Upon returning from the suburbs of our nation’s capital for my buddy Dave’s wedding, we discovered that we had a major issue on our hands. Nolin would no longer sleep through the night. Sunday evening we blamed it on a change in routine. Monday & Tuesday night it had to be the result of starting to cut 3 teeth on top. By Wednesday night we were losing our minds.
Apparently Nolin had become accustomed to sleeping in between Jenn & I during our trip. At the time we thought it would be easier not to carry a pack & play with us, but I assure you had we known what was to follow we would have left our clothes at home if we needed the room.
At 2:30 in the morning your bag of tricks to calm a crying baby is pretty limited so once we had tried everything we could do, Nolin would find his way back to our bed sleeping between us. Crying stopped, problems continued.
Wednesday night was similar to our night back in January (Chapter Three: Up All Night) where it was not as much about crying as it was about just wanting to hang out. At one point, he wanted to play my guitar, at another point, Jenn was in his room with all his toys on the floor just playing. At any other time other than 4am this would be a welcomed treat but since this back and forth went on from 2:30am until 5am it was quickly losing its charm.
Our friend Megan and her son Carter were staying with us that night so we were doing everything we could not to have him cry too long as to wake them up. Thursday morning Megan informed us that they didn’t hear anything. It was settled…Thursday night was going to be the night of tough love (enter menacing dun dun dun theme music)…Nolin was going to cry it out.
Thursday by all accounts was a great day since Nolin had no idea what he was in store for. Nolin and Carter visited some of Jenn’s family and had a nice afternoon. When they got home, they took a joint bath in the big tub, which quickly became a photo shoot. Then Carter went off to bed, and we got Nolin ready to wind down for the night.
I began to feed him his bottle figuring this would be a typical knock out punch, but he was only semi-interested in it. Then the bottle was empty and Nolin was still awake. Crap, this isn’t going to be fun. I rocked Nolin for a few minutes and put him in his crib. He quickly pulled himself up to look at me. As soon as I walked away, the tears started. So I walked back, put his pacifier back in his mouth and laid him down. I would have felt like an accomplished parent who stood by their guns if it had not been for the fact that I ran quickly out of the room while he was rolling over to get up and couldn’t see me…but it worked he wasn’t crying. He may not have been asleep, but he wasn’t crying.
About 10 minutes went by, and then it started. Not just whimpering cries, but a full-fledged assault on a parent’s nerves. Luckily we were downstairs versus the next room so they were not near as loud as they are at 2:30 am. Back in January I had the Lionel Richie song Up All Night in my head during a late night melt down. This time it was Janis Joplin’s Cry Baby that echoed in my ears. Well it was that song as well as the montage scene in Look Who’s Talking with Kristy Alley and the screaming baby. While Lionel made me want to raise the roof and have some fun, Janis’ voice was more like a harsh reminder of bad parenting.
Jenn simply said turn the TV up a little so I don’t have to hear it. A little later she went up just to make sure he was ok, and then left. The crying continued. This went on from about 8:15 until 9…then it just stopped. We all waited for it start back up and it didn’t.
Before we went to bed, I went into Nolin’s room to check on him. I found him sleeping on the stuffed polar bear (that he thinks is real) with his arms wrapped around its neck…he found solace in a stuffed animal, we found solace in sleep.
He didn’t make a peep all night. Shortly before I left for work, I figured I should check on him, and there he was sitting up in his crib reading a book (well pretending to read) and he gave me a huge smile and hug as I picked him up…I guess all is forgiven and everything is all right. Let’s just hope he is a quick learner and we don’t have to practice tough love any more…