Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Taking A Test Drive

The second week in February, Weezie is going on vacation for a week. Her mother is going to look after Zoe, and I'll have my little baby Brynn who will be seven months old then. That time seems to be speeding toward me and I'm getting a bit terrified. As it turns out, The Squeeze, who was going to take the week off with me, can't get the time off work, so I'll be looking after her on my own during the daytime.

We've had her for a few overnight stays, but the anxiety and fear that I'm going to totally screw up is overwhelming, and I can't seem to wait to return her to her mother and finally be able to exhale. The plan was to have her for a weekend at some point between now and then, to see how I make out and to see how she handles being away from home. I discovered this past Saturday that our next couple of weekends are booked for different functions, leaving only that weekend to try this out. So I said, "why not?". Weezie said "OK", and that was that.

Saturday after work The Squeeze and I drove over to Weezie's to pick up our little bundle and her accessories and bring her back to our place. When I got her into the house and out of her car seat, she looked around the room and clearly realized she wasn't at her own house, but she didn't freak out. So far so good. All we really had to do that first night was to play for a while, feed her dinner, give her a bath and put her to bed after her bottle. Things were going well until bath-time. For whatever reason, about 30 seconds after getting into her little tub in the kitchen sink, she looked up at me, got this sad look on her face and started wailing. Tears and everything. It broke my heart. So out she came, wrapped and bundled in a nice warm blanket as I tried to console her. Diaper, t-shirt "onesie", sleeper: check. After much cuddling and calming and she was fine. Bottle, burp, bed: check. A couple of hours later, I was up in my own bed, knowing that she often gets up around 5 or 6 for a bottle.

I think I got a few minutes of sleep in before The Squeeze came up to bed. After he strapped on his CPAP machine which allows him to breathe through the night (damned sleep apnea), he discovered that his sinuses were stuffed up, so the machine was a no-go. What did that mean to me? Well, the CPAP keeps him from snoring, that's the big plus of that thing for me. So obviously, it meant that there would be snoring. And there was. Plenty of it. Since I had to be sure to hear a crying baby, the ear plugs which I often rely on during CPAP-free nights were out of the question. Around....oh I don't know...12 or 1, I finally lost my mind. I hadn't slept at all at that point and I weighed my options.
Ear plugs? Oh, right...no good.
How about the guest room? No, that's where Brynn's crib is, and I don't want to wake her up and be a distraction in there keeping her from sleeping.
The sofa downstairs in the living room? Nah, I probably won't hear her down there.
The pull-out sofa in the office upstairs? Oh wait...our bed is IN the office while the master bedroom slowly gets renovated.

Desperation forced me to take the cushions off the pull-out sofa and use them as a mattress amidst the construction debris on the floor of the master bedroom. After much tossing and turning, I think I finally managed to fall asleep. And then the cat began to wail. Those who know her know all too well the blood-curdling sounds that come from that frickin' cat.

At one point in the night, The Squeeze came in to get me and tell me the decongestants he took are working and he can wear the CPAP again. So I dragged my sorry ass back into bed and I think I slept about an hour until the baby woke up around 3:00. God help me! Luckily I was able to walk her for a few minutes and put her back down without a fuss.

She was having a pretty good day. Lots of laughing, especially when she was laying on her little mat on the floor and I was doing the ol' "I'm gonna eat your toes, tummy, fingers, neck" thing. She loves that. She just squeals and laughs when I do that.

Because she got up about an hour earlier than usual, her schedule was off for most of the day. I tried to get her straightened out by the time bedtime rolled around, but that didn't quite work out. Again, she sobbed during bath time and she refused to take more than about an ounce or two. When I tried to put her to bed a few minutes after her usual 7:00 bedtime, she just screamed. Back downstairs we came, I tried to entertain her for a while, let her sit in her jumperoo, tried the bottle (no dice again), and finally took her back to bed a few minutes after 8:00 since she was beginning to nod off in my arms. A few minutes of crying and she was asleep. By this point I was a basketcase. I was having an emotional meltdown. "How am I going to do this for a week when I can hardly handle it for two nights?! I'm a failure." The Squeeze offered some kind words and reminded me that I was running on no sleep. Again, he is the voice of reason. I also realized that I only had about a half of a chicken breast and less than a cup of leftover Chinese food all day. So I managed to grab a bite to eat and took a minute to de-compress.

I dragged myself up to bed and crashed until about 5:30 Monday morning, feeling refreshed and vibrant again. I had a great morning with Brynn until I had to return her to Weezie's house and carry on with my usual "day-off" chores. I had mixed feelings when I got home. There was the usual exhale of relief knowing that I didn't have to keep worrying about keeping the baby happy, following a schedule and screwing up, but the house seemed so empty.

It's going to be a strange week when I have her, but I can't imagine what I'll feel when I return her after her mother's vacation.

Just remember that with children, the bigger dork you make of yourself, the happier they are.

It sounds like you did a wonderful job this weekend and I have complete faith that you will do so again.
I think you did well and will do fine when that week comes around.

Also, has the Squeeze talked to a doctor about his sleep apnea recently? My brother has horrible sleep apnea (during his sleep test, he stopped breathing for up to a full minute) and his doctor wants to operate. He told me everything she wants to do when I saw him in Vegas back in October, but I forget now what it was. I know he's leaning toward the surgery since the machine just sounds like it sucks. Just a thought.
Quite the contrast. Zoe - who shits a brick at the sight of a giggling stuffed animal - and Brynn - who finds mock paternal canibalism good for a laugh.

Listen dude - I have 5 weeks vacation this year and was thinking of taking one in February. If you and the little squeezette could use some daytime company throughout mommy-hiatus week perhaps I could make myself useful. Lemme know.
flum: ya, within reason it can be entertaining to a kid; however, The Squeeze does this facial/vocal thing that's part Tazmanian Devil, part Satan and it scares the crap out of me sometimes. I can't imagine what Brynn thinks.

kat: The Squeeze's sleep test was scary. He stopped breathing nearly 50 times an hour. His oxygen levels were so low that the doctor said if someone comes into the hospital with those levels they would be intubated. YIKES! I'm not liking the surgery idea. Surgery scares me. He seems to be doing ok with the machine so far. *crossing fingers*

fwg: Sounds just as good as it did on the phone moments ago. And what about those other weeks? We haven't done a cottage since Fat Camp 2004. Of course...we've still got that cat who refuses to give up, and we don't have the brother-in-law or our old neighbours to look after her. That makes things a bit more difficult.
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