Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sleep, baby, sleep

I don't know why the dink won't sleep at daycare. Sure, you can blame the fluorescent lights, the crying babies, and the stimulation of the bouncy seats, jumpers, and plastic toys. But I've seen him conk out at a Hornets game, while in the bathtub, and the other day for two whole hours in the afternoon while just outside his bedroom window a house was being raised. If it were up to me, I'd have him sleep for five out of six hours he's at daycare every day so when I pick him up, he's refreshed, happy, and ready to start his day, because that's when mine starts, when I get to be with him...When we say goodbye to his "teachers," ride home listening to the radio while he chews on his socks (still on his feet), and then smiling when the car stops, quickly into the house, put my breast milk in the fridge, and grab him from his carseat before he starts fussing. Run into the bedroom to take off my shoes and my shirt, strip him of his socks, bib, and pants, and place him on the floor while I quickly run to the bathroom. This is where the dink gets very offended. Every day, that shock of being set down so soon after being reunited with me. He turns red and screams, looks at me with horror. The thing is, I never leave his sight, but it's still too much to bear. Poor baby is too tired, typically running on a 40 minute nap in the past 8 hours of being awake. He is desperate to lay on my lap, on our corner of the couch, and nurse himself to sleep. Within forty-five seconds of latching on, his eyes are rolling back into his head and his body becoming limp. Naptime starts at 2:30 p.m., too late for that little tired man who prefers to nap around 12:30 on the weekends. And too late for me too, waiting an hour or sometimes two until I can finally see him smile, bounce in my lap, take a walk outside, play together in his room. On weekdays, I don't miss a second of the dink's awake time in the afternoon. I have all of those waking hours that I missed to make up for. But before you know it, it's dinner time (5:00), bath (5:30), he's rubbing his eyes (5:45), and before you know it, we're back on the couch, nursing, where we just started our day only a few hours before. So when the dink moves to his new room at daycare next week, where he's supposed to spend his time learning to crawl and walk, I will pray only that he wears himself out beyond his ability to stay awake. I'll insist that he be put down for naps twice while at daycare, so maybe the hours we spend together in the afternoon will finally rival that of his caretakers. Dear God, will you please make my baby sleep when he is not with me? I don't care if he ever learns to crawl, drink from a sippy cup, or even walk, for now. I just want him to sleep. Sleep, baby, sleep.

Friday, July 24, 2009

On the verge

The dink has been on the verge of crawling for a couple weeks now, but he just can't seal the deal. He can maneuver from the sitting up position with one leg straight and one bent, to perching on all fours, rocking back and forth. I think once I saw him bring his back leg forward in an attempt to take the first crawl, but then he fell down to his tummy, all four limbs splayed. It's pretty frustrating for him, though that doesn't seem to motivate him too much. He'll eye a toy that's out of reach, attempt to crawl for a minute, then give up and find something else to occupy him. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Self-pacification? Lack of drive? Acceptance and happiness amidst turmoil? Who knows what the dink will reveal about himself in the next months.

For now, I'm pretty sure he has a future as a master electrician. His favorite things in life are characterized by buttons, flashing lights, and electrical functions: light switches, light strings (i.e. the fan light he loves to pull on and off), cd players, cell phones, answering machines, tv, remote control, alarm system pad, microwave...there is no end to this. Just seeing the alarm system, which I never even let him touch, gets his legs and arms pumping and his breath short. What a dink. I've started panting back at him when he gets himself going, and he laughs at me. He also laughed this week when I tried to firmly tell him "no" for the first time. He kept rolling over during a diaper change, and I used a deep and firm tone of voice to try to stop him. Yep, he thought that was pretty funny.

If dink's not a master electrician, maybe he'll make his mawmaw proudest of all and be a priest, because he sure loves his prayers at night. When he doesn't fall asleep nursing on the couch, I take him to his room, cradle him like a teeny baby and sway back and forth and whisper his prayers to him. First Our Father, then Hail Mary, then O My Jesus, and the Guardian Angel prayer...then another few Our Fathers and Hail Marys as his eyes start rolling back into his head and his body becomes heavier and heavier. Sometimes he falls asleep like that and sometimes he just persists in that soporific state, just on the verge, enjoying the rhythm of the words and the kisses I give him in between verses, until I place him in his crib and pat his little back while he sucks on his fingers and finally seals the deal for himself. See that--maybe the dink just likes that middle ground, teetering between his today and enjoying the moment before moving on to his tomrrow. I could stand to spend some time there on the verge myself.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Green Beans

Few things in the dink's life are as good as green beans. Sure, there was the antique bookcase he was obsessed with looking at for a while, and then the light switch phase. And of course, banging on a cd player is still really important, as well as holding mama's keys and seeing the cats outside. But the ultimate leg-kicking, panting, wide-eyes, and rabid mouth opening are reserved singly for green beans. So far, the dink has eaten apples, bananas, peaches, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas (hates), cereal, and yogurt. And of course the green beans. Whoever said, don't feed your baby fruit first because then they'll always prefer it to vegetables was stupid. I could feed the dink melted chocolate from a spoon, and I truly believe he'd abandon it for a side of mama's homemade green mush.

I really enjoy making baby food, and I'm pretty proud of myself for abandoning all of those plastic containers and glass jars for a blender, some ice trays, and whatever good looking produce I can find. I love to see the ziploc bags lined up in the freezer--bright orange for carrots, deep dark green for the grean beans, a thick minty color for peas, a fall burnt orange for sweet potatoes, and a gradient of creamy yellow to brown for the bananas. Strangely, the cubes that look most appealing are the apples--an opaque off-white that look so smooth and tasty every time I pull them out to put in his glass tupperware for daycare. Making the baby food is like breastfeeding at this point--can be a pain but really gives me pleasure and satisfaction when I'm done.