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Monday, October 24, 2005

Why I Was Sleepy at Work this Time

Yesterday was kind of weird, schedule-wise, and we learned a valuable lesson about the dangers of messing with a small child’s routines. Mama Dog had been feeling unwell all weekend and was kind of guilty that she hadn’t taken Baby Dog out for any outings. We decided we’d make a family trip to the Little Farm. We have an unfortunate habit of thinking of this late in the day, and sure enough the pigs and most of the livestock were locked up behind closed doors by the time we got there. Baby Dog did get to see the little cows, though, and I was surprised to find they aren’t very little anymore. She also saw a rooster and for the first time understood that this is the bird that says “doo” (she hasn’t mastered the “cock a doodle” part yet). We took a look in the Information Centre, which features some very nice dioramas and such, and was full of depictions of critters she’s recently learned about – fox, racoon, and other stuff I’ve since forgotten. We entertained onlookers outside the infohut when I helped Baby Dog practice walking around the grounds. “Walking!” she said. “Yes, you’re walking,” I replied. “Walking!” she said. “Yes, you’re walking,” I replied. “Walking!” she said. “Yes, you’re walking,” I replied. “Walking!” she said. “Yes, you’re walking,” I replied.

As we were driving home, Mama Dog suggested we stop for dinner at Saul’s. It was barely even five in the afternoon and I wasn’t hungry, but Mama Dog was famished and I conceived the ulterior motive of stopping at Black Oak Books to get a copy of a book I’d seen several review of recently. Baby Dog is getting to be much easier to take to restaurants. She was very happy in a high chair at Asmara Friday night and at Saul’s she was readily kept occupied colouring on a placemat (and, uh, the table top) until her half grilled cheese arrived. She really seems to enjoy going to restaurants and seeing the different people and places.*

It was still light out when we got home, so we followed up dinner with a family dog stroll. The night had that very subtle hint of early autumn weather that Californians call “really really cold!” so Mama Dog bundled Baby Dog up in her thick hooded jacket and laid her thickest furriest blanket over her legs. She looked set for a tour of Lapland. We were a little worried that she might fall asleep before we got home – being cocooned in the stroller that way usually does it – but she stayed wide awake, chattering about the trees and cars we passed and rattling off the names of animals as she remembered them from her books.

I played with Baby Dog in the living room for a while, then gave her a bath. When it came time to put her to bed, she put up an unusual amount of resistance. As I’ve mentioned, she’s lately gone down quietly after a single song, but tonight she started squirming midway through the first verse, trying to get down on to the floor to resume play. Getting her to sleep required four songs, a trip to the kitchen for some water (during which she suddenly learned to say “firsty”), and her copy of The Very Busy Spider in her hands before she’d agree to settle down for the night. In retrospect, that should have been a clue.

At one in the morning, I was woken by the sound of Baby Dog screaming in the next room. She was coughing between screams, so I went first to the kitchen to get her a glass of water. I picked her up and made soothing sounds and held the cup up to her mouth. At first she was too hysterical to cooperate, pushing the cup away, but eventually she realised what it was and drank greedily. I sat down and rocked her on my lap and she was back asleep in a matter of minutes.

At three in the morning she woke us up again. This time Mama Dog went, and also tried to solve things with water. When this proved ineffective, she tried milk, and Baby Dog did the same thing – batted it away, realised what it was, and drank the whole thing down. That’s when Mama Dog realised – oh! – she’s hungry! It hadn’t occurred to us that, thought she’d had the same number of meals as usual, the last one had come an hour or more earlier than normal. She had probably been hungry when I was trying to get her to go to sleep in the first place! Poor baby! So Mama Dog gave the girl a midnight snack at three in the morning. There was an unspoken agreement that, since Mama Dog was planning to go in late in the morning anyway, I should try to sleep through this interval. Easier unsaid than done. But at last Baby Dog went contentedly to bed, and slept through to the decadent hour of 7:15, after I woke her fumbling about for my razor in the medicine cabinet.

Moral: don’t mess with the schedule. Ever.
*Myself, what I enjoy most about Saul’s is the collection of covers of albums by Jewish comedians and singers that adorn the wall. I was mesmerized by this one and almost want to find myself a copy just to put the cover on the wall.


Blogger Judy said...

As long as you realize who is in control - it is always the shortest one in the house.

2:49 PM  

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