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Suck On This – Part II

February 17th, 2009 | Posted by Joe in adventures in babydom | crying | irrational dad | poor Sarah | sleepless nights | thumbsucking | tired
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When Tyler wakes up in the wee hours between sunset and sunrise (you know the hours. Before parenthood, these would be the hours that you would just be stumbling towards bed, sometimes in a slightly inebriated stupor. These would be the hours that we now cherish as quiet, sleepy time), Sarah takes care of him nine times out of ten. It would be more accurate to say 99 times out of a hundred, but who’s keeping track?

Sometimes, he needs nursies. Other times, he just wakes up and can’t go back to sleep until someone picks his pacifier off the floor and gives it back to him. That cursed (please pronounce it “curs-ed”, not “cursd”, because that’s how I’m saying it as I type it out) pacifier. When Tyler was born, I told EVERYONE that I would rather give Tyler a pacifier than have him be a thumbsucker. My reasoning? Well, because I can take away a pacifier. I can’t take away Tyler’s thumbs. If I could go back and talk to the Joe of seven months ago, I’d slap the white off my own face.

I never considered the flipside of such a scenario. When Tyler falls asleep, his pacifier falls out of his mouth, and ALWAYS drops off his crib to the floor. Upon waking up and realizing his pacifier is not within reach, he will gently call for his parents to come and rectify the situation. If we do not oblige within half a second, he cranks the volume up to 11 until we do so. Many a time have we walked into Tyler’s room to see him reaching through the slats of his crib, looking at us as if to say “What? I tried getting it myself before asking for help.”

Normally, this doesn’t really bother me. Sure, it’s a tad frustrating and a bit of a nuisance, but when I go up there to plug his mouth, it’s usually between 3 or 5 in the afternoon. In the middle of the night, Sarah gets up and tends to him. When a couple sleep in the same bed, the wife will grow accustomed to the husband’s alarm clock going off every morning. Eventually, she won’t even hear it anymore. I can’t exactly say that I don’t hear Tyler yelling, but I hear it in a deep part of my head, and it takes a while to wake me.

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Well, Monday morning, almost simultaneous to my alarm going off, Sarah cried out in pain next to me. We’re both unsure of what exactly happened. She either pulled a muscle in her neck, pinched a nerve, or “something” that would cause severe pain to shoot down her neck and shoulders. Pain so intense that she was sure that she was going to vomit, and actually had to rush – well, as much as a person in that kind of pain can rush – downstairs to the bathroom. After a few moments, it was obvious that she was in no condition to care for Tyler. Feeding him and playing with him would already be quite a chore for her. Picking him up and moving him back to an area where we could keep an eye on him after he crawled into another room and started pounding on Delilah’s crate would be quite another.

We managed to get through the day unscathed, with daddy at the caretaking helm. Sarah and Tyler have their daily routines, and I’m sure I did some things differently, but like I said, all came out fine. He’s still got ten fingers and ten toes, and I’m still breathing, so we won’t talk about the new bruise that is forming next to his right ear.

Tyler was definitely tired when we put him to bed. A few hours later, we heard him crying. I went up to his room to find him sitting upright, just crying. It was a comical sight, and I did laugh. As a matter of fact, I laughed again when I “drew the picture” for Sarah. It wasn’t a big deal, because I hadn’t gone to bed yet. I was simply hanging out, downstairs, watching TV or cruising the information superhighway, I can’t remember which.

Later that night (*cough* one thirty in the morning *cough*), I found my dreams being infiltrated by a strange noise. It almost sounded like…

Screaming? Crying? Is that a baby crying?

“Gimme a break”, I grumbled as I flung the covers off myself. Promptly, I discovered that our house is cold at night! I don’t mean the cold where I need to put on a pair of socks. I’m talking about the cold where I should be wearing a snow suit, over three or four layers of pajamas and shirts, and have all that stuffed with those warm-packs that hunters take with them in sub-zero temperatures. We have one of those smart, energy efficient thermostats. At night, it drops down to 62ºf (17ºc) and I’m here to tell you that the piece of junk is defective. It was cold enough to make a polar bear migrate south. Sarah said that she had just finished breastfeeding Tyler, so he probably just needed his paci. That was fine with me, because I wanted to get under the snuggly covers again as quickly as possible.

“Of course he does”, I thought, as I quickly walked as quietly as I could, or quietly walked as quickly as I could, “Why couldn’t he just be a thumb sucker?”

I walked into his room to see him standing up in his crib, pacifier in mouth, crying. I kept thinking, “I have to be awake in four hours. I have to give a two hour presentation today. And he’s crying just because he doesn’t want to sleep?” *sigh*

I put him back to bed and tucked him in. After listening to him cry for another fifteen minutes, I went back in there to give him his paci that somehow managed to drop to the floor. I swear he must be pulling it out of his mouth and throwing it, just to get a rise out of us. He went to sleep for the rest of the night shortly after that.

Why is it that I get exactly what I wish for when it turns out to be exactly what I don’t want. He shows no interest at all in his thumbs. I’ve changed my mind! I want him to give up the paci and discover his thumbs. I wonder if it would be acceptable to fashion a rubber band on the pacifier, so I could wrap it around his head to keep it in his mouth. Like a doctor’s facemask.

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7 Responses

  • hollystar says:

    that sucks. i saw a couple that had taken a little teddy bear with arms that were small enough to slide a sucky or two onto each one and strapped the body of the bear to the crib slat. then, when ever the small child needed a sucky in the middle of the night, there is one at hand. not sure if you can “train” tyler to be receptive to this. he could be just diong it to piss you off.

    we’re finally on the down slope of suckies. tyler might want one at naptime, rarely at bedtime, but pretty often when we drive into san jose (a 1200ft up and back down again in elevation makes the sucking necessary).

    just remember, these things are not forever. next time you have to pick up a sucky in the middle of the night, just kiss your tyler on his fat little cheeker and scurry back to bed.

  • Marie says:

    OOO~ I had the same Idea, like glasses, except with some silicone straps that wrap around their ears!!

  • Joanna says:

    Youch, I hope Sarah is feeling better! I can say that Tim has probably taken care of Dalton at night twice. In eight months. Even though we both worked full time, up until a month ago. And as far as sleeping through his alarm clock? That will never happen. I’m not a morning person, and he used to set SEVERAL alarms for the morning. He stopped doing that. I told him if he kept it up, no one would ever find him. And I worked in a morgue, so he was pretty sure I knew how to accomplish it.

    I think they do a lot to piss us off, intentionally. We’re strangely lucky. Dalton stopped being interested in a pacifier at around 3 1/2 months. I had made some comment to Tim about starting to wean him off of it around 3 months, so I think it must’ve been the power of suggestion. He also doesn’t suck his thumbs. When he’s teething, he chews on his fingers, but it ain’t no thang.

    Anyway, yeah. I hope Sarah’s feeling better and as the one who is normally up, I so don’t feel bad for you LOL!

  • Not Afraid to Use It says:

    I always said someone should invent a dixie-cup dispenser type dealie to put on the side of the crib to continually dispense pacis all through the night.

    We’ve just taken the pac away from LittleMan. The past week has been hell. HELL.

  • Bethany Anne says:

    That’s a tough one… I was lucky in that Ava never really took to a pacifier, because they were all too big for her when she was born and she couldn’t get a good grip on them. She still sucks her thumb, so I’ll have to deal with that eventually, but never during the day, only when she’s going to sleep. Do you have a crib bumper up along the sides? If you do, and he’s throwing it over, I’d be willing to bet it’s deliberate.

  • anymommy says:

    I feel your pain, but definitely keep the rubber bands out of his crib ;-)

  • A Free Man says:

    I hate the pacifier. Or, as it’s known here, the dummy. As in you’re a dummy for giving it to the kid in the first place.



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