I Never Said This

Posted: September 7th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Husbandry, Miss Kate | No Comments »

Zeal was over to babysit a few weeks ago. (Yes, when you live in Northern California the friendly neighborhood teenager’s name is Zeal.) Zeal is a good kid and seems pretty responsible, but he’s fairly young still and so when he sits for Kate it’s always when she’s already gone to sleep and we just need someone sitting in the house to sniff the air occasionally for signs of fire.

So he was over and we were going out to dinner with Melissa and Adam, who are also parents. And Zeal’s hanging out chatting with everyone as I run around and do things like move my wallet of the diaper bag into a big girl purse. And Adam says something about Kate and Zeal says, “Yeah, she’s never woken up any of the times I’ve been here to babysit.” And all four of us stop in our tracks and whine, “Zeeeal. You’re not supposed to say that! Now it’s jinxed.”

For some reason you can take a person who is otherwise not superstitious at all, make them a new parent, and before you know it the almighty Power of Jinx is a governing force in their lives. It’s like you’re suddenly slung back into 1st grade step-on-a-crack-break-your-mother’s-back rules. And it all comes from early in your baby’s life, when you’ve gotten burned because you mentioned to someone, “Yeah, Kate doesn’t really spit up a lot.” Or: “It seems we’ve finally said goodbye to the ‘evening fussies.’” Or best yet, “She’s been so great about going down for her naps lately.” Of course, the moment the words are uttered your baby has somehow intuited your smugness and resolves to display their powers to un-do exactly what it was you were so thrilled about. Bookies in Vegas should take money on the odds, because it’s amazing how often it happens.

And as all parents of babies know, especially when it comes to all things sleep related, you don’t f around. Your baby’s sleep, and therefore your sleep, is a commodity more precious than gold, platinum–you name your gem or precious metal.

With all that said, it is with extreme trepidation, and with many an offering to the gods and godesses of all things jinxy, that I share this tale.

The night before last I woke up and rolled over, catching the numbers on the clock along the way. It should be know that if you can see a bright strobe of light emanating from the earth skyward, it’s my alarm clock. The numbers on my clock are so blindingly bright that I could put my pillow over it and I’d still be able to make out the time. At any rate (geez, I’m good at tangents, eh?), the time on the clock was 3:30AM. And Kate had not woken up yet.

Generally she’s been waking up once a night, any time between 1-ish and 2-ish, at which point I go nurse her, slap her back in the crib, and she sleeps until 7:00 or so.

Mark happened to also wake up when I’d rolled over, and he too had the time burnt into his retinas by the laser light of my clock. We discussed the significance of the situation.

Me: It’s 3:30 and she hasn’t gotten up yet.

Him: Wow.

Me: Do you think she’s okay?

Him: I don’t know. Yeah…probably.

A few minutes pass in which we both feign non-concern.

Him: Can you hear her breathe on the monitor?

[I turn up the monitor volume and press it to my ear. I just get hissing white noise.]

Me: Hard to tell. Can you hear anything?

Him: [With ear pressed to hissing monitor] Uh, no.

Me: Do you think you should go in and check on her? But if she’s just sleeping and we wake her up, maybe we’d be screwing up the first night she sleeps through the night.

Him: Yeah, I don’t know if I’ll be able to get in there without waking her. It’s risky.

Me: You know, I’m sure she’s fine. I’m going to go back to sleep.

Him: Yeah, you’re right.

Then I fell back asleep and Mark laid in bed ramrod awake for the next 2 1/2 hours.

Eventually at 5:30 I woke up when I heard Kate squawk. Hooray! She is alive and she slept for a record stretch (from 7PM to 5:30AM)! Double happiness! And no, she wasn’t up for the day (thankfully). I nursed her and she went back to sleep until her usual 7-ish wake-up time.

Then last night (Gods of Jinxitude, please have mercy on me for sharing this), she slept straight through until 6AM.

Let it be known I would NEVER imply that a new pattern is forming. Do that and I’ll be up with her every two hours for the next month. All I’m saying is that it was nice to have her sleep the way she did for the past couple nights.

Now we’ve just got to work on Mark’s sleep.

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