Thursday, January 5, 2012

I am a better mother with caffeine, and other such confessionals

It's true. I've been trying to shake this cold for the past ten days or so, and as such have been largely avoiding my daily cup o' joe. This has resulted in my wandering about in a hazy, dream-like state for much of the day (though now that I think about it, it could also be the eye infection and subsequent lack of my contact lens for the past several days contributing to the haziness). I play with and love on my boys, but I haven't felt like I'm momming at the top of my game. Fortunately, both of my maladies have improved today, so the Finnster and I Ergo-ed over to my neighborhood Starbucks for a tall coffee with gingerbread syrup (get it while you can! It's a seasonal item, y'all!).

Mind you, I've always been a strict one cup per day coffee person. And although I worked in a coffee shop throughout college, I never touched the stuff until my mid-twenties, when I was performing in a play in a little podunk town in the middle of nowhere for a couple of months, and caffeine seemed like the appropriate thing to do (although in retrospect, I also got arrested while performing in said play - another story for another time - so perhaps my judgement was somewhat off that month, no?).

During my teaching days, I would prefill my little pal Mr. Coffee so that one flick of a switch in my bleary-eyed early morning stumbling would produce the life-affirming liquid tar that jaunted me into consciousness and enabled me to get in the car and fearlessly roar off to who-knows-where and commune with the youth of America.

I've never been a caffeine addict. I've never even had a soft drink, or at least not since an ill-fated grape soda experience as a child left me puking at the community pool, at which point I determined that bubbly beverages and I must henceforth part ways. Much more than one cup of coffee per day coupled with my natural Tigger-like nature equals a frightening amount of perkiness that really is best left to the imagination.

That said, it's not until illness causes me to forgo my daily cup that I realize just how much I adore it. I sit here with my gingerbread-infused caffeine burbling happily in my guts, and I feel like anything is possible. Griffin and I had a jolly play-session this morning, and he is now down for his long nap. I will clean the kitchen! I will scrub the floors! I will disinfect surfaces! I will make Carter granola bars! I will achieve total world domination!

To you caffeine-free moms - I salute you, you crazy, crazy broads. But when my three-month-old has decided to go from waking once per night to three times, please pass my mug and flip the switch on Mr. Krups (I have since upgraded from my old Mr. Coffee, but we feel that our Krups machine still deserves a distinguished title).

More on the night wakings - for the past several days I have attempted to move Little G from sleeping swaddled in a bassinet by my bed to sleeping unswaddled in a pack n play. Something is NOT working, and I'm not sure if it's the lack of swaddle, the new sleeping space, or the fact that it's been four billion degrees in Los Angeles recently, and even nights are fairly toasty in his lil' sleepsack. He's outgrown the bassinet, so it's not really an option to wedge him in there anymore. He is a big hand sucker, so I thought he'd like to gnaw on those little guys for some self-soothing in the wee hours, but it seems that he's more into flailing about aimlessly. Yet he seems to be resisting the swaddle recently. Hrmph. Oh, transitional periods, what FUN you are!

In other news, it seems I've screwed up yet another baby by letting Griffin nap only in his swing or car seat. WHOOPS! My goal for January is to teach him to love his pack n' play for naptime. We don't have a crib for him yet, and won't until he and C are sharing a room - this won't be for several months until I feel confident that Carter will not chuck a dump truck on his baby brother's head at the first opportunity. So far Griffin will happily hang out in the p n' p for a few minutes before realizing that he's tired, at which point the squawking ensues.

So OOPS, I guess I did it again. It all starts so innocently - la dee dah, let the baby sleep in his swing, isn't that cute? There's PLENTY of time to wean him off of it before I go back to work! And then it's January, and I go back in (less than) four weeks, and OH SHIT, I've ruined another baby.

But hey, two years in, my once-a-crappy-napper Carter is doing fine, thankyouverymuch. Oh yeah, except for the pesky fact that about six months ago he decided that he would only nap in the car while being driven around the highways and byways of the greater Los Angeles area. We have tons of friends who do this for their kids, and I was always like "SUCKERS! That's crrrraaaazy! I'll never do that!" Well, KARMA IS A BITCH, people.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel - the swing does not actually have to be swinging for him to sleep; he just seems to like its soft, cuddly seat. I can't say I blame him - I could totally go for an adult-sized My Little Lamb (take heed, Fisher Price). And at his daycare, most of the tiny babies sleep in swings anyway. So my crap parenting in this arena is somewhat forgivable, no? Yes, I'm going to go with that.


Erica said...

This post is hilarious. Killing me. Ifeelbuzzed on caffeine just reading and I'm drinking wine. Way to do it.

Anonymous said...

Who gave you the idea that swing or car sleeping was crap parenting? Sure hope it was not moi. Coffee is my best pal, too. :)
I have a nurse friend who takes calls from Kaiser patients who need pediatric advice. She tells some killer "crap parenting" stories, e.g. someone giving their 7 month old child tacos.
...Or what about this family that somehow didn't know their 14 year old was deported to Colombia when she lied to the police about her name and residency? Gives ruined a whole new spin, don't it?

Sara said...

Swing sleepers are totally the cool babies. Don't let anyone tell you differently.

(Also, what is UP with the many night wakings? It is possible I might die from sleep deprivation this go around. Blllleerrrrgghhhhh.)

Jessica said...

My six-month-old exclusively naps in his carseat (usually at home, not in the car). I have no problem with it.

I don't drink caffeine at all. It gives me a weird jittery feeling and did even back when I drank it regularly.