Known Johnson

September 6, 2005

Possible futures

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 6:23 pm

I have decided that if Amanda decides not to sleep again tonight that I will go on a rampage. Things I will do include:

  1. Yelling out the front door
  2. Breaking stuff
  3. Kicking puppies
    1. No, wait, I take that back, I can’t kick a puppy
      1. Kicking . . . crickets
  4. Peeing on stuff

You know all that advice that people give about raising babies? About how to get them to behave and all that? It’s crap. Okay, let me qualify that . . . yes, each suggestion works for someone but that someone is not necessarily going to be you. There must be a million suggestions that you’ll see huge swaths of people swearing by to keep their child at bay, but the flip side are the millions of other people for whom that didn’t work, who are just too tired from lack of sleep to make any comments. We have heard, over the past week, an uncountable number of suggestions, and I’m not saying that suggestions aren’t welcome, it’s just that people seem to be dead-set that their suggestion is the one. Just like people need different punishments to get through to them the gravity of their crimes, babies need different behavioral techniques. Take, for example, the suggestion of taking the baby for a drive to calm her nerves. It works! The only problem is that once we get home, we then have to take the barely sleeping baby from the car into the house, which offers two options: take her out of the seat and then inside, or take the seat out of the car and then inside where we remove her from the seat. Both have their downsides – either way, she might wake up as I snake the 5-point harness and buckles from around her limbs, or she might awaken merely by the jerk of the carseat as it’s unlatched from the base. These solutions may not even work on a night by night basis – she clearly was more affected by the drive one night than on another, where she was completely zonked out and wouldn’t have been awakened if we’d scooted the carseat through the garage with our feet. The other night, she was clearly not impressed by our ruse – she held off dozing off for quite a while and it wasn’t until I’d driven many miles before she closed her eyes for good. But she had us fooled – the second I picked her up to place her in her bassinette she was wide awake and squeaking her dissatisfaction.

And this is why I’m hesitant to invest in any of these sure-thing baby-behavior books, one of which the doctor we saw at the ER suggested last night. “Get her on a schedule! Feeding every two hours! Wake her up, feed her!” Okay, but that completely goes against what we were told at the hospital last week – that the baby has her own schedule and that we need to adjust to it (which makes sense to me – here’s a person who possesses no means by which to communicate except through crying. She’s not going to understand the logic of a schedule.) Here’s the thing none of these people ever want to address: okay, so let’s say we did get her up every two hours. How do we get her to eat? You can’t just force the baby’s mouth onto a nipple and will her to be hungry. I guess, if you’re weird enough, you could probably have daddy hold the baby’s mouth open and mom carefully aims a squirting nipple into the gaping maw, but I’m guessing that, in the real world, this just isn’t a very likely solution. The phone lines are open – how do you get an unhungry baby to eat?

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