Lesson of the Day: If You Really Wanted to Help…

Today’s lesson: If you really wanted to help, then you would have offered to get up with the crying baby instead of offering to stay in bed with him.

It’s summer and school just let out last week. That means that Grandma is back in town – or more specifically back in the guest room. I guess here is where I make a couple confessions: 1) I co-sleep with the baby. This comes from not wanting to spend hours sleeping in the rocking chair like I did with Liam. 2) We kicked Ian out of bed (and into the guest room) so that all three of us could get more sleep. We’ve had the occasional guest since Grandma left last year, but they all stayed for only one (weekend) night and we suffered through it. Grandma’s visit is different: it lasts about a month.

Ian had to vacate the guest room therefore Callan had to vacate our bed. We bought him a toddler bed (he just doesn’t sleep in the crib) and set it up at the foot of our bed to give him some transition time (and, to be honest, to give us some time to clean up Liam’s toys) before we move him into his room. So far, he stayed in his bed through the night once. Every other night, he’s climbed up into bed with us and harassed me until I let him nurse (the child says, “Drink?” when he wants to nurse). Some nights, I can get him back into his bed for a while, but more often that not, I drift off into sleep and wake up again when he wants to nurse. He’s teething right now so it seems like he wants to drink all the time.  This means that a) I don’t sleep much, b) I spend my nights laying in positions that help him drink but don’t help me at all, and c) he notices when I move him because he’s not sleeping well either.

Now I need to make another confession: I slipped on the stairs while carrying Liam when he was only a couple weeks old. Aside from the shock of the drop, he was fine. I – on the other hand – wound up with a compression fracture on my lower spine. The result of that has been recurring back pain that often comes when I spend the night trying to sleep around a baby. In recent months, the was less of a problem because Callan wouldn’t drink all night and would roll away when he was done. With three of us in the bed, there’s no place to go and I wind up with daily back pain.

Which brings us to this morning. I was awake, while Callan and Ian were asleep. I figured it was a great rime to put Callan back in his bed and get a little rest without him. Callan did nit think this was such a good idea. In fact, he started whining about it almost the instant his little head touched the mattress of his bed. Of course, the crying woke Ian up and he wanted to know what was going on. After I explained that I had just moved the baby so I could get some real rest, he offered, “I could take him in bed with me if he’ll stay.”

Really?

So Ian taking Callan into the bed pans out one of two ways: i) I go back to bed as originally intended so that all three of us are there. Callan realizes that I’m in the bed with him and insists on drinking more so I don’t get any rest and I have to contort myself around the baby again thus making my back more sore. ii) Ian takes Callan in the bed but then I don’t get in – I’m up and not getting that back-relaxing rest that I had originally planned on.

The reality? I got up and took Callan with me into the living room. After a diaper change, he got up on my lap and started talking about the, “p’low” which is Callan-speak for ‘pillow.’ Translated to English, that means “Pick up that nursing pillow and let me drink some more.” So I did, and he did, and now he’s asleep on my lap as I type. To top it off, Liam has woken up and is a right little chatterbox this morning so I’m trying to keep him quiet enough to not wake Callan while I figure out whether or not I’ll be able to move him (and then not go back to bed because Liam’s up). And where is Ian? Oh yes, in the bed all by himself, still sleeping.

Now that I’m pretty much done typing, Callan has woken up and I must go do grown-up things like getting breakfast for the kids and start the laundry. At least I get baby hugs and kisses to make up for the lack of sleep.

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