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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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The picture above is of Tyler yawning. I figured it was appropriate for this post, even though Sarah and I are the ones doing the yawning.

My son isn’t doing such a hot job of realizing that nighttime is for sleeping and daytime is for being awake. He likes to sleep during the day, and scream during the night.

We were finally discharged from the hospital yesterday afternoon, after 6 days there. Sarah kinda went downhill on Monday afternoon, into Tuesday. Nothing to get worried about, but she was having lots of intense pain as a result of the C-Section. I actually caught a glimpse of the surgery. After Tyler was “born” I went to the other side of the room with him and our midwife, Michelle. I looked back to Sarah a few times and would say things like, “He’s got your cheeks”, or, “He’s beautiful”.

Well, the last time I looked over, I turned a little too far to the right and caught a glimpse of her midsection. It’s something you never, never, never want to see happening to someone you love. The word “C-Section” is thrown around too casually now. A very close friend hit the nail on the head by saying “It is MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY”.

Anyway, the couple days following the surgery were very, very painful for Sarah. The Percocet only took the edge off the pain, but it was still there. You top that all with the fact that it was a very less-than-ideal weekend, and you have a girl that was just emotionally spent. She just wanted to give up, and that was hard to watch.

We had high hopes of walking out of the hospital yesterday, but she was in too much pain. Sarah ended up being wheeled down in a wheelchair. She could barely walk up the stairs in the house. If she sat down for more than 5 minutes, she couldn’t stand back up. It quite literally took her 10 minutes to get off the couch yesterday. It’s very horrible. We know that everything that happened was completely necessary, but that doesn’t make the recovery any easier.

So, last night was our first night at home with Tyler. My goodness. I don’t know how often he was up. I was so tired, that it was too depressing to look at the clock… so I didn’t. Finally, at 5am, I grabbed him, came downstairs, and closed all the doors between Sarah and us. I wanted Sarah to get at least some sleep. I ended up in the computer room. I looked at Tyler and told him that he was just going to have to cry it out. He had just been fed and changed, so now he needed to sleep. I just sat there and held him for about 20 minutes of screaming. No tears, just screaming. And he had no interest, at all, in the pacifier. Then… he just fell asleep. After another 20 minutes, I figured he was out for a while. I went into the living room, lied down on the couch with Tyler on my chest, and fell asleep for 2 hours. It was a glorious 2 hours. Sarah finally came down, very happy to have gotten 3 hours of sleep.

And guess what? We get to do it all again, because he is screaming his head off even as I finish this last sentence…

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