Geekamama


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No! Sleep! Till–oh heck, I don’t know when

This was supposed to be written yesterday, but I was exhausted. My husband is out of town for a couple of days, and I’m finding I need an awful lot of energy to keep up with the very active Toddler Force One.

It doesn’t help that we had three days this past workweek where we had to get up much earlier than usual. By Friday afternoon I was already in sleep debt. After I got Kiddo tucked in that night, I went straight to bed myself. Usually on weekends, my husband and I sleep in until Kiddo wakes up, and then alternate taking showers while the other plays with Kiddo. Yesterday, though, I didn’t get that shower until my sister came over that afternoon. Oh, and this morning? Forget that extra hour of sleep that usually comes with the switch back to Standard Time. Someone in this house didn’t get the memo.

We’ve had plenty of afternoons and evenings where Kiddo and I were on our own while my husband worked. And I often take care of Kiddo myself every weekday morning. I figured I had this weekend in the bag. Turns out, without the ability to get away for just five or ten minutes, it’s more of a challenge than I expected.

This morning when I woke up (or more accurately, was woken up) I thought, I don’t know how single parents do it. Do they have more strictly scheduled days? Are they better at squeezing in housework while their child entertains herself? I don’t think I could ever really know unless I had to live through that myself–something I hope never happens–and not just for a weekend, but day in and day out, managing child and household and job, very likely having to sacrifice personal time and interests to do it. I have new respect for anyone in that position.

Before my husband left, we made a picture calendar for the days he would be gone. It shows who’s home each day and what we’re doing that day, whether it’s school or a visit from Kiddo’s aunt, or watching football. The idea was that Kiddo could cross off each day and understand how long it would be until Dad comes home. Honestly though? I’m not quite sure which of us is counting the days more eagerly.

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Chill, baby

I’ve discovered an amazing fact that I’m sure will revolutionize the lives of parents everywhere. It’s so obvious that I’m surprised no one’s ever mentioned it before. And now, dear readers, I share it with you!

Kids, like some adults, get cold at night. When this happens, children often fuss until the situation has been remedied.

…what?

Yeah. I really, truly, forget that my son can get cold at night. I don’t know why he would. It’s not like we’re still putting him in summer-weight pajamas, or covering him with a small blanket that he kicks off every time he turns over. Except that it is.

For the past week or two, Kiddo was waking up whimpering between 5:30 and 6:30, which is about an hour before I want to wake up for the day. I’d get him settled, and then half an hour later we’d hear him again. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but at Way Too Early o’clock, I wasn’t awake enough to figure it out.

Then, a couple nights ago, we had a power outage. No electricity–and for us, that means no heat–for seven hours overnight. My husband and I huddled under our blankets. I had to go in and comfort Kiddo a few times, and I thought it was because he was bothered by the lack of night noises or that he didn’t like the makeshift nightlight I’d made out of a flashlight and cardboard box.

Around 7 a.m., when we got power back, I got up to take my shower. I heard Kiddo still fussing, so I brought him into our bed and tried to get him to fall asleep again next to my husband.

He slept soundly for two more hours. I had to wake him up to get ready for preschool. And something in my now-awake brain clicked: the poor boy was waking up because he was cold.

We’ve been putting him in toddler-size sleep sacks for the past few days, and he’s been sleeping more soundly. Last night, though, he was fussing again. This time I was aware enough to realize his bare feet were probably freezing. He keeps pulling off his sleep socks before I put him to bed, and I thought he just didn’t like them. Now, I think the reason he does it is because they’ve gotten too small. So tonight we’ll try putting him in regular socks just before bed. Maybe we’ll all finally get the sleep we need.

Astonishingly, this isn’t the first time I’ve done this. When Kiddo was about eight months old, my mom visited for a couple days. Kiddo had been fussy at night, which I figured was normal for an eight-month old. One day my mom said in passing, “He was fussing, so I put a blanket on him and that seemed to help.” While one part of my brain was saying Nooooooo all the books say we can’t put blankets in his crib! the other part was saying DUH, JESSICA. You’d think I’d have learned from that. Apparently not.

I think the reason I overlook such an obvious thing is because I’m cold all the time. Most mornings when I wake up, my temperature is somewhere near 97.5. A temp of 98.6, the commonly-accepted average human body temperature, is a low-grade fever for me. Infrared cameras that show most people’s faces as red and yellow, like this one, only show yellow and green for me. So I’ve gotten used to the fact that most people don’t need as many layers of clothing and blankets as I like. In Kiddo’s case, I may have assumed a little too much about his tolerance for cold nights.

At any rate, we think we’ve solved this problem. Stay tuned for more exciting tidbits that are totally obvious to everyone except me.