I Jinxed It

Following a textbook bedtime, Baby C woke up around 9:30 tonight. After an hour of screaming (her) and crying (me), I decided she could watch Hillary's speech with me on CSPAN. Technically, she's not allowed to watch TV, but I'm willing to bet CSPAN incapable of actually shortening anyone's attention span. Plus, I was sort of taken by the sentimental significance of watching Hillary rally the troops with my daughter on the anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s ratification.

Baby C was ecstatic to find thousands of people wearing funny hats and clapping—her two favorite things! Bathed in the light of Hillary’s orange suit, she gazed up at the TV with a look of adoration rivaling Bill’s (bleh--was anyone else completely grossed out when he mouthed “I love you” to his wife as the camera focused in?) and beat her hands together throughout the whole speech.

Because this blog is nothing if not fair and balanced, we will see how she reacts next week when the Republicans gather in the Twin Cities. Although I suspect that Greg might actually enforce an earlier bedtime.

August Adventures

August brought our first baby-related trip to the E.R. Baby C had been nursing a slight head cold for a few days. One night, (on the eve of a flight to Boston, of course), her breathing became very labored and she sounded like a baby seal coughing in her crib. A quick Google search revealed that she probably had croup. Croup?! I thought croup had been eradicated along with the mange. I remembered that in Anne of Green Gables, Anne saved croupy Minnie May's life with her nursing skills. Lacking a spunky, red-haired orphan of our own, we called the doctor.

The doc gave us two opposite home remedies of a steamy bathroom or cold air, but Baby C’s Flipper-like cough just got worse. So, at 1:30 in the morning, we went ahead to the E.R., praying that Clark was at a kegger or otherwise off-duty. Luckily we saw an actual doctor. Baby C got a shot of steroids, which made her feel much better (despite derailing her ‘08 Olympic career). I don't advocate hospital trips prior to travel, but she did sleep through a two hour delay on the tarmac the next day.

On that note, God bless the sound machine. I don't want to jinx anything by spelling it out, but it seems to be working! Amazing stuff, sleep. I feel almost human again, or as human as someone can when she's got stewed peaches drying in her hair. (Actually, the peaches seem to work just about as well as mousse.) Bring on the wipe warmer and the big plastic toys: I'm a believer!

Attention Target Shoppers

Had you been at my neighborhood Target this evening, you would have seen lots of over-tired children melting down in the check out lane, and you may well have wondered, "What kind of parent drags their offspring out to a big box store so late?"

I do. I am that kind of parent. And I will tell you why.

She's Not Sleeping. Three weeks ago, Baby C started waking up at least four times a night. She also dropped her afternoon nap. As you can imagine, this doesn't do wonders for either of our dispositions (or my ability to post a coherent blog).

My standards did start higher, which perhaps makes the current situation even more painful. Before Baby C arrived, I airily assumed that we were not the kind of people who would have their baby out past a decent bedtime. I didn't want a house full of big plastic toys, I scoffed at the wipe warmer, and I thought a white noise machine for the nursery was overkill. The baby would sleep to the background noise of crickets (or of the TV downstairs) like her forefathers.

I have, shall we say, revisited several of my opinions. Tonight, after three weeks and two hours of infant insomnia, I concede that a 10 PM search for a sound machine at Target with a yawning baby beats listening to her shriek in her crib.

Unfortunately, Target carries neither sound machines nor infant barbiturates (kidding about the latter. . . sort of). I asked a gap-toothed employee about the sound machine. His English was more broken than his smile. “Sound machine? What is this? A machine that makes a sound only?”

I was aware at how ridiculous I sounded. “Yes. It makes sort of a quiet background noise. It helps babies sleep longer.”

He chuckled. “I have never heard of this. In my country, we just [he made a rocking motion with his arms].”

“Yes, I do that, too. I rock her. But, lately, she’s been waking up several times a night. She can’t sleep in my arms the whole time. I’m so tired. . . . Anyway, thank you.” I skulked away, never feeling more like the spoiled American consumer that I undeniably am.

I should have explained to the nice man that my stance on wipe warmers remains firm. On second thought, who knows what next week will bring?

Baby C Has Two Mommies

Our friends have a theory that, sort of like a gosling will follow whatever it imprints right after it hatches, their toddler imprints which ever one of them happens to go into the nursery first thing in the morning. Some days, their kid is all about dad; other days, he only has eyes for mom.

They may be right. Around here, this was the weekend of Greg. Baby C wanted nothing to do with me. Unfortunately, her vocabulary hasn't kept pace with her fickle preferences. Sitting in her high chair, she cried "Mama!" I rushed to her side, only to have my arms pushed away. She held up her chubby hands to Greg. "Mama! Mama!"

"I'm Daddy, honey," he said as he picked her up.

"Mama," she said back and snuggled in. He shrugged, clearly thrilled to have been chosen. Let's hope he's as receptive to the label around 2:00 this morning.