Thursday, May 29, 2008

"I Have Never Seen Anything Like This in my Life!"

We have spent the past few days babysitting my niece who is one and a half. After the first 36 hours, she realized her Mom wasn't coming back so soon and attached herself firmly to me. Every time I walked out of the room, or put on my hair-covering, or put the car into park, she had a mini-meltdown. (I say "mini" because I have witnessed the real deal, too.)

So, bedtime. With her own parents, in her own Dalet Amot, she doesn't sleep well, needing a parent to stay until she falls asleep, and still waking in the middle of the night. Here, where she didn't know the place, she really freaked out at bedtime. I did what I used to do with my 1 1/2 year olds. I held her and sang Shema and Hamalach, read her a book, put her on the pillow and kissed her forehead. Then I left the room and put the gate up. Uh Uh. Nope. She screamed and slid out of the bed. Ran over to the gate.

OK, try something else. I put her back on her pillow and sat on the floor. Nope. She screamed, slid out bed and into my arms.

One more time, I put her on her pillow and sat down on her bed. "Lie down on your pillow." Nope. Into my arms again. Held on for dear life. To my ponytail.

She fell asleep like that and I laid her on her pillow. I put up the gate and went downstairs. whew, I thought. Within seconds she woke up and ran to the gate. And nearly pushed it down.

So I brought her downstairs where she fell asleep watching Gilmore Girls.

The following nights we went straight to Gilmore Girls.

Middle of the night. I went to her the first night and did the same routine of staying with her and holding her till she fell asleep. But she woke up again every time right away. After 45 minutes it was Air's turn. Says me. He held her, she fell asleep in 2 minutes, and he put her in her bed where she slept until 8 AM. Guess who was crowned "Back to Sleep King"? Yes, Air was now in charge of putting our borrowed princess back to sleep for the duration of her visit.

Fast forward to Night Four. In the wee hours of this morning, we heard crying again. I woke up Air and he reluctantly sat up and rubbed his eyes. He looked around the room, confused. I started to hear N, who is almost 6 and was sharing her room with our niece, saying, "A, please be quiet. Please go back to sleep." I was surprised she didn't think to call us. Meanwhile Air is out of bed, and for the next agonizing and slow 4 minutes, he put on various clothes after searching for them, went to the bathroom. Looked around again. All the while she's still crying, N is still whining, and I am sitting there just shaking my head. Then Air took a long guzzle of water. "That it. This is just too much. GO GET HER. She's going to wake up the whole house!" Eventually he got her, and put her back to sleep.

I just couldn't believe how long it took him.

Here's what I did every morning: A cried, I got her, brought her downstairs and for the next two hours, held her, fed her, changed her, whatever. I did not go to the bathroom. I did not brush my teeth. I only got a shower if my 6 year old was in my room with her, with the door closed. Air's little "play" was spectacular, mind-boggling, and very "guy." I just couldn't believe he took a drink of water. Too much.


Blogger Commenter Abbi said...

Wow, that sounds like my own lovable husband, only more like our homecoming routine. I come home with my girls and I don't attend to my own needs until they're all taken care of (bathroom time included). It took my husband awhile to come around to that concept.

I hope the rest of your "borrowed princess'" visit goes well. Sounds very trying...

May 30, 2008 10:15 AM  

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