February 21, 2005

Nocturnal Remissions

Over the past year, our son has changed his morning wake-up routine. Before he could talk very well, he'd squeeze the paw of his "Blue's Clues" dog to make it play the theme song. He somehow knew that we kept a baby monitor next to the nightstand that was turned up loud enough to hear his breathing. So needless to say, the sudden, loud piano music woke Melissa up quite effectively. After he learned to talk more, he started to call for Mommy when he wanted out of the crib.

Last fall, we converted his crib into a day-bed, so he isn't trapped anymore. He is quite good with door knobs, so when he wakes up now, he's free to get out of bed and open his door. Usually, he gets into bed with Melissa and lays there for a bit. Of course, he has to ferry all of his stuffed animals from his bed to our bed in order to do this. Now Melissa wakes up to this every morning:

Mumbling in the baby monitor. Shuffle *CLICK* shuffle.
Thwump. (stuffed Mickey, Tigger and Oddball the Dalmation are thrown onto the bed)
Shuffle shuffle, Thwump. ("Blue" and Jay-Jay the Jet Plane land on the bed)
Squeak-Creak Rustle rustle. (Matthew climbs into bed and gets under the covers)
"Morning, kiddo."
Rustle, hug, cuddle, rustle.
Blink blink. (Matthew glances at the stuffed pig that Melissa sleeps with.)
Point, prod. "Mamu's Pig?" (He can't pronounce "Matthew" yet.)
"No, Mommy's pig."
"Mamu's pig." Grin.
"No...MOMMY's pig."

This sometimes goes on for a while, until Matthew decides that they've been in bed long enough, and wakes Melissa up fully.

Last night, however, we heard this wake-up routine start up at 3:00 AM. He refused to go back to sleep in his own bed, so he crawled up between us, with the stuffed menagerie in tow. The good news is that he fell asleep quickly. The bad news is that he has a Nocturnal Active Perimeter System (N.A.P.S.) that kicks anything that touches him while he's asleep. Just like Mommy. And since mommy had a compatible NAPS system, she automatically shifted position to keep Matthew's legs away from her, and direct them towards me. I'll try to illustrate this with some ASCII ART (Melissa on Left, Chris on Right):
Phase 1 - 2 Parental Units. Perimeter Safe
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Phase 2 - Additional unit inserted. Perimeter breached.

Phase 3 - Adjustment complete: Offending appendages of unit re-directed.
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Any good father will tell you that there's no wake up call quite like a kick in the family jewels. Doubly so if it happens three times in a night. They'll also tell you that a kid's cuteness while they sleep is a SURVIVAL trait. Otherwise, our young would not live to see age four, and we'd be a short-lived species.

1 comment:

  1. Here's an idea: take a page from the NASA playbook. Staple a sleeping bag to the wall. Insert child. Zip up said sleeping bag. Insert stuffed animals in the top. These will both keep the child company and provide much-needed soundproofing. Return to sleep.