Friday, February 27, 2009

Major Accomplishment

As we travel through life what we might consider a major accomplishment changes quite dramatically. As a child you probably get excited about an "A" on your spelling test. As you get a bit older your proudest accomplishment might be that home run you hit in little league. As a high-schooler you would be proud to make the honor roll or get a college scholarship. After high school the accomplishments get a bit less ambitious for some of us. I have to admit that drinking a whole case of beer without getting sick or passing out was considered among the greatest accomplishments a man could achieve during my college years. Another less than stellar goal could be to eat the old 96er like John Candy did on The Great Outdoors.

When you get married these things change, and when you have children they change even more. Last night our family accomplished something wonderful. Braden, who has been sleeping in his swing for a couple months, actually slept in his crib from 1 to 6 this morning. Normally he is asleep earlier than that, but I am still ecstatic. What makes me even happier is that he fell asleep on his own. I tried 3 or 4 times to put him to sleep then lay him in the crib. Every time he would wake up. Eventually it was time to feed him again because he was still awake. After feeding him I gently placed him in the crib again, and I saw the dreaded open eye stare looking back at me. At this point I was ready to try something else. I set up what I will call a children's projector to occupy Braden. This thing, which is actually called the Fisher Price Musical Projector Soother, projects images onto the ceiling above Braden's bed for him to watch. It also plays music in your choice of classical, lullabies, or nature sounds. I went with the classical and set the projector for 15 minutes.

It was my mission to fall asleep before the thing went off, and hopefully I could sleep through Braden's grunting and squirming after that. To be honest I only turned the music on to help drown out those same sounds. Then something magical happened. There were no more sounds emanating from the crib. Was Braden alive? I had to check and to my surprise I found that he was asleep. As far as I can remember this is the first time he has ever fallen asleep without an assist from Mom or Dad. I think the classical music did the trick because I found myself going into a sleepy trance listening to it as well. I don't know what classical melodies were part of the play list, but they seemed to work on Braden. I once took fine arts musical in college but it didn't stick. I can sing you every song Hank Williams ever wrote but classical music is lost on me. The only thing I remember from the class is we once discussed "Hotel California". It is a classic for sure but not classical. Nonetheless Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, or some other virtuoso helped us with this great achievement.

Now we are a little bit closer to reaching that final step in the Quest for Sleep. The step that I once called on this site "You're on your own." Now our goal as a family is much the same as an invading force. We must push ahead so we don't lose any of our earlier gains. It seems like such a little thing when a person sleeps in their own bed, but in the world of a new parent it is bigger than almost anything including drinking an entire case of beer.

12 comments:

WeaselMomma said...

That's cool, But you forgot to post it at Dad-Blogs for FatherHood Friday! Go see Mr. Linky.

Joeprah said...

Man, I remember each time our kids slept for the first time through the night. It was ground breaking. I agree with you completely about accomplishments. You will see that getting out of diapers is a big graduation. Dressing themselves is another. Buckling themselves in their carseats and making their own lunches. I live through their accomplishments now. It is a thrill each time they pass a hurdle. Congrats on this one, now what did you say about beer?

New-Dad-Blog said...

Congrats on the accomplishment! My little girl, Reagan, is a master at falling asleep in my arms and then waking up when I put her in her crib.

She likes to open just one eye and look at you to let you know you're not gettting away. . .

Daddy Files said...

Good to hear he's taking to the crib. That was a huge step for us too and it felt so good to start to see that light at the end of the sleep tunnel.

And now I want a beer and it's only 1:45 pm. Thanks a lot!

Isabella said...

Congratulations!

Here's to hoping this becomes a routine of his and you can catch up on a little bit of sleep.

PJ Mullen said...

You are right it is a big thing the first time your baby goes to sleep on their own like that. I don't know what your musical tastes are like, but I couldn't get into all the baby lullaby stuff. I found these CD's called rockabye baby, which are instrumental versions of popular music. I quickly picked up Metallica, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. I still play them in my son's room when I put him down for naps. Got to love glockenspiels!

Otter Thomas said...

Weasel, Joe, Isabella: Thanks for the congrats. I look forward to the other firsts.

New Dad: I went through that eye opening stuff forever before we went to the swing. I hope you have good luck with her sleeping.

Daddy Files: You are an hour ahead of me so it could be worse.

PJ: I had someone to make me a CD with some Green Day, Nirvana ant others. Our son never neede them so I didn't use them but maybe I will now. I enjoy them personally.

ciara said...

my son, who is now 21, slept through the night not long after i brought him home. my girls are another story. oldest daughter cried a LOT for 3 mos. i'm thinking colic, but can't be sure. my youngest woke us up now and again, but not too bad.

of course i've done the wrong thing and put the babies in the bed w me, just so i can go back to sleep. hard to get them out after that lol

Craig said...

Man I remember those sleep deprived days. Now my wife and I stay up late to enjoy the quiet. On another note, I dropped my wife off at the grocery store and slept like a baby in the car for about 15 minutes...behold, the power of sleep deprivation, you can sleep at will.

Melisa with one S said...

I vividly remember checking my babies for a pulse when I couldn't believe they got to sleep on their own. Congrats!

John Wildermuth said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog for Fatherhood Friday Otter! I am excited to be part of this network of Dads and wish I had this when my kids were little.

My 9 year old was a self-soother and even though there were plenty of nights where she was up, she sucked her thumb to get herself to sleep (still does!). My 12 year old was hard to put down though and I can remember everything from setting her carrier on top of the dryer to middle of the night walks around the neighborhood and drives in the car. I look forward to reading more about your experiences!

peteej said...

Good news, that's a big hurdle to get over. Once the night time feedings stop, you're home free.