Monday, September 19, 2011

The Teething Monster

You know how everyone tells you how you hardly get any sleep with a newborn? That you will be like a zombie mindlessly buzzing through the night and maybe accidentally breastfeeding the cat? Well, it wasn't like that for me.

When Caitlyn was a newborn, I had a pretty sweet deal. My in-laws were here from Peru for the first month of her life and every morning when they woke up, they would take care of her for a few hours and let me sleep, and when she would nap during the day, so would I.

That's not to say I didn't have a lot on my plate already... pumping every 2 hours was kicking my ass, but in the way of actual sleep, I wasn't doing too bad.

My in-laws left when Caitlyn was just about a month old and I was prepared for zombification. Except Caitlyn started sleeping through the night. She's always been a night owl, just like me, so it wasn't even a big deal that she didn't go to bed until midnight or 1am, because she would sleep till 9 or 10 the next morning. I was getting a few hours less sleep when I went back to work a month after that, but I still had a pretty sweet deal.

You know what no one warned me about though? That no matter how good a sleeper you have, once the teething monster shows up, you are FUCKED. You aren't ever going to sleep again. At least that's how it feels.

Teething is like Fight Club. Ed Norton and Brad Pitt are the same fucking guy. Teething Caitlyn and non-teething Caitlyn are the same baby. Mornings are fine. She wakes up bright as the morning sun, all smiles and rainbows and shit. She gives me a bit of trouble with eating, but she's always been a bit of a picky eater, so I roll with it. As the day wears on, she holds her shit together just fine. And then 8:00pm hits and she snaps and beats the shit out of my REM cycles for the next 11 hours.

Here is a breakdown of our night as we fight the demon inside of Caitlyn ('s gums):

7:30pm: Dinner time. This is when shit starts to hit the fan. Caitlyn spends half of dinner time begging for a drink and the other half feeding scraps to the dog. You know what the dog can't get out of my rug? Individual pieces of white rice. That shit sticks, yo. Which is probably why as soon as I give up on feeding her and take her out of her high chair, she gets on her hands and knees and tries to eat the food out of the rug. Because she's CONSIDERATE like that.

8:00pm: Climbing time - part one. This usually occurs while I'm cleaning up after dinner. Caitlyn will decide that there's something important that she MUST have on the dining room table. It's ironic that she almost immediately tries to climb up the dining room chairs after spending the previous 10 minutes reaching out for me and clutching my face, begging to be taken out of her high chair, but it always seems to happen.

8:15pm: Acrobatic feats of fearlessness. Last night was a doozy. My dining room table is roughly 6 steps away from my kitchen sink. I cleared the plates from dinner and took those 6 steps into the kitchen, spending an additional 10 seconds to quickly rinse the plates. After no more than 30 seconds, I walked back to the dining room to see Caitlyn standing on top of the table, all triumphant and shit (where was Dad, you ask? In the same room, facing the TV, watching football highlights. Fucker.).

8:30pm: Bath time. Wherein I remove a whining and defeated Caitlyn from her Kilamanjaro-esque glory to delouse her of the food, dog slobber and filth she's coated in (seriously, toddlers are the fucking filthiest creatures you will ever encounter).

8:45pm: I put Caitlyn's diaper on. She takes her diaper off. On. Off. On. Off. At the very least, she finds this exchange amusing and doesn't whine.

9:00pm: This is when Caitlyn is clearly overtired but refuses to go to sleep. Every exchange we have is me taking her off of something she's climbing or yelling at her for pulling the outlet covers off and sticking them up her nose and she responds by throwing herself to the ground in protest. I give her a bottle and put her in her crib, hoping she finally gives in, but alas, she finishes her bottle and cries until I pick her up (there are rare occassions where she will nap for 20 minutes, but this always fails as it rejuvenates her for at least 3 more hours). And I swear to god if I see the words "sleep training" anywhere in the fucking comments, I'm just going to snap. I'm a woman on the edge, motherfuckers. I haven't had a good night's sleep in months.

9:15pm: I pick her up. Obviously. She rewards me by throwing her arms around me and squealing with delight- "DADDY!".

9:30-10:30pm: Climbing time- part 2. Also? Pull things out of drawers time, because Caitlyn is kind of an asshole when she's overtired. This is also the point where I entrusted her to her Dad again for a few minutes and she managed to end up on top of the dining room table again. At least she was sitting this time. Drinking a glass of soda her Dad left there. Caffeine. Perfect!

10:30pm: This is the bedtime threshold at our house. It's finally late enough that we might get her to go to sleep. Except she doesn't go to sleep. She cries. Fuck. I iron my work clothes and try to ignore her. I do not succeed. You know who DOES succeed? Her Daddy. Because "she needs to learn to LISTEN". Jeez fucker, she's TEETHING.

11:00pm: Out of the crib again, because she's been blubbering inconsolably for 30 minutes now. Maybe 30 more minutes of play time will tire her out? Because mommy needs some fucking sleep and is currently willing to try anything.

11:30pm: Back to her crib. And she's crying again. MOTHERFUCKER JUST GO TO SLEEP KID. Give her another bottle, which she casts aside like a D list actress in Hollywood.

11:45pm: Take her into bed with me. Sing, stroke her hair, rock her. All to no avail. I finally decide that maybe she's hungry, since she hardly ate anything and bring her into the kitchen and feed her watermelon. This calms her down a bit.

11:55pm: Back to my bed where I finally manage to rock her into a fitful sleep. I put her into her crib and collapse into my own bed.

12:03am: Caitlyn wakes up. Again. I successfully ignore her and 10 minutes later, she falls back to sleep.

2:00am: Caitlyn wakes up screaming. I make her a bottle, which she refuses to drink. I check her diaper and find that it's wet. I change her and try the bottle again. She takes it for a moment. Just long enough for me to crawl back into bed. Then she starts screaming again.

2:10am: Hold down a sobbing Caitlyn while Rodolfo forces Tylenol down her gullet because she keeps dribbling it out of the side of her mouth. This has enraged her and her little face is bright red and tear-soaked. Which makes me feel like the worst parent on the planet.

2:20am: Continue to rock Caitlyn while Rodolfo makes her a juice bottle, which we hope will go over better than the milk. It does not. When he walks back in the room, she reaches out to him and begs for her Daddy through her sobs. Because Mommy is not good in a crisis, apparently.

2:25am: I decide an ice pop might soothe her gums. That's right. I gave my kid an ice pop at 2:30 in the morning. She refuses the ice pop at first, but also freaks out when I take it away at Rodolfo's request because she's got it pressed into his chest, all sticky and melty.

2:35am: Caitlyn finally calms down enough to eat her ice pop. It must have helped because as Rodolfo laid her in her crib, I heard him ask "what are you smiling about?". She finally goes to sleep for the night.

6:00am: Time to get up. Awesome. I feel SUPER rested!


Jen said...

I used to put mini bagels in the freezer and let the short people gnaw on those -- worked wonders. Also, if you dilute a few drops of clove oil in ice water and rub it on her gums it doesn't taste as nasty as Anbesol and numbs her right up. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I remember those days. I feel for ya chica, I really do. There isn't really anything I can say to help, except if you prefer her not flinging things out of drawers, they sell these handy dandy things at One Step Ahead that I use to keep my wee one out (he's a climber too, so I'm afraid he will open drawers and be on top of his changing table in the middle of the night and then decide he's an acrobat).

Also, booze in the bottle. Just kidding. Sort of.

Jaclyn said...

@Jen- mini bagels? GENIUS. I'm definitely going to try that. Probably at 2:30 in the morning.

@Mistylaws- I HAVE those and it's the husband's responsibility to actually put them on. Which I'm still waiting for. And booze sounds like an excellent idea.

Mother Knows Best Reviews said...

I am laughing my butt off, because I so get this. How can men tune out all this crap? Alice woke every hour, nursed every two, and was just up to kick the bed and pat my face from 3 to 4:30 on Saturday night. HAHAHA.

Jaclyn said...

Wow Angie, that SUCKS. Teething is the worst thing ever. And don't you love when they are just cranky for the sake of being cranky? They want you to pick them up and then they are annoyed that you are holding them and squirm away. Then you put them down and they are whining to be picked up. Teething is such a bitch!

Wendi said...

"Teething is like Fight Club." Genius.

AbsoluteMommy said...

I love you for that fact that you called your child an asshole. I do this daily to both kids. Sometimes I've called them whores. Sue me. Second, the teething is fight club is genius. And my husband also has this insane ability to ignore everything that is being destroyed in the environment around him. Both kids could be murdering the cat, setting the house on fire, and I could have my head in our gas oven and he would still be sitting on the couch eyes glued to Super Troopers. Can we be best friends?
PS I love this blog.

Jaclyn said...

Thanks Wendi and AbsoluteMommy. I always love new readers!

As for calling Caitlyn an asshole... yeah, did you notice how I put the word "kid" after "motherfucker" up there when I was wishing her to sleep? I needed it to be very clear that I was calling the universe motherfucker and that I would NEVER call my kid that. Because I'm a top-notch parent like that and I draw the line at calling her an asshole :)

Jaclyn said...

Also? Yes we can totally be besties :)