Tuesday, January 12, 2010

That's Not Silence, It's the Sound of Angels Singing

Last night my Little Man was so pooped that we put him to bed early - he was out cold by 10:30 (he usually goes down closer to midnight). We stayed up taking down the Christmas tree (I think I could have made another whole tree from the needles I swept up afterwards) and as I plopped into bed a little after midnight, I wondered if I might as well just stay up, since I was sure he'd be waking me up in a matter of minutes. And sure enough, at about 12:45 I heard a few seconds of fussing. I laid in bed waiting for the fussing to turn into a full-fledged wail, but he quieted himself down and I drifted off to sleep again. When I woke up again, it was still quiet, so I rolled over to see what time it was: 5:45!! I thought to myself, good heavens, I must have been so exhausted that I slept through his cries and Daddy got up and fed him. But then I started having typical new mom (read: insane and panicky) thoughts and considered getting up to check on him. I convinced myself that they were just that, insane thoughts, and he was fine - I convinced myself for about 15 minutes, that is. At 6 I couldn't stand it any more and I tiptoed in to listen to him breathing. And I noticed that he was sleeping on his tummy, which is how Daddy had put him down at 10:30. Before I get a spate of angry e-mails quoting the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the "Back to Sleep" campaign, let me say that we generally do put him down on his back. But there are times when he just won't go to sleep on his back, and since he's strong as an ox and can lift himself up and turn his head when he's on his tummy, every once in a while we do put him down that way. But I don't think we've ever put him on his tummy for two sleep sessions in a row, which is how I knew that he had, in fact, been sleeping for an uninterrupted stretch of nearly 8 hours! Alleluia!

I am not so naive as to assume that this is a new habit and not a fluky one-time occurrence that won't happen again until kindergarten. But the fact that it happened once means it is possible, and therefore it WILL happen again at some point, even if it isn't tonight. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

But now comes a new dilemma: when Daddy got up at 8 and realized he hadn't gotten his usual early morning bonding time, he gave me the saddest puppy-dog face I'd ever seen on him. So when Ryan is consistently sleeping through the night, will we start racing each other for the early-morning snuggle time? I suppose that's better than the stereotypical midnight "It's your turn to feed him" "No, it's YOUR turn to feed him" argument. (Which we've never had, by the way, although there have been a few "I'll get him" "No, I'll get him" debates, which Daddy generally wins, mainly because he has the side of the bed closest to the door. But I digress.) And I guess it's only fair that Daddy wins that one most of the time, since I get to have him all day long while Daddy is off to work. In fact, going 8 hours last night without snuggling him, even though I was sleeping for most of that time, made me realize how much Daddy must miss him during the day!

Hm, sleep vs. baby snuggling. I guess I'll have to think of that as a win-win situation.

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