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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

baby cries a lot, daddy dies a little

since y'all seemed to take great interest in the engorgement status of my wife's breasts (and who am i to blame you?) i figure i owe you an update: milk supply is back up. just like that. we have our theories as to why, internets, but we are not going to share them with you. sometimes i like to play coy.

but, as the old saying goes, if it's not one thing it's sure as shit bound to be another. if your wife's milk supply is not drying up like death valley, then, well, here's the latest kick in the pants: then your child suddenly decides it no longer wants to sleep at night. ever.

our little angel has been sleeping through the night for a long time now. she has reliably slept from about 7 pm to 6 am for a few months, at least. naps have been a little less consistent, but not much to complain about. so imagine our dismay when, two nights ago, she started screaming at 10 pm. and nothing -- nothing -- we did could get her to stop. she howled till midnight. then she was up again for an hour at 2:30. then she was up for good at 5. we tried rubbing her back, nursing her, bribing her, sweet talking her, threatening her with unconscionable violence. all tactics failed.

we even asked her why she had decided to swap sleeptime for screamtime and this was her answer: WAAAUUUUfuckyouGGGGHHHHHH. for an hour. have you ever tried to scream for an hour? how the fuck does she do it? i can't even scream for five solid minutes without losing my voice and collapsing from exhaustion. she does her routine all night long! if i weren't so desperate, i'd be really freakin' impressed.

last night same deal. screaming. all night. when we weren't snapping at each other like turtles on pcp, mrs nice guy and i took cowardly refuge in each others' arms on the floor in the farthest corner from the baby's room. we wept too. today i am too tired to be despondent, terrified, angry, filled with murderous ire or even able to breathe properly. ok, i take that back: i'm actually not too tired to feel murderous. (aha, an idea! i am going to take Vinnie Three Fingers' job into my own trembling hands if this goes on one more night).

is she teething? maybe. she has seven teeth already though and none of them have done this to her. sick? don't think so. she had the sniffles for a week, which i actually gave to her. she's been over that for a few days and they only resulted in one truly evil night of aspirating and wailing anyway. growing pains? separation anxiety? ready to harvest the demon pod gestating within her unholy breast? all possible.

all i know is that i just got done having my own nagging whore of a cold for two long weeks -- coughing, sore throating, sniffling -- and have been feeling better. until this morning. after two nights spent listening to my daughter channel janet leigh in the shower, i woke up with a new sore throat.

and tonight of all nights we have special dinner plans. we are taking a friend to peter luger for his birthday to eat enough red meat to kill a small village. we have been looking forward to this evening for months. we have even hired another babysitter. but now? we don't want to go. too tired. also, it has been leaked to us that the baby has plans to scream from the time we leave for dinner until we return, rendering the sitter insane. we don't want the sitter to go insane. then we will be responsible for paying for the sitter's care in an asylum. we don't have that much money. i mean, we're going to need that cash for when it's time to check ourselves in.


Anonymous Mandy said...

Not that you asked, but here is what I have used in situations similar to yours: baby ibuprofen. If she's in pain or uncomfortable for some reason, she will stop screaming and sleep within 30 minutes. If it wasn't pain/discomfort, well, no harm done (probably). Good luck!

2/21/2006 12:21 PM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

thanks, mandy. but ... been there, did that last night.

2/21/2006 12:48 PM  
Anonymous CroutonBoy said...

I suppose recommending chloroform would be inappropriate, right? You can't blow off Peter Luger's though...that's good cow!

2/21/2006 12:58 PM  
Blogger Dutch said...

my whole life I've felt a bit behind the times, a bit less experienced than my contemporaries. I was always a bit younger, somewhat less cool than my friends, less experienced than those who were a bit older. I have a friend who is always like 2.5 years ahead of me. "Oh, you're just now listening to In the Aeroplane Over the Sea?" he said to me in 1999. "I know a guy who lived with Mangum and the rest of them in Reston and we drank mushroom tea with Jeff last year and walked around Brooklyn Heights."

So let me just tell you how much pleasure it gives me to be able to say this: I have been there. I know what you're going through. [accompanied by the same bullshit nod of knowledge my hipster friend is always giving me] I can't give you any advice, because advice over the internet is stupid. I just wish I could teach you the gang symbols for motherfuckers who are totally exhausted all day because they spent the three best hours for sleep bouncing on a yoga ball the previous night.

2/21/2006 1:16 PM  
Blogger KristieD said...

No good advice for you, sorry. My son has always slept thru the nite, and the few occasions he hasnt, well i wanted to die. So, all i can say to you, is Good luck & I feel your pain.

2/21/2006 1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Nice Guy, sorry to hear about your interrupted nights.........when my kids do that it often means they have an ear infection....that's the only symptom I ever see - none of the ear rubbing and other stuff they say you'll notice.....just the screaming. Might be worth getting it checked...?
Hope tonight is better.

2/21/2006 2:04 PM  
Blogger Lisa(lildaus) said...

I was going to say the exact same thing. I say, get her ears checked. If there's an infection, they always hurt the worst at nighttime (lying down position).

I'd bet the farm on it!

2/21/2006 2:47 PM  
Blogger tAnYeTTa said...

sorry, I'm still laughing at: nagging whore of a cold! you crack me up!

2/21/2006 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im with Lisa, maybe it's an ear infection.

2/21/2006 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Sally said...

It's possible she's going to start pulling herself up or crawling or something big like that in the next week or so. Figuring that out could have her little brain on overdrive. Plus, all the cruising she's been doing might be causing some muscle aches.

My little guy was NOT a good sleeper at all, but he got even worse right before every big developmental milestone. He'd wake up disoriented and screaming in the middle of the night every night for about a week or so right before he started crawling and again right before he started walking. It would take us at least an hour every time to get him to calm down enough to fall asleep again. Then, once he'd finally figured out whatever it is he was learning he'd sleep like the dead for the weeks right after.

Unfortunately, we couldn't figure out any way to stop the screaming during those times. If she starts makes a huge motor-skill jump in the next couple of weeks, though, at least you'll know what was bothering her.

2/21/2006 3:36 PM  
Blogger honey said...

sorry but I haven't laughed so hard in a looooong time. We co-sleep so this hasn't been an issue for me. I'd say, get her ears checked just to be sure it's not that. Although the Tylenol would've helped if it were... Hope you get some sleep soon.

2/21/2006 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously, Mr. Nice Guy, you are a riot. I check this blog all the way from my office in Toronto and I know I'll get a good laugh everytime. Awesome!

As for the sleep situation - my little guy has been sleeping with us since the day he was born (he's 19 mos now) and although he doesn't cry at night and never has, having a squirming baby in bed doesn't allow for much sleep (or anything else, if you get me) for mom and dad. So I guess you can at least be thankful that your little girl has taken to her crib ... but I do hope she gets better soon - for sure check the ears.

2/21/2006 4:40 PM  
Blogger Moxie said...

9-month-sleep regression.

And then if she starts pulling up and walking right after the spurt happens you'll get a few more weeks of nighttime waking. It kicks everyone's ass when it happens. Stay strong. Enjoy the meat.

2/21/2006 6:07 PM  
Anonymous elisabeth said...

I agree with a couple of other folks. ear infection. One of my children never ran fever or even had a runny nose when they got them. Best wishes

2/21/2006 8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could be double whammy ear infection/learning to crawl or walk craziness. Both sound plausible.

2/21/2006 9:31 PM  
Blogger jess said...

"turtles on pcp" is exacttly what that tense middle-of-the-night parenting is like. good job making me laugh out loud twice in five minutes. usually only charles bukowski can do that.

2/21/2006 11:02 PM  
Anonymous David said...

If you look behind the left ear, you should find the fast forward button. Just press it and wind on to the end of the screaming fit. If no button, complain to the doctor who delivered your baby. You've been robbed.

2/22/2006 5:00 AM  
Blogger zoe said...

I'm on the milestone side. We cosleep, and despite that, in the very recent past (ours is about 3 weeks younger than yours, I think) he woke up crying his little head off for about a week. No sleep, anybody.

For some reason, he wouldn't let daddy care for him. The only thing that would soothe him (in about 10 flipping seconds) was for him to rest his head on my shoulder, while looking at a light.

All I can say to that is buh!

I think the littlest nice guy is going through milestone/seperation anxiety. Lots of hugs, a few days of cosleeping.

2/22/2006 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Everyone seems to think ear infection, but what comes to mind for me is cutting molars. They're much worse than incisors and I have hazy memories (my youngest is 5) of walking the floors every night, staggering really, for a week when molars were on their way up.

2/22/2006 9:08 AM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

(i've never heard of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea)

2/22/2006 9:29 AM  
Blogger Prosecutor/Mommy said...

Tylenol sucks, use motrin. My doc says you can use more than the dose on the bottle, that's the "lawyer dose". Call your doc to get the right dose based on the baby's weight. Sounds like it could be molars breaking through, my daughter just went through the same thing. Get baby anbusol and swipe it over every surface of baby's gums. Can't hurt to try it, right?

2/22/2006 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Claudia said...

I'm going to vote for separation anxiety. My daughter is 9 months (5-3-05) and she has also stopped sleeping through the night. Apparently, when I leave the room . . . I cease to exist. And therefore I must never leave the room. It's kind of funny to me that in 13 years I'll be such an embarrassment to her that she'll ask me to drop her off eight blocks from her friend's house. But for now, we must BE TOGETHER AT ALL TIMES.

2/22/2006 9:53 AM  
Blogger Kara said...

"milk supply is back up. just like that. we have our theories as to why, internets, but we are not going to share them with you"

is baby nice guy getting a brother or sister?

re: the sleep thing, out child (now 6) awoke 2-3 times per night... EVERY NIGHT.. until she was 3 and a half. some kids just don't sleep! have fun!

2/22/2006 10:38 AM  
Anonymous marian said...

my kid was like kara's -- not a sleeper, ever. however, i'd second the ear infection, molars, milestone, 9-month anxiety theories. with mine it was never anything. never anything. healthy as a horse. nothing made any difference. he ate and pooped like a champ, but sleep? never. slept through the night for the first time when he was two. hope that makes you feel better.

the other piece of advice i have, aside from motrin (forget tylenol), is baby benedryl die-free liquid, for the desperate.

2/22/2006 12:59 PM  
Blogger Perdita said...

i agree with moxie - baby is going through a growth spurt (at least that's what we called these hellish days before a developmental leap back in the olden days, when i was a nursing mothers counselor. babies would stop suckling, then suddenly demand lots more nursing just when you thought they'd weaned themselves - all accompanied by insomnia for everyone. suddenly the kids start walking or talking and sleeping through the night. it's only after the fact (and after you've ruled out ear infections, etc.) that their behavior makes sense. heck, i am a grandmother who finished a master's degree only a few years ago and i was pretty crabby until i got it, too!

2/22/2006 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

might be teething as you suspected. try hyland's teething tablets. worked on my kids.

2/22/2006 7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You just described my entire month of January....seriously- my son would be up every night and before that he was a great sleeper (he's now 10 months old). He had 4 teeth coming in at the same time and he was crawling/pulling up and was up every 2 hours and sometimes up for 2 hours at a time....we finally got him back on track after this past long weekend....took away his nightlight, only went in after 5-minutes of crying...and last night he slept for 10-hours straight which seemed like heaven for me and my husband! Hope there aren't any more teeth for some time...

good luck to you! and have a great time at Luger's....we have a table booked for a Saturday night in April....can't wait!!!

2/22/2006 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am with ya. Our was the same way...great...for months, then all of sudden one night...10pm. SCREAMFEST!

- Jon
- Daddy Detective

2/23/2006 8:57 AM  
Blogger Design Translator said...

Have you tried feeding solids? Often if babies wake up at night, he/she is hungry. I know my son did.

2/23/2006 10:01 PM  
Blogger levjoy said...

Aeroplane over the Sea is the second Neutral Milk Hotel album. It's awesome. This is Susan Levy's son.

2/25/2006 11:00 AM  

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