• J Mess


No one will ever stay with us again.

Well, it's happened. Our luck started running out in the sleep department. My days of bragging about how Nathan sleeps a minimum of 12 hours and wakes up at 8am might be over, and replaced with my tired, run down, crazy eyes. Nathan is teething and has begun consistently waking up in the middle of the night, screaming hysterically, and refusing to go back to sleep. Unfortunately the arrival of his new teeth seems to always coincide with when people are staying in our house, making the usual panic and frustration to quiet down a screaming child in the middle of the night even more heightened. Because it's not only our sleep that's being ambushed. It's the whole house. In fact, it could be the whole neighborhood.

The first time was a couple of weeks ago when my parents were visiting. Nathan woke up screaming about an hour after we went to sleep. His timing is really impeccable. We tried to give him his pacifier and hope he'd nod back off, but he wasn't having it. He wanted to be picked up, only by daddy, continued screaming, and kept pointing at his bedroom door. We had no idea what he wanted. His diaper was clean. He didn't have a fever. So we tried desperately to calm him down while he went ballistic. Maybe he wants food? I offered him a banana. He had a tantrum. Maybe he's overtired? Should we just leave him in here and let him cry it out? He continued to adamantly point at the door. Middle of the night screaming charades are not a strength of mine.

1 word. Noun. Go! I hate guessing games. Just say "baba" kid.

An hour of this later my mom came into the room, asked if he'd ever done this before, and suggested maybe he wanted milk. Then it hit us. He was pointing at his bedroom door like he points at the refrigerator when he's thirsty. So we took him downstairs and he guzzled 2 containers of milk like he was a Jew in the desert. Immediately he stopped crying, looked at my husband, smiled, and said "dada." Then went right back to sleep. I felt like I aged 10 years from that ordeal and somehow my father slept through the entire thing. I made him an appointment to get his hearing checked, don't worry.

The next time was exactly one week later when my brother and sister-in-law were staying with us. Nathan seemed perfectly fine all day and we made sure he was fully hydrated. But he woke up at 2:30 AM screaming. My husband and I have intense in-the-moment debates on how to handle these situations. Do we go get him? Do we let him soothe himself back to sleep? If we keep going to get him are we telling him that if he cries we're gonna take him out of the crib and let him run around every night? Are we ever going to sleep again? It's very stressful, and while we're letting him cry it out and hopefully fall back asleep, which can sometimes take upwards of 20 excruciating minutes, people are trying to sleep in the next room.

We are all just prisoners here, of our own device.

Alright, I can't take any more. The insane noise wins, in we go. Start the checks. Diaper is clean. No fever. But he can't be calmed down. Maybe he's hungry? My husband takes him downstairs and he eats an entire clementine and drinks a container of milk. But this time, he doesn't want to go back to sleep after. He wants to run around and play or be held, only by my husband. We finally coaxed him quietly back into the crib at about 4AM, but only if I slept on the chair in his room. The next morning while all the adults drank endless cups of coffee, I noticed 2 new teeth in his mouth. Now I know why he woke up at 2:30... get it, tooth hurty? Ba dum ching! I'll be here all week. Literally. Because you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave...


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