Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tired Mom, Happy Baby

You remember Christmas as a kid? I mean Christmas Eve, the night before. Going to sleep seemed impossible because tomorrow was going to be so awesome.

Or maybe you didn't celebrate Christmas, but you might still know the feeling - perhaps the day before your family went on a really fun vacation. You might have been up every other hour at night in excitement.

Ok, so maybe you didn't celebrate Christmas and your family never went anywhere. I'm sorry. That sucks. But you still might know the feeling. That feeling of anxious excitement keeping you awake the day before you start a new job or go to a new school.

I'm pretty sure that for Silas, every night must be Christmas Eve. There is no other explanation for how he can almost settle down to sleep, quietly babbling baby bedtime talk before turning over and sitting up and starting to shout about "football" or "doggies."

And once he reminds himself that there could be doggies outside, he can't understand why in the world I would want him to stay in his bed and not go look outside for doggies. After all, if he's thinking about doggies, clearly doggies are around here somewhere.

Imagine that for five nights in a row and you've imagined how my trip up north went with him. Silas could not and would not shut down at night. Somehow, he got by on less sleep than ever and I could only hang on for the ride.

I'll write more about my trip later, but I wanted to finish with the "happy ending" of this story. On our last day of the trip, we had two flights to get home. The first flight was roughly around the time of his afternoon nap. Silas fell asleep in the car about fifteen minutes before we got to the airport and no amount of clapping or singing could have stopped him. This led to him really not feeling like a nap on the two and a half hour flight.

At the very end of the flight, as we began our descent, Silas fell asleep for about another fifteen minutes.

After a two hour layover, we got onto our final plane. I was certain that Silas would fall asleep and remain asleep for the short one hour flight. We boarded the fairly empty and tiny plane and got a row of two seats to ourselves. As the plane taxied down the runway for take off, the cabin lights were dimmed and I thought to myself - perfect!

Then pretty much everyone else on the flight turned on their reading lights. On the tiny plane, this brought the light level up enough that Silas had to look around. He waved to the person sitting a row ahead of us across the aisle. He looked out the window and said "bye-bye doggies" about fifty million times. We read the Airplane Safety Card sixty times or so. Every time I would fold it back up, he would unfold it and point to a picture, looking at me to explain what it meant.

But I was not going to be discouraged. I scooted over to the empty window seat, hoping the space would be a little darker and tried to nurse him to sleep. It was almost working, until the cabin lights came up when the complimentary beverage service began.

I knew when I was beat. I read the Airplane Safety Card with Silas a few more times and we looked out the window together, wondering if, perhaps, there were some doggies outside.

Then we hit some turbulence. It wasn't bad, but my stomach dropped a few times and I'll admit I was somewhat more nervous than usual due to the small size of the aircraft. I did my best to breath slowly and calmly and to force my heart rate to stay normal so that Silas would not sense my nervousness.

He quieted down, looking out the window without trying to pull down the shade or asking about doggies. Was he scared too?

He had never sat so still in my lap, and I was certain he was deciding that this flying business was no fun after all. I couldn't quite see his face since he was looking away from me out the window and was hugging my arm gently. Each new bout of turbulent movement caused him to cling just a touch harder, and I gave him a kiss on the top of his head.

That's when I noticed he was asleep. The hugging must have been an involuntary movement, because he was sound asleep. So sound asleep that even landing did not wake him up, nor the movement of passengers retrieving their bags from the overhead compartment. But we couldn't stay on the plane forever, so I gently woke him and we went on our way.

That night, Silas didn't get to sleep in his crib until ten, and I was ready to cry when I heard him crying in his room at about five in the morning. I sent Smiley to go grab him, and Silas surprised us both by snuggling between us and going back to sleep until eight thirty. He must have been making up for some of that lost sleep. I was very thankful. And I even feel coherent. I hope this blog post reflects that. I'm too scared to check myself.

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