When I picked up the Little Man from school yesterday, we went through the usual preliminaries (“What did you do at school today?” “Play toys! Outside!”) and then asked him a very important question: Do you want to watch the Yankee game with Daddy tonight?
So at 7pm, we headed upstairs to watch the Yanks. About the same time, the Little Miss seemed to get somewhat cranky, but Kelly was about to feed her so I figured she’d calm down once she had some milk in her belly. Of course, the Yankees game was rain-delayed and so we watched the beginning of the Orioles/Red Sox game. On our walk home from school, I’d made sure to teach the Little Man to say “Go Yankees!” and being a quick learner, he would stand on our bed during the Red Sox game shouting “Go Yankees! Go Yankees!”
Meanwhile, I could hear the Little Miss crying downstairs. Not an all out screaming cry, but a steady, idling cry.
Early in the Red Sox game, the Orioles hit a home run and I cheered, throwing both hands up in the air and shouting, “Yeah!” The Little Man replicated this perfectly. He is the Rich Little1 of his daddy’s sports celebratory outbursts. Thereafter, no matter what the play was, the Little Man would do a little celebratory dance.
Now, the Little Man has had a bit of a rough time this last month. After all, he is no longer the center of attention. He has a little sister and she requires a lot of our attention. As we approached 8pm, I could still hear the Little Miss crying downstairs. The Little Man had taken to sleeping in our room. When he does sleep in his room, it takes an hour to get him to sleep. I had decided that I was going to being the transition of getting him to sleep in his room without requiring an hour to get him to sleep. Just before 8pm, I took him into his room. I told him that I’d be right down the hall if he needed me, but that I wasn’t going to stay there with him. I kissed him goodnight and then I left.
He cried at the top of his lungs for 10 minutes. He whined for 5 minutes beyond that. And then he was asleep.
The Yankee game was just starting and the Little Miss was still crying. I went downstairs to see if I could help, but none of my usual tricks seemed to be effective. She seemed uncomfortable but we couldn’t figure out what was bothering her. We dimmed the lights. We played various soothing sounds for her. We walked her around. Nothing seemed to work.
This continued, on and off over the next three hours. The Little Man woke up asking for Daddy and Mommy. The Little Miss was crying even more. I took the Little Man downstairs and traded him for the Little Miss. I brought her upstairs and tried to soothe her. Nothing seemed to work. Meanwhile, Kelly eventually brought the Little Man back upstairs and into bed. And by this point, Tampa had tied the game and the score was 2-2.
Somehow–I’m still not sure how–I got the Little Miss to sleep in my arms. I kept her there for a while until she was snoring soundly, then I set her down on the bed. She woke up at once and started screaming again. At that moment, I could have punctured a hole in the universe. I picked her up again and tried to get her back to sleep but with no luck.
After a while, Kelly tried feeding her again. That seemed to help a little. After she ate, I burped her and she spit up all over my Yankees shirt. I know that several people reading this will be grinning evilly and wringing their hands over this seemingly apropos action, but at the exact moment the Little Miss was spitting up on my Yankees shirt, Jorge Posada was knocking in the winning runs–so there.
It was some time after 11pm when the Little Miss finally got to sleep and Kelly was able to sleep, too. Kelly was worn out, I could tell. But despite the rough evening, I can’t really complain. This was the first tough evening we’ve had since the Little Miss was born.
And besides, the Yankees clinched the division title, and there’s no telling what would have happened if the Little Miss hadn’t spit up on my Yankees shirt.
- I wonder how many people will get this reference? ↩
When our kids were inconsolable after being fed, changed, burped, cuddled, etc. we found that a drive often helped calm them. Even easier was to place the child in her carseat on top of the dryer and turn it on. Somehow the vibration and white noise seemed to send them to sleep. Naturally, your mileage may vary.
Thanks for the tips, Bob. The configuration of our dryer won’t allow a car seat atop it, but I may try the drive next time.