Friday, January 15, 2010

Talking to Myself...In the Dark...At 4 AM

We are back to one of the more common topics at Life of a New Dad.  In this post my thoughts are all about sleep, or better yet the lack thereof.

Braden has lately continued his insistence that night time is not always for sleeping. Every other night or so he chooses to wake up in the wee hours and stay up forever. That is fine if he would just use his indoor staying up all night voice.  Instead he uses his I need to scream over the music concert voice.

The decibel level of his night time playfulness might not matter either if our house had a different floor plan. We have an average size house, but it only has two bedrooms.  We will have to upgrade before to long, but for now it is big enough for the three of us and Braden's toy army.  Braden's little chamber of fun is just across the hall from our bedroom. That means when Braden is up Mommy and Daddy are up too.

Last night while both Arica and I were lying awake in bed serenaded by the sounds of gibberish from across the hall, I thought about when we first got our youngest dog Abbey.  She had to sleep in the kennel at night because she wasn't potty trained yet, and we didn't want her wandering the house all night relieving herself on the furniture.  When we put her in the kennel she would howl like a coyote. We solved that problem rather quickly. We moved the kennel to the laundry room at the far end of the house.

Last night I wondered if we could put Braden in the kennel and move him to the laundry room. I decided that would be a bad idea. Braden would probably tear up the kennel.

Instead we changed Braden's diaper, fed him some oatmeal, and gave him some milk. After eating the oatmeal and chugging the milk Braden turned to his Mommy and said "nigh nigh". We assumed he was ready for bed. I was very impressed, and thought this is great. We are on our way to real communication.

That joy was short lived. Braden must have wanted to go to bed because he likes yelling in the dark, because that's what he did. Arica went in the room a few more times to discuss the merits of sleeping at night with him. Each time he would be quiet for a minute or two. Then he would start his latest soliloquy again.  I imagined all his stuffed animals lined up at the foot of his crib as he leans over the rail with a "Friends, rodents, quadrupeds, lend me your ear."

What did we do to solve this problem? We did what any great parents would do. We turned on the TV to drown out the noise, and fell fast asleep.


Eric (Juggling Eric) said...

My kids don't play when they get up. They come to our room or cry. If we had only one baby. I might be inclined to let them stay up and play in their room. Pending they don't leave their room.

As for the screaming??

I don't know.. You ruled out the dog kennel idea. What about the dog shock collar idea?

Just a thought. Have a great weekend

Stephanie said...

In my experience, feeding them when they wake up in the middle of the night makes them wake up more often so they can be "rewarded" with food. My son did that when he was a baby and we just made the decision to stop feeding him at night and he's slept through the night ever since. That was when he was about four months old; now he's three.

We've given up the battle with our daughter, however, because if she isn't fed she'll continue to scream and scream and scream get the idea. Wouldn't it be nice if there was ONE solution that worked for every child?!

Good luck. I hope we can all get some sleep soon. ;)

BellaDaddy said...

ARGH I KNOW this feeling...all too well. Ours is STILL singing, talking to her stuffed animals, reworking her blankets...laying down for bed at 9, still awake at 11...we try and try, but for me, still difficult to ignore I travel up the stairs a few times a night...eventually she sleeps...and I stay awake and talk to myself LOL


Brandy said...

I'm sorry. I feel for you. We have our own night issues. so i so get it.

Brian Miller said...

after living through that...i banished it from my mind...only to be thought of in the darkest nightmares...sorry i cant help...

Katherine said...

Oh, man, it must feel like the early days when you thought you'd never sleep again! I'm fortunate that Ethan's very quiet when he wakes at night unless he can't find a paci.

We're in teething mode, though, so I'm temporarily feeling your pain!

WeaselMomma said...

Smart parents.

PJ Mullen said...

Every night for the last few weeks I've been hearing giggling followed by 'Mo, giggle, 'Kie. Apparently his Elmo and Cookie Monster toys are stand up comedians.

KWG said...

Mercy. I wish you both luck. Bea wakes up in the middle of the night only about once every three nights now, but between her and our 300-year-old cat that walks over my head and howls in the night, our sleep has been disrupted enough.

ArkansasRain said...

Reading your blog always makes me smile and feel good about life. :)

Melisa with one S said...


But your idea to turn up the tv and ignore him sounds like the perfect solution! :)

Tom said...

Yeargh, that is the worst - when they don't really cry for attention in the middle of the night, they just want to be LOUD.

This too shall pass. It'll just make you old and grey in the process, that's all.

Do what I do: sleep at work. :-)