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Boulder, Colorado

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I put earplugs in and left my husband out in the cold

This isn't really a new post...it's the story of the night I locked D out of the house, and went to bed with earplugs, baby sleeping soundly in the next room.  Suspect, I know.  Just thought it should have its own post, as it was kinda muddled with another post for a while.

The hubbers and I were at our wits end.  LO was still waking several times a night needing to be soothed, and our level of exhaustion was on the brink of unbearable.  I don’t say that lightly, we were really, really haggard.  Oh, on a side note, the reflux/gas question- solved.  It all stemmed back to the breastfeeding issues.  After trying everything, consulting lactation specialists, etc., the bottle, and supplementation with formula came to the rescue.  Our doc. Figured it out.  DUH.  LO was hungry and couldn’t get his latch right to get enough food, which made him cry, which made him gassy.  Poor LO.  Anyhow, that’s a horse of a different color, a story for another time.  We’ve got a right chunker on our hands again who eats mainly from the bottle and is happy as a clam most of the time.

Back to Operation: LO For God’s Sake Sleep.  So there we were, haggard as hell (excuse my language), and willing to try anything to get everyone some more sleep at night.  LO was in the habit of waking frequently for food, but now that he was taking HUGE bottles, one at bedtime, and one at midnight, those wakings in-between had to go.  And after much deliberation, we decided that a little bit of crying, or “graduated extinction” as my extensive research coins the phrase, was in order.  We would take shifts, one for the first half of the night, one for the second half of the night, soothing in increments of 5, 10, and 15 minutes, in an effort to help LO learn how to self-soothe and fall back asleep on his own.  The parent not on duty would wear ear-plugs to maximize sleep for his/her half of the night. 

There was one minor glitch, but it didn’t seem like that big of a deal.  DH had promised Bella-the-dog that he would take her to play fetch, and he insisted he make good on his word.  We were also low on diapers and some other small groceries.  At 8:00pm the hubbers got Bella ready and said he’d be gone for an hour tops.  We agreed that it was okay for me to get ready for bed and go ahead and put the ear plugs in as LO rarely roused in the early evening hours, and if he did, I’d be certain to hear him if he cried hard enough.   Nice, I know.  That way DH wouldn’t have to wake me when he got back to put the plugs in.  Good deal.

I remember distinctly walking by the front door and flipping the deadbolt.  It made perfect sense with both hubby and dog gone and baby and me alone in the apartment.  Except DH took the set of keys without the front door key on it.  I was dead tired and dead asleep and the ear-plugs were in. 

Apparently, when the hubbers came back, arms full of groceries, and found the door locked, he began by knocking on the door quietly.  And then loudly.  And then he rang the doorbell.  And then he called my cell phone and the house phone.  At one point I guess he was trying to get some continuous noise going; he could hear the phone ringing in our apartment through the door, so he’d let the phone ring, and then ring the door bell.  House phone.  Door bell.  House phone.  Door bell.  Loud knocking.  House phone.  Loud knocking.  Door bell.  Neighbors came out of their homes and asked if everything was alright.  He went downstairs to our friend who dog-sits for us- did she hold onto the key we gave her??  Nope.  Alas, none of it was to any avail as baby and I were sleepy soundly in our respective beds.  He went to the other side of the apartment building and actually tried chucking rocks at the window!.

LO finally woke up at some point crying. It was his cry that woke me up.  When I noticed that DH hadn’t returned from his outing and it was 11:00, I checked my cell phone only to find a dozen missed calls from him, a few texts, and one very irritated voicemail.  Why would I lock the door??  And then go to bed with earplugs.  How could I?

I called him on his cell phone and he came back as he’d been wandering the neighborhood with the dog for the last hour contemplating breaking into his office to sleep.  Did I mention that it was 30 degrees outside?  Pretty stinkin’ cold for a California night, and my guy is known for under-dressing in cold weather.  When he got home and I opened the door for him, his hands were freezing, the groceries were sprawled on our welcome mat, and the look on his face was….well, let’s just say he was not a happy camper.  I think the first thing he said to me was something to the effect of how he forgives me (insert wink face here).  A better wife might’ve let him off the hook for that comment, but I don’t think I did.

Ahh.  Just another day in the life.

Until next time, wishing you and yours a happy new year and a blessing that you’ve taken something valuable from last year into this new one.

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