What to do when your baby is awake in the middle of the night

  1. Have a plan.
  2. Carry out that plan.

Simple as that.

In a random moment of clear headed fortitude, Gary and I realized the need for such a plan. Theodore’s molars were swollen, meaning teething was once again immanent. In the past, we’ve just slogged through nearly sleepless nights, sometimes just barely keeping strung out emotions in check. I knew something had to change if we I was to keep my sanity. (Gary has a remarkable ability to remain calm even when sleep deprived.)

Our Plan? It involves late night/early morning public transportation, a 24-hour pancake cafe, and copious amounts of butter and syrup. And maybe orange juice.  A Pancake Plan. The inevitable night came. Sleepy cries turned into ever less restrained giggles. Instead of cursing the night, we shrugged on clothes reminiscent of a college freshman and shuffled out the door. Our street that was usually spiced with saxophones, cyclists, and strollers was now simply peppered with “closed” signs. The moon punctuated the inky sky as we waited for the bus. (Rave for door-to-door public transportation!)

We settled into a corner booth at Elly’s Pancake House and wrapped our hands around hot coffee mugs as Theodore practiced using a straw. Our fellow diners (breakfasters? What do you call a meal eaten at 4 a.m.?) seemed to be more on the staying-out-late end of the spectrum than our getting-up-early. Regardless, the ambiance of the place felt genial, as if Elly (whomever she is) opened her kitchen up just for you and whatever circumstances brought you there, accepting you whether your feet be shod in sparkly high heels or in slippers. Or your hair mussed from dancing the night away or from tossing and turning. Imagine shuffling down to your kitchen having finally given up on sleep and wanting only to watch time tick by on a different clock for awhile. Instead of stoically picking at leftovers in the light of the fridge, you are met with fresh coffee, good company, and ample stacks of pancakes. There are very few bad nights that cannot be made better by those things.

By the time the bill was paid, the sky had lightened and we were feeling similarly brighter having avoided a midnight mama meltdown in such a yummy fashion. As we walked the few steps from the bus stop to our door, the mood had mellowed a bit. With barely a word, we all three tumbled back into bed together for a 7 a.m. nap. As I drifted off with my two loves on either side of me (one of whom smelt faintly of syrup) I found myself almost looking forward to the next night the Pancake Plan would be needed.

Just almost.

Posted 5 years, 1 month ago at 9:20 pm. 3 comments

You know you’re a mama when…

  • you wait until nap time to eat the cookie someone gave you so you don’t have to share it
  • you pick a half a gnawed raw carrot up off the floor and put it in the fridge for later
  • you delight in your cats because you can love them and then throw them on the floor when you’re done with them
  • you keep a mental tally of how many times your jeans have been spilled, smeared, leaked, peed, and pooed on. And you don’t even think about washing them until that tally reaches at least 17. (Poo counts as 5 points)
  • you spend your baby-free evenings watching videos to learn new ways to fold cloth diapers
  • you understand what it means to be physically but not sexually attracted to someone
  • you look down and realize you’ve been wearing oatmeal as some kind of nouveau pendant. Suddenly stranger’s small smiles and headshakes make sense
  • you can locate your child anywhere in the house based solely on the unique sound patterns resonating from the particular things being banged together
  • you spend your falling asleep moments trying to describe the smell of your sleeping baby’s head
  • you wonder how you met new people before you had a baby as an ice breaker
  • you carry around the sinking knowledge that sometime, somewhere, a guest is going to find that apple core your toddler dropped in a secret hiding place
  • you’ve slept with a teddy bear for the first time since your own childhood in a desperate attempt to make it smell like you so you can trick your baby into sleeping longer
  • it’s totally normal for your toddler to finish his lunch after his nap…. off the floor where he threw it
  • you’ll drink a glass a water that’s 15% baby backwash without a second thought
  • you forget to drop the royal “we” when your child’s not with you
  • you have nursed/snuggled/read to/ played with your child… while pooping
  • you plan date nights with the same attention to detail and wishful thinking that you used to plan your wedding when you were thirteen
  • you rarely snap all the snaps
  • you know what a full body hug feels like

Posted 5 years, 3 months ago at 1:46 pm. 1 comment