Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sleep and suspect lullabyes

Doesn't he look like he should have a can of Bud in one hand and the remote control falling out of the other?

You kind of expect to see a bag of potato chips on the floor and hear the game blaring out of the television. I mean, except for the fact that he's asleep in the arms of lovely Jenny. But if he were on a couch...

So lately, we've begun fighting sleep. By WE I mean the sleep pirate.

His eyes will get all tired and pink and puffy and he'll yawn and not, but still insist that he IS NOT TIRED! NO! What he really wants is to EAT! Or LOOK AROUND! Or CRY!

But sleep? No! Nonononono!

Apparently this is exactly how I was as a baby. I am lucky Betty didn't feed me to the wild dogs. Which is what I wanted to do with my brother. But that is a whole nother story.

What I have learned, though, is that he doesn't actually know what he needs. What he needs is more naps. This leads to not melting down at night, thoroughly exhausted.

And so I have begun forcing naps upon him. Which makes him a much happier baby.

Just not in the pre-nap moment.

Most of the time, leading up to the nap is a struggle. He'll fall asleep after nursing, and I'll think I can ease him into blanket and bed like I used to. And suddenly he's wide awake. And not happy.

So I have begun to swaddle him tightly, lay him with his head on my chest, rock, and sing to him.

Although if you know me, you will know that I don't sing. I can't carry a tune to save my life. And I'm self-conscious. Unless you know me really well, you likely will only see me mouthing words. Even to songs like Happy Birthday.

Plus, I don't yet know a lot of lullabyes.

But you know, he's my baby. And also, he doesn't know the real words yet.

So we have this continuously made up version of Lullabye and Goodnight.

I start with all the lines I know. And then continue on, sticking as closely to the tune as I am capable. Which is not very.

It's all done very calmly and sweetly. Even when I use profanity. Which is regularly.

Lullabye and goodnight.
Close your eyes and sleep tight.
I know that you are tired,
And you do not want to sleep.

Lullabye and stop your crying.
It's annoying as all hell.
I'll truss you up like a little turkey.
You sleep better when you can't move.

Lullabye my little sweet pea.
You are cranky and now so am I.
Mama wants to have some breakfast(/lunch/M&Ms/Valium/you name it).
So I wish you would just fall asleep...


  1. Ha! I'm glad that you have reciognized that he is a BABY! He doesn't know what he needs! You're the grownup! And you say it's naptime, and so it is. It's probably weird, a precursor to later teenage days when you can say to him, I KNOW what's best for you, damnit! I REALLY do!

  2. You can say anything to a baby as long as you do it in that sing songy voice. Believe me, I stood over my daughter's crib going "Mommy loves you,but she's going to stuff you in the freezer if you don't go to sleep" and she'd just gaze at me, not having any clue, but liking the cadence!

    LOVE the lullaby!

  3. You can say anything to a baby as long as you do it in that sing songy voice. Believe me, I stood over my daughter's crib going "Mommy loves you,but she's going to stuff you in the freezer if you don't go to sleep" and she'd just gaze at me, not having any clue, but liking the cadence!

    LOVE the lullaby!

  4. Rindy - It was hard to learn that, because he will insist so strongly, you know? And it took a while to figure out what he needs.

    But now, now I am always going to be right! And know more than him! Because I'm the mom! Right?

    cla517 - That really made me laugh. I totally understand.

  5. I love, LOVE your lullabye. And you're right - you really do know more than he does about what he needs.

    I suspect that if you use profanity around him constantly, he will skip that little phase where he repeats it as loudly as possible during the least opportune moments.

  6. I fell fast asleep reading this. Works for me! Yep, you are the adult in the situation. I still have to remind myself of that. And like you, I never really have felt like an adult, so it's made the job of parenting a bit harder then some have it. But, you'll get wiser, stronger, tougher. Of course, so will he, but not for a few years.

  7. love it! i often make up the lyrics too.

    you've got it though - good naps equal good sleeps.

  8. couple thoughts on this one

    a) I swear regularly. can't help it. ironically, my kids don't do that swearing thing as dagny notes. I get the occassional "why'd you say jesus fucking crist?" "because that guy cut me off." "oh."

    b) sing loud and embarrassingly proud. I hate singing, am terrible and am sure i'm as self conscious as you. But if my kid is crying on a plane, i'll loudly make up words to "what a wonderful world" in record time. actually, as the sleep pirate gets older, making up words to songs will become your greatest skill and asset. he'll likely call you the greatest mommy ever if you can do it quicklky and successfully.

    you're doing great. i've been keeping up. it's hard and frustrating and challenging and outside your world and you're doing it.

    hang in there!!


  9. We were talking about this this weekend at my nieces' christening, babies not wanting to sleep. Apparently, staying awake or going to sleep is the one thing babies can control and by going to sleep they're giving up control. That's why they fight it so hard.

    Another thing he once told me is he was afraid his older daughter's first word would be, "The light it green IDIOT!"

    Sounds like you two are figuring it all out. And don't worry, in a little less than 20 or so years it'll all be behind you.

  10. Funny story, I was up in NY visiting my best friend from high school who now has 2 girls and a baby boy (this is a few years ago). The baby was in his jumper thing and started to cry. My friend asked her then 6 year old to try to play with him so he wouldn't cry. We heard him still crying and my friend asked he daughter what was wrong. Her little girl poked her head in the kitchen and said, "Mom, he wants the BOOB". Holy crap, did I laugh at that one.

  11. haha, love it
    whenever i babysit i sing babies to sleep. but for some reason i can only ever remember the words for Beatles songs at the time so i usually sing them in hushed/lullaby tones : )
    anything works... heck, put the kid on a vaccuum cleaner, that works too.

  12. Now you remind yourself you are the adult.....in 16 years time you will be reminding HIM you are the adult.
    I used to amaze myself with the crap I inserted into lullabyes when I didnt know the words and wasnt feeling to friendly towards my sleepless troll doll. Is it a form of abuse do you onder?

  13. bahahahaha!

    We have a recording studio, whenever you're ready.


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