Monday, December 17, 2007

Babies are weird, man

From the age of 12 to about 16, babysitting was my main source of income. I have also been an aunt since the age of 14. As such, I have had my fair share of putting babies and kids to bed. In my experience, babies who cry themselves to sleep start off with gusto and then taper off over the next 10-15 minutes with maybe one last, pathetic “Eh!” before finally settling down to sleep for the night.

Not my baby.

My baby doesn’t cry himself to sleep at all… or so we thought. Lately, he has been protesting his naps and bedtime about fifty percent of the time. When he does cry, instead of the 10-15 minutes of winding down exhibited by typical babies, Jack does this:

“AAAAHHHHHH!” (breath) “AAAAHHHHHH!” (breath) “AAAAHHHHHH!” (breath) “AAAAHHHHHH!” (breath) “AAAAHHHHHH!” (breath) “AAAAHHHHHH!” (breath)
“AAAAHHHHHH!” (silence)

You think that last silence is just him taking a breath for the next yell, but… nope! He’s done! The whole process takes maybe 2-3 minutes. On a bad night, it takes 15. It’s at these times that I wish we had a video monitor just so I could see what the heck he’s doing in there. Does he fall asleep mid cry? Does he just decide he’s too tired for all that effort? He’s usually standing up when I leave, so at what point does he lie down?

On nights like these, this is what I imagine is happening in his head:

Why are you leaving me in here all alone? I want another story! I don’t want this stupid bink, I want a story! (snatches bink from mouth, throws it on floor) STORY STORY STORY STORY STORY! (looks around crib, finds second bink, picks it up for the express purpose of throwing it on the floor) I can’t BELIEVE they left me in here all alone! And with no binks! I’m in my bed, I get to have a bink! That’s the rule! How am I supposed to go to sleep with no bink? WHERE IS MY BIN-- (notices third and fourth spare binks in the crib) Oh, wait. There’s one. (puts bink in mouth, ceases crying, lies down, strokes blankie, goes to sleep.)

But of course, I don’t know. All I know is that we have to listen carefully to hear the difference between angry, “I don’t WANNA go to sleep” yells and scared “I want my mommy and where is my bink*?” cries which don’t end, but just get louder.

So, yeah. Babies are weird.

*All four of your binks are on the FLOOR WHERE YOU THREW THEM. Sigh.


Becca said...

One time I laid down on the bed in Charlie's room and instead of sleeping he picked up his lovey and dangled it over the side of the crib then looked at me, dropped it, and started crying. He goes to sleep solo now. Why do they throw all their stuff out?

Unknown said...

Wow! You described my world except I haven't yet learned to leave extra binks, or to leave...I've just kept fetching them...and falling asleep with the boy. You're doing well, kid!

Anonymous said...

I have a video monitor and it is quite funny to watch!! Amelia sometimes yells as well. Whe she finally goes to bed, she falls over (from a seated position) like a tree that has just been chopped down. Sometimes she does this over and over. Sits up and yells...falls on her face...sits up and yells.....falls on her face..and so on.