Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Night of the Hellmonster

I thought I would have big sister Rachel guestblog her experience babysitting Will after bedtime when Dad and I attended the U2 concert in Norman and had to be gone till 1 a.m.

Well, I arrived at 5:00 and Gina and Will answered the door. He was unenthusiastically eating a snack before his mommy left. He stopped paying any attention to Gina when I got there, and she hurried off to get ready as I watched him and made myself some dinner. They left about 5:30 and my adventure began.

Will was fine as I ate dinner. He talked and smiled and generally amused himself. Soon he was sleepy and I decided that some Enya music videos would be a good way to put him down. He fell asleep while watching Orinocco Flow on Youtube at about 6:15.

He slept for about an hour and woke up pleasantly. We played and read for a little while before I gave him his dinner of peaches and oatmeal. He ate about half of his food before he started spitting it out, at which point I decided he was done. He played for another ten minutes, before we started getting ready for bed.

I gave him a bath and he relaxed. When he got out of the bath it was time to seriously think about putting him down for the night. Gina always nurses him down, and I had had good luck with giving him a bottle before putting him in his cradle swing, so I grabbed a packet of frozen milk out of the freezer and started to dethaw it. This is where the horrible, awful, no-good, bad night begins.

I couldn't find a bottle. Usually, there's at least one that has been recently washed and is sitting on the counter, but not this night. I looked in every single cabinet and every single drawer and every single room for at least a dirty bottle. All I found was one without a nipple or a lid. At this point, Will had been crawling around on the living room floor for a half hour and the soothing aspect of the bath was no longer in effect - he was very awake. I had to give him some (now warm) milk if I wanted him to go to sleep anytime soon, so I put it in a sippy cup.

The first cup I put the milk in, Will apparently doesn't know how to use. He chewed on the nipple, but he didn't get any milk and became angry. I switched the milk over to a non-spill-proof sippy cup and let him drink from that. He drank two ounces of milk in about three minutes. I have no idea why he didn't spit up.

So after he drank I went ahead and put him in his swing and prayed he would fall asleep quickly. He didn't. After ten minutes he was crying loudly, so I grabbed him and walked him up and down the hallway. He cried and cried and cried until he fell asleep. I tried to put him down, but the second I did he woke right back up. I walked him up and down the hallway again, but this time, when he fell asleep I sat down in the rocking chair until he was in deep sleep, at which point I put him back in his swing. It was 9:30.

At this point I was already stressed out. Will had cried for about 45 minutes straight - something he had never done when I was alone with him. I was tired and needed some comfort food, so I called my mom and asked her to pick me up a milkshake and some french fries. She complied, and arrived at 10:15. She stayed with me while I ate (I wanted some company), but not two minutes after I finished eating the baby monitor came on: Will was awake again.

I left him for a few minutes to see if he would go back to sleep, but his awake noises quickly turned into crying. I got him out of the swing and tried to walk with him, but that didn't work. I went to the nursery and tried to rock him down, but that didn't work, either. Now it was 10:30 and I had dealt with an entire hour of inconsolable crying baby. I handed him off to my mom to rock him. We turned the TV on and gave him a baby book to play with. He calmed down.

Unfortunately, the calmness didn't last long. It was getting late and Will was getting more and more tired. I decided that it was time to start trying to get him to sleep again and I turned off the TV and made my mom leave the room. He quickly became mad and started not just crying this time, but downright screaming. It was 11:00. I couldn't find anything wrong. There was no way he was actually hungry, and he had only had his super stuffed night diaper on for a few hours - there was no way that was bothering him. I rocked and walked and talked and patted and did it all over and over and over again.

Finally, I asked my mom to see if she could find a bottle. She, of course, found one in less than five minutes, and we warmed up some milk. I gave him the bottle and he accepted about an ounce. I thought that maybe he would calm down then, but after the first ounce he tore away from the nipple and wouldn't accept it anymore. I had completely given up on getting him to go to sleep, and was only focused on stopping the screaming. I decided that maybe what he needed was just to not have anything to do: I put him in his cradle swing and let him sit there for seven minutes. I told myself I was going to give him ten, but I felt too bad. I went and got him again and I sat down with him on the floor and patted his back. Then he started screaming bloody murder and frantically looking between the kitchen and the hallway. At that point I knew exactly why he was crying: he wanted his mommy and she was not coming.

At this point I was seeing the midnight hour slip away and imagining how sleepy I was going to be the next day at school. My mom took him as I layed on the couch. It was 12:30. She bounced him slightly and to both of our amazements he calmed down. And, of course, after he stopped screaming, he passed out from exhaustion. It was 12:40.

Gina said he slept very, very well that night. I was not surprised.

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