Our family has recently swollen from four to five, and we have been blessed with another son. As we are not novice parents we weren’t expecting any surprises when we bought him home, and initially this was the case. The usual sleepless nights, breaks in our families established routines and the almost forgotten smells of newborn’s nappies, have become commonplace in our home. But that is just the nature of having a new baby; it’s all part of the hazing process for new parents. As time goes by, it is usual for the period between feeding to increase and so the relief of slightly more sleep does eventually come.
If you have a baby with reflux though, all bets are off! Both of us parents, are barely functioning zombies my wife especially so. I know that the situation is approaching crisis point when she starts laughing at my jokes. In all seriousness though, it has been pretty hellish. We’ve tried everything; burping him, bouncing him, berating him, all before begging him. We’ve tried a variety of different medicines, but to no avail. Still he cries, and the more anxious he gets, the less patience I have.
The real party doesn’t start until about 3 am though, and that is just such a joy and privilege to be a part of. A few nights ago, at about 3:45 in the morning, poor Mrs L. came to wake me up to tell me that she’d had enough and just didn’t know what else to do. I sensed the opportunity for an act of minor heroism and so I insisted that I would take care of Jonah if he woke up again. I was really hoping that by some miracle he would fall asleep and that I would be let off the hook. Rather predictably though, 5 minutes later, just as I had slipped into a deep sleep his banshee wailing started again.
Given that he seems to require motion to calm down, I decided that I would take him for a walk around the block in his pram. After about 100 metres, it became clear that this wasn’t going to work as he honestly sounded as though I was trying to murder him. Fearing that a concerned neighbour may inform the local constabulary, we returned home to consider what other options were available.
Like many parents before me, I decided that I would take him for a drive. For most infants a trip out in the car is like an anaesthetic and by the time they are at the top of the driveway they are dead to the world. Not so with my little angel, in fact he screamed louder and louder the further we got! I knew that he didn’t have a dirty nappy and that he wasn’t hungry, and so with a heavy heart I accepted that he must just be over tired, and would scream until he could scream no more and would then, all being well, go to sleep.
I thought that if he was going to cry, I might as well try to drown out the racket with some music and so I put on a Foo Fighters CD. To my utter amazement, he fell asleep before the end of the first verse, and by the end of the chorus, I had fallen in love with him just a little bit more. I thought I’d celebrate and so drove to McDonalds and had a lime milkshake. Let me tell you that at 4:30 in the morning, when you barely have your wits about you, nothing tastes better!
Now Jonah could not be woken and so I sat with him in the car park listening to the music and happily reading my book. At about six we drove home and whilst trying to quietly come into the house, I tripped over a pair of shoes and woke everyone up.
As you can imagine my wife was overjoyed to see me and as I told her of our son’s apparent love of rock music, she rolled her eyes in a manner to which I have become accustomed. I don’t think she really believed me. Later that day, Jonah became very grisly again and couldn’t be consoled. I thought that now might be a good opportunity to show her my little discovery and so after putting him into his hammock, we put on some more music (Rage against the Machine, this time) and turned the volume up. Within minutes, he was in a sort of stunned silence and a few minutes after that he was asleep. Rosie was elated, and couldn’t believe what she was seeing, or hearing.
Unfortunately in another few minutes he was wide awake and screaming again. Well, at least we had some good music to listen to.