The pacifier kids

By on May 18, 2015 in Expert Advice, Life With Three, Sleep | 0 comments

Okay, fine, we’ve officially given up.  You win, Veronica (*throws hands up in the air*). Here you go, take the pacifiers.  Take aaaaallllll the pacifiers.  Because we need sleep and the other shit we were doing? That wasn’t working. But you know what I love about us?  What I think makes us brilliant?  We have a routine.  We have a routine that we stick to religiously.  At night, we have her take a cat nap, and then dinner, and then bath, and then feed, a book, and bed.  And on the days that the schedule is compromised for one reason or the other?  Leah: “Oh, shoot, I don’t know if we’ll be able to get her a bath tonight?” Me: Sigh. “Well, that’s not going to be good.” But, wait, you know what? IT DOESN’T MATTER.  We don’t have the right to hem and haw over a routine when it doesn’t work in the first place.  For all we know, the best routine for her, the one that will have her sleeping in until 8 am, might be to eat dinner in the bath tub followed by a bottle shoved through the spine of a book.  Or maybe she should ride through the living room on a llama while a dozen howler monkeys throw food at her, “Come on Eileen” playing softly in the background.  We don’t know.  Nobody knows, because we are sticking to the schedule that has produced zero positive results. But anyway, schedule aside, she’s not sleeping through the night on her own.  Or really, anything close.  We’d reached the point where, every night between 10:30 and 11:30, Veronica would wake up and not go back asleep until she was laying on her mom’s chest.  That wasn’t great sleep for Mom.  And then Veronica would usually make it until about 5 or maybe 5:30 when she would start tossing around on Mom’s chest, so Dad would take her downstairs.  That wasn’t great sleep for Dad.  In the end, everyone loses.  Well, everyone except Veronica.  She was pretty happy, actually. So finally, after months of this, we gave up and started throwing pacifiers at her.  We are now putting her down with a pacifier and have sprinkled a half dozen pacifiers in her crib.  Why not more?  Because the other half dozen that we’d like to put in there are hanging out with the missing left socks.  Someday they will tear this house down and a thousand pacifiers will come spilling out.  We really tried to avoid having her be a pacifier baby.  Not because we don’t like pacifiers.  Shit, we love them.  But because having a pacifier baby means that, for a long time, we’ll be getting up at least once a night (usually twice) to replace a pacifier once she’s kicked them all off the crib.  And you have to go in there and grope around in the dark, running your hands along the crib mattress feeling for plastic (why do they make the little fuckers clear?) (no pacifiers there) Fishing around in the gap between the bars and the mattress, until finally having to drop to the floor and reach under the crib.  And by that time it’s 3 am and you’re pretty much all the way awake and have to go pee. So yeah, we wanted to avoid the pacifier, but she never found her thumb and she didn’t have an interested in a lovey, so here we are. She, like her brother and sister before her, is a pacifier kid.  But you know what?  Last night she slept in until 6am. So I guess maybe the routine does work, plus a pacifier or...

Assume a spherical baby

By on Mar 30, 2015 in Expert Advice, Life With Three, Parenting, Sleep | 0 comments

We did it!  We figured out Veronica’s sleep!  And just in time too, as things were going pretty poorly.  Ever since she’d hit the four month sleep regression, she’d been waking up all through the night and we’d resigned ourselves to the fact that the only life we were ever going to have would be indistinguishable from that of the walking dead.  But then, just as nearly all hope had drained away, she did it.  She slept until 5.  And then the next night she slept until 5:45.  Then 6.  One magical night, she had learned to flip herself onto her stomach and that position is just what she needed to make it through the night. We did it! For five glorious days, the sleep was working.  Then…less so. It was a couple four AM wake ups – four AM and wide awake.  Then we had a few brushes with one and two AM wake ups, making us once again feel lucky on the nights she makes it until 3 am and falls back asleep on Leah.  We’ve given up and are taking taking what we can get. I suppose she probably won’t still be getting up at 3 am when she’s in high school. But what happened to the 5 am wake up?  What changed? She’s still sleeping on her stomach, still going to bed at the same time.  But now she’s up at 3 am on the dot every night.  What the hell? And this, this is why having kids is maddening, especially for people of a scientific persuasion.  We assume that we can figure something out – solve it – and then move on.  This is fine when dealing with the laws of nature, but the laws of the newborn are much more frustrating.  It’s an experiment conducted within a universe where the fundamental laws are flipped on their heads every two weeks. We’ve worked bedtime around to what I believe is now the third iteration of sleep arrangements between Veronica and the elders, the iteration that got Veronica sleeping through the night for five glorious days.  The only iteration with any proven success. The Plan Veronica gets a bath right after dinner while Lucy practices piano and Rocky helps with the bath by dumping water on Veronica’s head. Veronica gets PJ’d, fed, and booked while I start the kids’ bath.  Kids take a bath, screaming as loudly as humanly possibly.  Tiled walls amplify sound.  I figure as long as I can hear them they’re safe, so I retreat to a place where I can still hear them without blowing an eardrum (the tavern). Teeth! (Open wide.  Wider.  Don’t bite. Rocky, when you bite the toothbrush you ruin it.  Yes, you have to floss every day). Okay, rinse and spit.  Don’t swallow. Rocky bites the toothbrush and swallows a gallon of fluoride toothpaste for the 187th day in a row Wait a little bit, read a few books, and just generally buy time for Veronica to find REM sleep. And then, quiet as a band of mice, we creep our way upstairs. BANG BANG BANG “What the hell? Why are you guys stomping,” I whisper furiously.  “Quietly, I said.  Your sister is sleeping.” “BLURGL BARG ARGGH,” Lucy screams, waving her arms in the air. “JESUS CHRIST!” I’m no longer whispering.  Veronica is no longer sleeping. I think, all in all, the transition to three kids is going...