Sunday, November 28, 2010

And the Child Is STILL AWAKE

LO reached a developmental milestone this week.  He is now aware of the world beyond his own fingers and toes.  He recognizes me and J.  And he is fantastically interested in all the different ways the world works.

This is fabulous.  This is exciting.  This happened to coincide with our running out of batteries in his swing.  So our newly alert child is spending all of his time staring at the wonders of the world, letting his puffy eye-bags get puffy eye-bags of their own, looking more and more like a pint-sized zombie.  Who is always thrilled to see his parents.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm thrilled that LO is starting to interact with his world.  It's fascinating to me that he can find the light fixture in the living room so endlessly entertaining.  And I LOVE the fact that every time he sees me or J, he lights up in a huge smile.  (It's as if he's saying: "Hey!  I know you!  You're the one who feeds me and makes funny faces and sings and changes my diaper.  Boy, aren't I a glad little boy to see you!  Speaking of diaper changes...")  Unfortunately, all of this happiness and learning comes at a price.  That being any sleep whatsoever.

LO has been awake since what seems like last Wednesday.  (I'm exaggerating slightly.  He's taken a 20 minute nap in there somewhere.)  Every trick up our parenting sleeve has either not worked or blown up in our faces.  For example, on Friday we tried to take him on a car ride to get him to fall asleep.  That ended with our alternator dying (see previous post) and all kinds of wonderful NEW things for LO to see and become fascinated by, like pay phones and tow trucks and the sad faces of people eating at Wendy's on Black Friday at 8:30 at night.  We have tried wearing him in the Baby Bjorn.  But now LO has grown into the Bjorn and his head sticks up over the edge of it.  And nothing is more fascinating that Mama washing the dishes and folding the laundry.  We have tried manually pushing the swing.  But LO is absolutely tickled pink to be able to see us pushing him back and forth, and he forces his tired eyes to stay open just to continue to interact with us.  We've even tried lying down with him in a dark, cozy room.  But that ends up with Mama falling asleep in an awkward position and Daddy going running for the camera to take pictures while she is incapable of stopping him.  Sigh.

As a former high school English teacher, I know from personal experience that this excitement for learning (and parents) is short-lived.  There will come a time, in a few short years, when LO will *feign* sleep to avoid his parents and anything that seems like learning.  So I am trying very hard to appreciate my tiny wakeful scholar.  But unfortunately, the line between being thrilled to see Mama and Daddy while soaking everything up, and being overtired, and therefore mad as hell and not willing to take it anymore is VERRRRRY slender.  Our delightful student of the world becomes a wailing and screaming demon at the drop of a mortarboard.

This too shall pass.  (Another piece of advice that I should probably have tattooed on my body.)  For right now, I'm trying to snatch sleep for myself wherever I can find it.  Unfortunately, that seems to be on camera, if J has anything to say about it.

And just so you know, yes, as of this posting, the child is STILL AWAKE.

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