Breakthroughs, Parenthetical Questions

Sleep was going downhill. With the baby, I mean. There were 15-minute naps at non-nap times and no naps at naptimes, and at bedtime there was nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse, fiiiiinally drift off to sleep, geeeently attempt to put down, startle, wake up and cry, nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse til I thought I would lose my mind.

There is no accounting for what happened next. Saturday night after the third nurse nurse nurse nurse, I thought to myself, I bet she doesn't even really want to nurse. I bet she just wants to lie in that crib and go to sleep. So I gave her a little head snuggle (soft baby heads! They are why I do this at all!) and put her in the crib. Lay on the bed next to the crib where she could see me. Watched the clock and tried to relax.

She cried for two minutes, but (speaking of what you hear when your kids cry) it wasn't even like Mama, you are abandoning me! Pick me up! I'm dying! at all. It was more like I'm tired! Tired! AAAAA! Tired, tired! Ti...

And then she turned her head to one side, said ummm and went to sleep. For three hours, which is the longest she's slept in days. Textbook! I should have taken advantage of it to sleep, but I stayed up until midnight playing euchre (isn't euchre quaint?) and eating chocolate chip cookies.

And then naps today were like that, too. Well, they were still pitifully short, but instead of nursing her until I felt like my brains were being pulled out through my nipples, I lay her in her crib and cooed at her while she cried for between thirty seconds and three minutes and then zonked out on her own.

Also, today Ingrid peed on the potty three times and only wore a diaper at naptime and when out for a walk. I won't go into it but this was totally unheard of before today.

And at dinner I gave Iris some bits of banana to occupy her. (Should I not be doing that? Should I be reading up on the Heimlich?) She didn't get many of them to her mouth anyway, but she pulverized some of them and scraped the rest off into her lap, and then I swear to God she very deliberately tapped her little mitten-y hands together in the sign for more. She did it three times, and then after I gave her another pile of banana chunks she didn't do it again. A saw it too. Is that totally unheard of, that a six-month-old could do a sign? She's seen me do it a few dozen times in the past week but...is that even possible?

Also, she can now scooch forward. Not crawling, exactly, but for a non-crawler she is all of a sudden damn mobile. As of Saturday.

And after months of resisting my doing anything with her hair, Ingrid is all of a sudden into wearing pigtails and it is ADORABLE.

And this week Ingrid and I discovered the kids' non-fiction section at the library. Why had we only been looking at the fiction before? She chose a book about butter, two about bees, one about lacrosse, and one called The Biography of Wheat.

The bees were what started it. I bought some honey in a honeycomb at the co-op as a treat and I felt I needed some backup for my assertion that the honey was in that thing because the bees put it there. Who put it there, Mama?

I wish I had something more coherent to say. I've been eating a lot of toast with honey. I have a lot of work-y stuff going on that I can't exactly write about. I've knitted four inches of that bag (and by the way, I forgot to mention: All that yarn? Cost four dollars!) And I'm wondering, is there sometimes something wrong with bloglines where nothing comes up for, like, twelve hours, or has the entire blogging community just taken up the practice of observing the Sabbath?


  1. Well, I just went through this whole angsty thing about letting Boo cry, but you are making me reconsider. Even I could handle three minutes! Hmm.

  2. Do you ever read Ask Moxie? She has this theory that there are two types of babies in the world: those who can't cry it out because they just get more tense and those who relax by crying for a couple of minutes. I have the first type so can't even comprehend the second type, but this week I babysat a baby and it was like a freakin' miracle. I had a hard time letting her cry and the more I juggled and jostled her the more pissed she got, so I finally did what her mom told me to do and BAM! Three minutes later she was asleep.

    Also, Moxie is big on this thing called Baby Led Weaning which means you give your baby big chunks of food which they can control themselves. I didn't hear of that when my son was a baby so never tried it, but it sure would be cool if it really worked!

  3. Yay, sleep! That's really great that she can fall asleep by herself. Jamie wasn't like that, and I did try! We just discovered the nonfiction section, AND the kids' movie section. I am dumb.

  4. It sounds like you're getting some much needed breaks, enjoy them!

    I just about snorted the tea I was sipping when I read about feeling like the brains being sucked through the nipple. I hear you. Ezra has been sleeping much the same. Unfortunately if I even put him down alone for a minute to see if he'll fall asleep he starts rubbing his itchy little eczema cheeks until they almost bleed. Poor kid.

  5. Ollie was kind of like that. The boy still loves to cry and clearly releases tension from it. I wish hearing it did the same for me! I went through such angst over letting him cry, but every time I picked him up, we'd start the cycle all over again, just like you described. I felt like such a dummy to realize that his honest preference seemed to be to cry for 2-10 minutes and pass out all on his own. All my efforts to rock and lull him to sleep just prolonged it, and he was so much more well rested and happy after that. I think maybe some kids just have a pie-hole shaped pressure valve. It didn't seem to help to have me in the room, so I'd go rake leaves with the window open so I could barely hear it, wondering if my neighbors thought I was evil. As for N: if he was my only kid, I'm pretty sure I'd still think all those parents who let their kids cry were evil, because he's a totally different kid, and it wouldn't have helped him a bit. Anything less than prompt and fully engaged attention got him all worked up, to the point of throwing up, so I kind of get why some people can't imagine even very moderate forms of CIO. They probably have a kid for whom that might actually be damaging. I hope what you're doing keeps working well for you. If she can pull that off even when she wakes after a sleep cycle, you'll be golden.
    I wanna see those pig tails!O so wants girlie hair. Did you get the BPCP e-mail from Karen? are you going?

  6. Oh my goodness your children sound BRILLIANT! And no, I don't think you can choke to death on banana. I can't believe Iris is already six months.