Little O was, in general, a fussy pain this afternoon. He went to sleep quickly after church for Nap #2, but he woke up startled and inconsolable. It is very rare that once he is held he continues to cry, but this afternoon he continued to wail. The Parakeet bounced him for a bit and handed him to the Huz so she could take some chicken out of the oven. Well, he liked that even less. Wailing became screaming. Beautiful white chubby cheeks became bright red tomato face. It seemed it was time to bring out the boob.
Of course, two friends were on their way over and the door buzzer rang as the Huz was walking to the kitchen to finish assembling their lunch. Ahhh – welcome to the chaos! Everyone was casual and accomodating. The Parakeet nursed the baby. The Huz made lunch. Everyone ate with bowls in their laps and the baby calmed down. Phew.
Two hours later, he got scared and threw another fit. It seemed this may be one of those days – he also may be teething. He lets out gushes of drool and never stopped gnawing on someone’s finger all day. Time will tell..
Regardless, a trying afternoon for all present. The friends went home. The baby took a third brief nap. The Huz cleaned the kitchen and looked just totally fried. The Parakeet told him to take a break – she could handle O. He went to the neighbors to watch the Bears, and the house, for the first time all day, stood still.
Little O clung to the Parakeet in his footed Circus print pajamas. He flung both arms around her and nuzzled his chin on her neck. He moaned in a truly pitiful way. She decided to nurse him to sleep. She took him to the couch, arranged the pillow, nuzzled him in her elbow and picked up a book. He quickly latched on and slowed his breathing. Soon his eyelids drifted shut. He kept his free hand against her chest, occasionally petting her skin. She read, in the silence, and just felt his mouth on her body. She let him there for a long time, feeling his rhythm slow down, and after nearly fifty minutes, he fell asleep.
She closed her book and just looked at him. Just held him. Just let him sleep. His skin looked porcelain and she could see movement behind his eyelids. She felt calm. A wonderful calm – that would ideally fill every sleety Sunday evening. She felt desperate. A bittersweet Desperation- to take in every detail of his little sleeping body because the moment was fading. She doesn’t know how long she stared, but it seemed to comfort them both.
She held him close, stood, and carried him to his crib where he stayed sleeping while she covered him with a blanket, then tiptoed out.
While she thought her heart might break from being too full of love for the little one, she also whispered a prayer that she wouldn’t see him again until morning.
Perhaps the Parakeet’s favorite part of Thanksgiving:
Pie for Breakfast!!
Here is their first attempt at showing you some live action; featuring the kicking legs of Little O.
Perhaps one of the touchiest subjects among new parents of the Parakeet’s generation is sleep. Most moms (and dads) have an opinion. There are families who share the bed. There are parents who check on their infant’s every whimper and whine. There are moms who let babies cry themselves to sleep even if it takes over an hour. There is a wide spectrum of techniques and approaches to “teaching” something that seems like it would be innate. But self-soothing, friends, is not innate – turns out babies learn this behavior.
In an effort to avoid judgement and obsessiveness, the Parakeet originally didn’t adhere to any one “Sleep” philosophy. She enjoyed that Little O slept six hours a night by six weeks.
She did not, however, enjoy the endless walking it took to get him to nap. Her floors were beginning to show wear in the figure eight pattern she took from kitchen around dining room table. Over and Over again. So, once Owen was about eight weeks – and it seemed, during the day, he would sleep only while strapped to her body – she decided to read a little something something.
She had read one book while prego and remembered it didn’t have too much advice for the pre-three month olds. So, she tried another book. They weren’t that different, but she found the second one pretty instructive. She has kept sleep logs – little color coded graphs that her babysitters make fun of. She also tries real hard (with the help of the Huz) to not keep O awake more than two hours at a time.
He is so much Happier! It’s really really helping. Three Naps a day and at least 8 hours at night. Little O is going from Cranky Pants to Happy Pants, and those are pants worth wearing.
BUT he still has his moments. And when he does, the Parakeet goes against all book knowledge. If O doesn’t make it through the night, she brings him into her bed to nurse him. This is totally for her own benefit. Nursing lying down means she can fall asleep. O also will fall asleep. Last Sunday, O woke up at 6AM. She may have called this “Good Morning” during the week -but not on a Sunday. She took him into the bed and nursed him to sleep. She woke up at eight and he was still sleeping. She tiptoed out of the room and left her boys in bed.
Nine o’clock came.
Ten o’clock came.
The baby was still asleep.
At ten-fifteen she heard him stir and she heard the Huz say, “Oh, jeez”
She walked into the room. The Huz spoke quietly, “Babe, he wet our bed. But I just love having him in here. It’s so cute to cuddle him.” Sure enough. There was a large wet circle surrounding the passed-out, peaceful O. I guess that King Sized Serta complete with Organic sheets just relaxed him in a whole new way. Funny that the Huz knew immediately the Keet would decide this was the end of any ‘bed-sharing’.
But she didn’t. She actually didn’t even get the sheets in the laundry that day.
Oh well. If you can’t sleep on your baby’s urine, whose urine can you sleep on?
Little O got his Social Security card in the mail today. This felt like some huge big tadoo of a deal to the Parakeet. She wants to make him his favorite dinner or something. She really felt sentimental about it. Yeah, Little O – now the Government can take money out of your paycheck to help Mom and Dad when they’re old 🙂
Cynical? Perhaps. The Parakeet has tended to believe that people, for the most part, do not change. Herself included. Try as she might for some spiritual maturity or general self-improvement, she usually remains the same indecisive, emotional girl who half-finishes projects and insists on a silver lining while beginning yet another exercise plan.
HOWEVER, being at home with a baby has brought a few of her habits into some harsh light. Light that shows the dust on the furniture, if you are catching this drift. The messy house is driving her right down to CRAZY town. Seriously. She has never been a neat freak – in fact she tends to leave clutter. She’ll draw the line at food – food mess always cleaned up, but clothes, for example, are quite often on the floor. It seems, though, that nearing thirty years old – she may try to change these habits. Once and for all. Grandma would be proud – she said the Parakeet always had a pile of clean, unfolded clothes. Oh well, they used to talk on the phone while the bird did dishes. That should count for something.
All of this is to say that coupling the need for clean with her recent near-obsession with the queen of daytime tv, the Parakeet has signed up for “Oprah’s Clean Up Your Messy House” challenge. Seriously. She printed out a pledge and signed it. The house will be clutter-free by May. This is the real deal; one-thing-at-a-time; monthly assignments. The Pledge is hanging in her home office – a constant reminder of her commitment. During November she is trying to throw a bag of junk away each night. So far so good. She has gone through two large stacks of paper in the office and her shoes. She is also trying to make the bed each day. Tuesday, it did not happen until 4:00. But it is now made. And it looks nice. If you care to join the Parakeet in ridding your house of clutter, just go to Oprah.com and look for the “Clean Up Your Messy House” pledge or Peter Walsh. Yikes – let’s hope she doesn’t regret this one.
On an unrelated note (or is it?) the Parakeet sent the “Shred” DVD back to Netflix. Who was she kidding?
” I’ve brought you all here to discuss some very important matters. Bear, do you have the agenda? Great. Puppy, please take minutes.”