Thursday, April 5, 2012

Late-Night Baby Party

We're eight weeks in and the female baby is finally starting to sleep for longer stretches.

This is wonderful and the cause of much celebration and merriment at our house.

But the news is not all good. While our daughter is, indeed, giving us hour after blissful hour of sleepy time, she -- for reasons we have not yet discerned -- refuses to fall asleep each evening until long after midnight. Instead, beginning around 7:30pm or so each night, she hosts what has come to be known in our house as "the late-night baby party"*.

The late-night baby party is a pretty simple affair involving the following super-fun activities:
  • Staring at the wall for extended periods in a decidedly non-sleepy manner
  • Copious amounts of grinning
  • Waving arms in excitement or to indicate oncoming despair
  • Occasional farting
  • Random bouts of angry screaming

The schedule for the late-night baby party goes something like this:

7:30pm - Bedtime for the boys! Formerly a joyous occasion which indicated that it was time to break out the beers and settle down for some quality mindless TV enjoyment. Now, alas, merely the beginning of the late-night-baby-party.

8:00pm - Baby nurses and simultaneously lulls parents into complacency by appearing content and sleepy. Perhaps tonight she'll fall asleep before 9?

8:30pm - Sudden bouts of smiling. Parents pass baby back and forth, delighting in the shower of baby grins. Fun times!

9:00pm - Concern as parents begin to catch on that wily baby has tricked us into the early stages of baby-party participation with her beguiling mirth. Sense of doom grows.

10:00pm - Refusing to commit to another hour of television viewing and cognizant of the fact that our sons will be awake in exactly 8.5 hours we begin intense soothing techniques upon baby.

10:30pm - Soothing techniques are yielding no results. Ignoring the clear kicks and smiles indicating that our baby is in no way interested in going to sleep, we gently and silently lay her down in her bassinet, turn out the lights, close our eyes, and hope for the best. 

10:35pm - Silence is broken by the wails of baby. We have angered her in our attempt to shorten the late-night baby party. I pick her up. Grinning recommences.

11:00pm - Through strategic use of the pacifier I have convinced baby to close her eyes. Deep breathing indicates that she has given up and fallen asleep.

11:15pm - No, she hasn't. That was merely a ruse and now the baby-party recommences with renewed vigor. She's up and she's NOT HAPPY.

11:30pm-12:30am - The baby is calm but we have now arrived at the "hour of grunting", in which the baby makes warthog-like sounds with eyes wide open for 60 minutes straight.

1:00am - I walk around the room with the baby. My husband has fallen asleep and is snoring loudly. I contemplate stopping the noise with a well-placed pillow to the face, but sense that I will regret murdering spouse when morning comes and the boys awaken.

1:30am - The final throes of the baby party manifest in some intense head shaking followed by an emphatic spitting out of the pacifier followed -- finally -- by sleep.

2:00am - Having been driven to a state of hyper-alterness by my time at the late-night baby party, I find myself unable to sleep. I spend between 30-90 minutes doing super-useful things like trying to remember the name of the sitcom with the waitresses at the piano bar that starred Ann Jillian.

3:30am - The entire family is now in a state of blissful slumber.

6:30am - Everyone up! You don't want to miss the super-fun toddler breakfast party and IT STARTS NOW!

THE NEXT DAY - Repeat until insane.

*Please note that "late night" in this context should be taken to mean "after 9pm" (what can I say, I'm old).