b Papa Dog's Blog: The Return of the Shhhhhhhhhh

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The Return of the Shhhhhhhhhh

Last night was the first night in a week that Baby Dog didn't manage to go to sleep under her own steam. Swaddling was getting ridiculous...she was just too big for the blankets, and I was having to go to ludicrous extremes to hold the swaddle together. Then one night in the middle of my parents' visit, we laid her down in her crib, she cranked a bit, and then just went to sleep, no muss now fuss. They say that three months is the magic number for infants, when all sorts of changes for the better occur. It certainly felt to us that a corner had been turned.

Last night, for whatever reason, proved different. Maybe she was overstimulated from her trip to A City*? Whatever the reason, tired as she was, Baby Dog would not go to sleep. She just lay in the crib, crying and crying. Finally, tired and wanting to go to sleep myself, I sat next to her on the bed, rocked the crib gently with one hand, and shhhhed. I didn't bother trying to swaddle, as that would have been futile...just jiggled her crib and shhhhed. She stopped crying, listening to me. Then her eyelids began to droop. Then she was asleep.

It took about three tries to get it to take, but then she slept the night through and in fact didn't really wake up until ten in the morning. I can't take credit for the length of the sleep...I think it was the cosiness of her new Sleep Sack that did that. But I can and will take credit for getting her to sleep in the first place...and moreover, I'll admit that I was thrilled to suddenly be useful. If I did nothing else during my leave months, I provided the invaluable contribution of getting her to sleep every night. Not to get too biscuit-ersed about it, but with Baby Dog's achievement of independent sleepfulness and my return to work I had, without noticing it (much as I didn't notice my anxiety about What To Do If She Chokes), started to feel like The Redundant Parent.

Worse, I've been noticing that she struggles in my arms a lot more than she does in Mama Dog's, and tends to cry now whenever I hold her for any length of time. "Yes, I know," I'll coo to her, "Daddy is crap." I meant it as a joke, but I couldn't help but worry that she might well feel some sentiment very close to that. Now I'm reassured. Daddy's not crap. His voice brings security, peace, contentment, and untroubled sleep. Amazing what a sense of relief a baby can bring just by dozing off in a little puddle of her own spittle.

Well, for now anyway. She's crying as I type. Maybe we'll have to see if my mojo will work again.

In other utterly unrelated matters - I don't have any particular interest in the CSI franchise, and I don't have any plans to watch the new one starring Lootenant Dan and Melina Kakanakasedakakikidee (I think that's how you spell it), but I just wanted to observe that the title should be pronounced "Cheeny." Like, the "Cs" is kind of like a Slavic "Cz" sound. So popularize that for me, would you?
*San Jose has overtaken San Francisco in population, so I've decreed that henceforth the peninsular wasteland will be known as The City, while Baghdad by the Bay is demoted to A City.


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