Life as MommyMo

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I love sleep

I especially love sleep when I get to do it myself for long stretches of time because everyone else in my house is sleeping, too. I think we may possibly have set a record for recovery from 16 hours of flight and nearly 24 hours of total travel time. Baby Max had one bad night's sleep, two pretty decent ones and last night was FANTASTIC.

Overall, his adjustment seems to be going really well. The grieving is still there from time to time, but we expect that and want him to feel like we're helping him overcome it. Part of that process is letting him determine how, when and where to sleep until he's got his bearings. For the first two nights with us, that meant sleeping plastered to our bodies in one way or another. For the third night, it meant sleeping in a swing with one of us within arm's reach.

Throughout all of this, we've tried introducing him to the crib, but not expecting him to stay in it alone. We learned that wouldn't work when I first laid him down and he reacted as though there were vipers laying there to greet him that I couldn't see. I scooped him up and have instead opted to sit him in the crib for short intervals with toys and his big brother so he could see that it's really a nice place to be.

Last night, after a fairly good day schedule-wise, I had Max up in the nursery to put pajamas on him. I needed to change myself, so I put him down in the crib with a couple of new toys and stood there to talk to him before disappearing and terrifying him. He played around with the toys and didn't seem to mind if I was there or not. We put Sam in with him to "teach" him how to use a crib properly. After Sam got out, I put Max on his back, just to get him used to the idea. I was ready to pull him out and take him downstairs once big brother was none the wiser.

Rather than grunt and cry as usual, Max reached up to play with the strings on my sweatshirt that were dangling down. He found this to be a fascinating activity for a full 15 minutes or so. At that point, I realized he was engaging in his I'm-serious-about-sleeping trick (I love that I have figured out one of his little quirks already!) otherwise known as sucking on his wrist/sleeve. Side note: I've heard of thumb sucking and pacifier dependence, but wrist sucking as a self-soothing behavior is new to me.

I just stood over the crib and let him suck his wrist and fidget for a while. He quickly realized that the fidgeting made the crib mattress bounce a tiny bit, which kept him happy for another 15 min. or so. And then, as if by magic, he just closed his eyes and went to sleep. I resisted the urge to squeal with glee and shut out the lights and proceeded to stand over him for another 15 min., in case he woke up scared. He didn't, so I left the room, totally unsure after only three days of what I was supposed to do when all the children in the house are sleeping without needing something from me.

I went to our room, read for a bit, then went to sleep. Of course, I woke up scared at 2 a.m. when I realized that I'd not heard a peep from Max in hours. I raced into his room, only to find him dozing in the very position in which I'd left him. I stumbled back to my own bed with a sleepy grin plastered to my face and went back to sleep. I checked him again at 5, to see the very same thing going on in there.

At 6:30ish, I heard a wail. I bolted out of bed, thrust open his door, leapt to the side of his crib, only to see him sleeping. I heard the wail again. It was at that moment that I realized: Wait. I have two kids. This one is sleeping peacefully. That obnoxious noise is coming from Sam's room!

I went in the other room to find Sam upright in bed, pretending to be a baby, knowing we'd race to his side as well. I got him up, let Daddy sleep, let Sam watch race car videos on You Tube and prepared to hear Max at any moment.

Much to my surprise, he remained asleep until 7:30... If you're counting, that's a full TEN HOURS of peaceful slumber. All accomplished within four days of arriving on the other side of the planet. I plan on melting down all of my jewelry today to make myself a medal. Honestly, though, I am not sure how much of this was our expert parenting (you can laugh here... ) or just that Max is an easygoing kid. I'm sure it's the latter, but I'll take credit for the former.

We're off this morning to walk the neighborhood's annual yard sale. Then a few visitors are stopping by to peek in on Max and Sam. Justin and Crystal have said they're coming over with lasagna for us. I'll play down the we're-sleeping-all-night detail until the pan is in my fridge so they don't leave with it. I've eaten some of Crystal's cooking before and don't want her to think we don't *need* what she's made for us!


RandiOh said...

wow! 3 days and a full night sleep in the crib :) he must be feeling so comfortable.. and who wouldn't with a family (MOMMY) like you!! been stalking you everywhere.. since no email ever came. I need MORE PICS and I MUST meet this new little son of yours SOON! hugs, love, peace!!