Stuffy nose? Ear problems? The recently diagnosed eczema? We saw the doctor this morning. A clean bill of health! It's back to baby boot camp.

As sleep problems go, this is minor league. Our first baby left us grizzled veterans of foreign wars. Back when Tim was a baby, I sought the help of La Leche League because nursing had degenerated into the all-night cafe. I arrived at my first meeting spent - totally and completely spent.

Now, I love the La Leche League. Their well-informed counselors solved at least two difficult nursing problems for me. If you encounter nursing issues, no one is more knowledgeable.

At that first visit, however, I didn't find what I was looking for. I was sleep deprived and couldn't take it another day. They handed me a book called The Snugglers (or was it The Cuddlers?) that pictured a glowing family of six plus the family dog all happily sharing one bed and greeting the morning with smiles and good cheer. Now I felt then, and still feel today, that I could write the dark sequel to The Snugglers. Call it The Shriekers, The Howlers, The I'm Hopping the Next Plane for Bora Bora (ers).

To be brief, though we utilize the family bed as a stop-gap measure for a host of reasons - itty-bitties, sickness, travel, or night-terrors - I like my space.

The tricky part this time around is that, at least in theory, Ainsley and John share a room. With babies past, a little fussing (or in Tim's case quite a lot) didn't disturb anyone but me.

I sat at the Pinewood Derby last week dissecting our sleep issues with my friend Annette, a mother of fifteen children.

"We're trying to get the babies sleeping in the same room," I shared. "I hear it's been done through the centuries."

To Annette's enormous credit, she didn't laugh at me. Her kids all sleep at night, and it's not because they have fifteen bedrooms. This too shall pass.

I'm reminded of a favorite expression of our friend Dennis: Keep doing the right thing long enough and eventually you'll be successful. Fortitude, fortitude, fortitude.

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