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Clawing my way back to normal

A few weeks ago, we had it made.  Henry went down with a minimum of fussing for 2 naps per day, and the slipped peacefully into slumber at night, not really awakening for 12 or so hours.

That  has changed.

I’m pretty sure it’s due to all the back & forthing.  He doesn’t like ‘camping out’ in New Hampshire (and I have to say, I’m looking forward to having furniture again, too.) and his portable crib cramps his outflung arms, & roll-y-baby style.  The routine is, by necessity, different between Brooklyn & NH.  His NH room is brighter during the day than the baby-cave of the basement in NY.  He doesn’t have homemade food in NH, just the ready-made stuff, and I think it doesn’t agree with him as well.  Plus, you know, the ongoing quest to have all his teeth before he turns 10 mos. old, the almost-crawling that has him aquiver with anticipation, the development of rolling as a deliberate, motor-across-the-room action, sitting up without help, and letting himself back down to roll – these are all exciting things to a baby brain, and I’m pretty sure he’s just amped about how cool his life is, much of the time.  (Empty boxes! The letter ‘B’! Doggie! SIPPY CUP!  ROLLLLININNNNGGGG!!!!!! CRACKER!!! OOOOAAAAAATTTTMEALLLLLLL!!!!!!)

Which is all well & good, but for the last two weeks or so, his days have been all about appearing to consider taking a nap, but instead deciding to pop open his eyes, laugh in mom’s weary face, and go back to trying to pick up the cracks in the wood floor.  His nights have been more along the lines of ‘scream!’ ‘sleep’ ‘scream!’ ‘sleep’

repeat.  repeat.  repeat.

I’m really quite exhausted – sort of a bone-deep ‘don’t talk to me, cuz you’ll just piss me off’ level of exhaustion that even the Boy has noticed.  And I’m trying not to give into the mean, because that’s not who I want to be, but it’s hard when you feel like all your neurons are just stuttering to a halt in your braincase without ever getting you anywhere.

But this morning, Henry let me sleep til a little after 6 (which is SO much better than the 4am which has been his new wake-up time recently)  He’s currently propelling himself (backwards) through the kitchen on his tummy, which is amusing me as much as it’s pissing him off.

And, really, there’s an awful lot of fun going on in the household, too, in between the no-napping.

  • Henry has gone from a smiling, but not-very-chuckly baby to a little person who finds new things to giggle at every day.  Being threatened by mom’s “Tickle Hands” coming at him is his new favorite.
  • He’s been giving his peculiar big, open-mouthed kisses for a couple of months, now – to me, and his father, and his dog.  But now, apparently, photos of faces have made enough of an impression on his baby-brain that they’re due the same treatment.  Nothing cuter than a baby kissing all the pictures of babies in a big board book.
  • His babbling has (finally!) progressed past mastery of the ‘MMMM’ sound, and we’ve got some complex word forms going on.  I swear he’s been practicing the word “Blah-blah-blah” lately, because I laugh every time he says it.  He’s also figured out that his tongue is good for changing the sound of sounds.  But he hasn’t figured out he can usually leave it in his mouth while he’s talking.  So it pokes out – crookedly, no less! – from one side of his mouth while he’s babbling.  ADORABLE!
  • Cords – and shoelaces – and my long hair – and the dog’s leash — (are you sensing a theme here?) — are the new favored toys.  Which is making baby-proofing a bit challenging.  I think we’re going to be investing in a lot of ‘nail ’em to the wall’ type cord securing devices.  Weirdly enough, his cousin went through a stage where he was obsessed with extension cords.  It’s family legend, actually, how odd this now-perfectly-normal man was as a young kid.  Looks like Henry’s following along in those family footsteps, perhaps.
  • Feeding mama is his new bust-out-into-giggles trick. If I hand him a rice rusk, he’ll offer it back to me first.  I’ll pretend to take a nibble and make extravagant faces over how delicious it is.  This makes him nearly swoon with delight.  So he’ll take a bite before offering it back to me.  So very good at sharing!  (And such a shame I don’t like rice rusks.)
  • Truly – lack of sleep aside, this age is proving to be so very much fun.  And once I have neurons to use again, it’ll be even better, I’m sure.

And on an entirely different note, I’ve got a new book review up at BlogHer.  Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok – I didn’t expect to like this book but I really really did.  See, I know kids like this in Queens.  Kids that are so bright, so full of promise – and yeah, this is a semi-autobiographical, so you know it’s not going to have a bummer of an ending, which is something I’m not at all assured of with the kids I knew in Queens.  But an excellent read, a wonderful, hopeful, story that I truly enjoyed.

5 comments to Clawing my way back to normal

  • Em

    So sorry things are so crappy on the sleep front. They aren’t any better for Marley and me either. Ugh. 7 months… But I agree that all the cuteness does (sort of) help make up for it.

  • All I can say is whatever it is, I promise it will change. Unfortunately that works for the good and the rough and sleepless. We go through 2 week periods of awesome sleep, punctuated by a week or two of sleepless nights. I relate it to teething, but sometimes there’s just no rhyme or reason. It is just forever changing.

    That being said–I am halfway through Girl in Translation (usually read with my booklight after G and I move to the floor mattress at my bedtime and his first waking)…I am really enjoying it.

    Hang in there. It will get better. Then worse. Then better. Etc.

  • I second Murgdan. This too shall pass. It seems most babies go through this difficult phase. hang in there. It is not easy but its temporary. [ducks the glass chucked in my direction as I know that the knowledge that it will pass means diddly squat in the face of sleep deprivation].

    I need to ask you at some point how to get more active with BlogHer. I want to. And mel is kind enough to list me as a featured blogger sometime next week on the site, but I wish I knew how to participate more.

  • The babbling gets better, George sounds now like Joey when Phoebe was teaching him French. Supremely funny!
    I may sound like the early books, but try to sleep when he does, during the day. This is how I function. Hang in there!

  • Pie

    Ugh, stuttering neurons does not sound fun. Hopefully when you are settled in NH, things will even out again. Babies do like routine, it does help with sleep.

    I love reading your descriptions of the games you guys play, they sound great. Brings a smile to my face too :)