Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Rough night

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I am taking a Computational Genomics class. It's difficult for me, but it's very applicable to my project, and I am enjoying it a lot. I never expected to like computer programming at all, but it's actually rather fun. Logic problems, all.

The class is not designed for someone who has to pick up their kid from daycare, however, as it ends about 10 minutes before we have to pick up the Bean from school. So on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Husband drives north to pick up the Bean from school while I am in class. Husband and Bean go to our local library which is conveniently located on a bus route that I can take from the University. In general, it works pretty well, even though it means Bean's dinner is slightly delayed.

Yesterday, however, Bean only took one 20 minute nap. The. entire. day. Needless to say, this does not a happy baby make. So she played happily at the library until I got there, but on our way home, Bean fell asleep.

This was not good. The Bean still needed dinner. She needed to nurse. (She also needed a bath, but that was perhaps a lower priority.) She needed to be awake.

So we brought the Bean upstairs in her bucket seat and put it in the kitchen while I worked on getting the days milk in the freezer. I figured all the noise of sink running, Pup jumping for her dinner, bottles clattering and Husband watching the news to hear about Super Tuesday would certainly rouse her. No dice.

So finally I reach in and scoop the worlds sleepiest baby out of her seat. She whimpers and lays her head on my shoulder. I sing to her gently and jiggle her out of her coat. She's still half asleep. I heat up her dinner with her on my hip, and then take her over to her highchair. She sees her dinner and starts to kick her legs. So hungry!!! I put my finger into her dinner to test the temperature. It's too hot. Crap. So I take the bowl and put it in the freezer to cool down. This is not what the Bean wanted. This instigates a full meltdown.

At this point I realize that maybe I should have just put her to sleep, but at this point the damage has been done. I retrieve the cooled-down pasta and start feeding her dinner, which she laps up hungrily between screams. Whole wheat pasta, spinach and corn are splattered all over both of us, but I think the vast majority of her dinner ended up in her tummy.

So now I have to wipe her down. She hates all wiping of face and hands. More screaming. Then it's pajama time. She hates getting dressed. More screaming. At this point, with the Bean laying in front of me, mouth agape in an angry shriek, I can see that the Bean's top front tooth, which has been mocking us beneath the gums for weeks now, has finally broken through. Poor sad little Bean.

After a good nurse and a few whimpers, poor little Bean falls asleep hard.

On nights like that, Husband and I are often shell-shocked. The crying can be so stressful. We often putter around in silence for a few minutes, or give each other supportive hugs after an all-out cry-a-palooza. And the funny thing is, Bean's not much of a crier in general. I often wonder how other parents can keep their sanity. How does a single parent handle it when they don't have a partner to help?

We expected a hard night, with that mean old tooth poking through. But the Bean actually slept all the way through the night. She has only done that about 10 times EVER. I'm hoping that this trend of improved nighttime sleep will continue... even though, as ScienceWoman pointed out, child development is not a linear process...


arduous said...

I'm sorry you had a rough night. Poor little Bean. She must be in so much agony with that tooth coming in. How long do babies teethe for?

Jane said...

Poor Bean! Hope tonight was a better night.

ScienceMama said...

Teething is notoriously variable. When her last two teeth came in (at Thanksgiving), it went relatively quickly. Maybe the discomfort lasted a week. For these top front teeth, it has been about 3 weeks and counting that her gums have looked puffy and raw, and that she has been noticeably uncomfortable. But one tooth has broken through now. Hopefully the other will follow quickly...

The bean-mom said...

I don't know how single parents do it either.

Hope your Bean is sleeping better these days. It's murder when they don't! (This holds true when they get older, too. When my 3-yr old skips a nap, there's hell to pay later in the evening when she melts down)