b Papa Dog's Blog: Interrupted Sleep, Youngsters at the Passport Office, and Ah-Bee-TOE

Papa Dog's Blog

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Interrupted Sleep, Youngsters at the Passport Office, and Ah-Bee-TOE

Last night was the hardest one we’ve had in ages. Just a couplefew posts ago, I said something about how Baby Dog has been reliably sleeping through the night, so Doggy Dog has decided it’s his turn to wake us up in the wee hours. Well, last night Baby Dog woke up at 1:30 and didn’t go back to sleep properly until after three. Mama Dog and I took turns going into her room and trying unsuccessfully to get her to settle down and sleep. Nursing, rocking, shushing, singing…nothing worked. Thinking the culprit was teething pain – which seems likely – Mama Dog gave her some baby Tylenol, and that got her to stop screaming, but it was still another hour before she went to sleep. At wit’s end, Mama Dog brought her into our room to sleep between us. That looked for about a minute and a half like it would do the trick. Then Baby Dog started fidgeting, and the fidgeting turned into kicking, and the kicking turned into kicking and crying. “All this is doing is making sure that none of us can sleep,” I grumbled. I took Baby Dog back into her room and played the “Donald and Lydia” card. That finally did the trick.

In between all this, Doggy Dog got into the sleep preventing act. Whenever one of us would get out of bed, he’d whine to be let out. At one point…it’s a blur now, so I can’t remember if it was after Baby Dog was asleep or between attempts to get her there…we were lying in bed listening to his stomach churn and growl. “Is that me or him?” I asked, too tired to figure out where the noise was coming from. It was him. Mama Dog got up in the middle of the night to feed the dog, just so his stomach wouldn’t keep us awake any longer.

Happily, Baby Dog slept in until almost nine, and so did we. All’s well that ends well. Small mercies. Etc.

We had a pleasant morning in Berkeley. We went first to apply for Baby Dog’s American passport. The passport office is in the unlikely location of the Recreational Sports Facility on campus. I hadn’t been in that building since 1986 when – you’ll doubtless be shocked to learn – I played racquetball there on more than one occasion. Mama Dog and I agreed that it was fun going to such a student place again after so many years, seeing how the kids live their little student lives with their little campus jobs waving people into the gym and filing important government papers on our behalf. It took me back a couple of decades to when I was one of the young people populating the Berkeley campus (though not attending its classes).

After that, we went to Habitot, which is presumably pronounced like “Habitat,” only with an “o” instead of an “a” at the end, but we like to pretend it’s French and pronounce it accordingly – “Ah-bee-TOE.” The Pirates introduced Mama Dog to Habitot, taking her and Baby Dog along as guests. Mama Dog was so taken with it that she joined. This was my first time checking it out. It’s a wonderful play environment for little kids. There’s a room where kids can paint and model with clay, another where they can play with water, a gigantic toy ambulance, a pretend hospital, all sorts of stuff. As Papa Pirate points out, your kids make a complete mess and then you just leave without cleaning up. A parent’s dream!

There’s one area that’s specifically for infants and toddlers, so that’s where we took Baby Dog. Everything is padded, so it’s a great place to practice standing and walking. There are all sorts of toys and puzzles to play with. We had fun with a big mirror set at floor level in one of the bits of padded furniture. Baby Dog went right up to the mirror and I asked her who was in there. I meant for her to say her own name, but she said “Daddy!” and then kissed herself in the mirror. When she did that, she expanded her field of vision and saw Mama Dog. “Mama!” she added. Then she looked behind the mirror to see if we were all behind there. I thought she had the mirror concept down already, but I guess there’s still an element of mystery to it.

We played with one puzzle that I was particularly taken with, a wooden board featuring pictures of different farm animals. Each animal is a removable puzzle piece. When you put the piece back on the board, it makes the sound of the animal. Since Baby Dog is very keen on animal sounds these days, the puzzle seemed like it would be a big success if only we took it to someplace less filled with noisy children. Conveniently, the puzzle was on sale at the gift shop. I bought one to take home, where it did in fact go over very well.


Blogger vqqm6uxfj48sdug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Oh man, you too? You have the spammers, too! What is up with all this?

I enjoyed your post, even if you had a rotten night. I'm so sorry! Unfortunately, they do that from time to time.

Hope last night was better!

1:47 PM  

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