Posts Tagged ‘ sleep ’

Summertime Means My Son Sleeps In Longer

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

19 months.

Yeah, I know.

Today is the first day of summer and I’m supposed to be all happy and nostalgic about it, saying, “Ah, summer… takes me back to when I was a kid, enjoying Otter Pops and Sharkleberry Fin in the hot sun, and watching Hey Dude and Inspector Gadget on Nickelodeon. And now I get to see my own son enjoy summertime!”

Well, that’s not at all what’s really going through my head.

Instead, what I’m actually thinking is, “Okay, if today is the longest day of the year, then that means starting tomorrow, the days will be getting shorter, meaning there will be less sunlight, meaning Jack will start sleeping in longer!”

Sorry to be so goth about it, but that, my friends, is what summer is really about for me.

It’s about me gradually getting more sleep because less sunlight shining through the window will help my son sleep longer.

Yeah, we hung up thick brown curtains over the window blinds in his room but they only help so much.

Several weeks ago, Jack started waking up at 5:30 AM, as opposed to 6:15 which I am accustomed to. I know a lot of parents have it worse; they have kids who don’t sleep through the night like I taught mine to.

But for the sake of the ultimate balance in the universe, my son sleeps from 7:00 PM until the rooster crows each morning because I become a monster without a solid night of sleep.

I go from mild-mannered, Members Only jacket-wearing Bill Bixby to painted green with a bad wig Lou Ferrigno. It’s not good.

Jack and I have had this understanding that he doesn’t wake up his mother and me in the middle of the night. But too much sunlight has compromised that.

With Jack waking up 45 minutes early, it not only means I’m grumpy, but it means he’s even grumpier; as seen in the top picture of him in his Radio Flyer wagon.

Not to mention, his daytime naps have often been non-existent; here lately.

But I can’t blame Jack that he thinks that during these longest days of the year he’s been living in Nightmute, Alaska; where it’s hard to distinguish night from day.

All I know is, things are looking up for this grouchy hibernation-deprived dad.

For Father’s Day, I was able to cash in my “1 Hour Uninterrupted Nap” Daddy Coupon. Plus I received my first official Father’s Day necktie, hand-crafted by my son.

Come, winter. Come quickly.

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Babies Don’t Come with Pause Buttons

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Ten months.

Cliche phrases annoy me. Perhaps the one I despise the most is “patience is a virtue,” which is often assumed to originate from the Bible, though it is instead taken from a poem from the 5th century entitled “Psychomachia.”

The reason it probably urks me so badly is because the people who tend to say it the most are typically people who are… too patient!

There’s a decent chance they are also the same ones prone to use other worn-out phrases on a daily basis, like, “I’m not gonna lie…” as to anticipate telling some candid revelation, which they don’t. Another one is “just sayin’,” as to excuse themselves after saying something that is passive aggressively rude.

I’m not gonna lie, I’m not a patient person. Sure, it’s probably something I should care about trying to improve. But really, I’m a parent. I have a 10 month old son. If anything is going to teach me patience, whatever that even means, then it’s going to be my dealings with him.

Yes, I know: I’ve got it easy. My kid is very laid back and loves to be around people. It’s easy for anyone to love him. I know I’m one lucky guy.

Still though, he doesn’t have a pause button. Sometimes, especially on a Sunday afternoon when I am aching for a good three hour nap, I wouldn’t mind a pause button.

I wouldn’t mind being able to carry on a meaningful conversation with my wife during dinner without him interrupting because he’s not being engaged enough as we eat and attempt to feed him in the process.

Instead, the only pausing he does is during the 11+ hours from around 7 PM to 6:30 AM each day. But by that time, most of our energy has been spent.

Thank God for my son. I love him so much. I adore him. Awesomest baby ever.

But I am not a patient guy. Just sayin’.

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Baby Boot Camp

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Week 1.

Regarding immediate life in the home front and finding a method to the madness, my wife and I are starting to get things figured out.  When Jack needs a diaper change, I put in his pacifier, “shush” him, and place my right hand over his chest while my wife handles the dirty business, delicately cleaning around his healing circumcised penis and belly button (similar to playing the Operation board game by Milton Bradley).  Regarding sleep schedules, my wife has come up with this gracious plan: On weeknights, I sleep in the guest bedroom on a futon bed from midnight until 6 AM for 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep, then I get ready to leave for work.  When I arrive home 12 hours later, I do whatever my wife needs me to, including but not limited to rocking him, holding him, and helping with the feedings.  But during the weekends, I pretty much just take naps when I can.

Yes, this is my new normal.  I look at the situation for my wife and I as “baby boot camp”.  We are being broken down to the point now where we see two hour naps as a valuable prize, as sleep becomes the new currency in life.  Though so many people have told us the “sleep when the baby sleeps” rule, he inconveniently sleeps between 4:30 and 8:00 PM, a time slot where I am always widest awake and eating dinner.  Hopefully keeping him awake during this time will push back his schedule enough to ensure better sleep time for his parents.

I figure if we can make it through the difficulties of breastfeeding and learning to deal with sleep deprivation, we can officially handle all else that will come our way in raising him.  So I remind myself that every good and present father has been through this too.  I look at parenting as a necessary rite of passage for myself as a human being.  It’s something I was meant to do in order to fully serve my purpose here on Earth; never really knowing all the positive chain-reacting side-effects that my influence on him will cause in the world.  Deep.


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The Inevitability of Learning from Mistakes

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Thirty-three weeks.

Something I have learned in my adult life so far is that when I am offered more responsibility, it’s almost always the best decision to take it.  Sure, there is such a thing as wearing yourself too thin by agreeing to too many things, even (and especially) with church activities, but that’s a whole different story.  When the company I work for asks me on short notice to leave for a trade show which begins two days after returning from my vacation, or I realize I can save an errand and $20 by activating our new cell phones myself instead of going down to Verizon Wireless, I do it.  Responsibility is an important key in maturity.  And maturity is a key to quality of life.

Hence, parenthood.  Responsibility is almost always attached to loss of time, space, and freedom.  But there are certain life experiences that can never be known and certain character elements that can never be built until responsibility is tackled head on.  Of course, when any person adopts a new important role in their  life, it means they will consistently make mistakes while doing it (since new life experiences don’t usually come with a detailed user’s guide).  And those mistakes become the actual footnotes for every future reference.

I am prepared to lose my sense of freedom, my time, my space, and especially my sleep.  I am prepared to make mistakes constantly, yet learn from them.  I am prepared to become more responsible than I’ve ever been before.  Most importantly, I am prepared to be more blessed than I’ve ever been before, as well.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

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What Does a Real Baby Do?

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Fifteen weeks.

My expectations of what it will be like for my wife and I to have a real baby are pretty limited.  When I try to imagine it, I can only think about a few things: the baby crying, the baby being hungry, feeding the baby, the baby wanting to be held, holding the baby, the baby pooping, changing the baby’s diapers, the baby sleeping, us wishing we could sleep.

And aside from the 80’s sitcom stereotypes, I of course am well aware, thanks to everyone who has ever been a parent and given me any advice: There’s nothing in the world more rewarding than being a parent.

In November I will begin to feel like a real parent (once the kid is born).  Until then I won’t really truly be able to understand or fathom this most rewarding thing in the world.

It’s funny to think that eventually we won’t be comparing our baby to the size of a certain fruit.  (This week our baby is the size of a naval orange.) Eventually, our baby will be the size of a baby.  Interesting thought.

Excerpt from “the bump.com”, regarding week 15:

“Continuing the march towards normal proportions, baby’s legs now outmeasure the arms. And, finally, all four limbs have functional joints. Your fetus is squirming and wiggling like crazy down in the womb, though you probably still can’t feel the movements.”

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

http://community.thebump.com/cs/ks/blogs/nb_checklists/pages/how-big-is-baby.aspx?r=0&MsdVisit=1

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