a slightly jet-lagged toddler

Ben’s sleep schedule is a little off today. Actually, that’s an understatement. The time change, plus an erratic sleep schedule due to travel and his stomach problems, has resulted in a Confused Internal Clock for my tiny boy. Tonight, it took me two hours to get him to go to sleep, resulting in a 9:40pm bedtime, not his usual 7:45pm sleep time. And those two hours weren’t easy because I was ON MY OWN. Paul went to his cousin Megan’s wedding, and I stayed home with Ben…just like how Paul stayed home with Ben when my cousin Capri got married this summer. We don’t want ANYONE ELSE to have to try to take care of him & suffer through the Ben Bedtime Resistance. Here’s why it took two hours to get him to sleep tonight:

7:30PM: Settle in to read Richard Scarry’s “The Very Naughty Bunny”, punctuated by cries of “Mun-nay!” (“bunny”), and pointing.

7:45PM: Cue up the white noise. Place Ben’s head on shoulder and turn out lights. Start singing to him (“Love Will Tear Us Apart” works nicely)

7:55PM: Still shouldering. Stop moving for a moment…and Ben’s head snaps up.

8:00PM: Give up trying to get Ben to put his head back down, due to extended yells of “Dow! DOW!” (“Down”) and suicide lunges out of my arms. We go back into the living room, where he immediately points at my laptop and chirps, “Ernie!”

8:01PM: Quell meltdown resulting from my refusal to cue up the videos on the YouTube Sesame Street Channel

8:02PM: Meltdown ends when I pull out the new Thomas the Tank Engine book Grandma bought for Ben

8:30PM: After much playing and chasing around the hotel room, Ben starts lying down on the floor for a few seconds at a time to “rest”, and rubbing his eyes to indicate he’s tired

8:42PM: I re-shoulder him and bring him back into the bedroom

8:43PM: Ben resumes trying to twist out of my arms and yelling “DOW? DOW!!!!”

8:44PM: I tighten my hold on Ben to keep him on my shoulder, and start singing louder.

8:44PM: Ben starts shrieking for “Da-da!! DA DAAAAA! Da da da da…” and sobbing hysterically

8:45PM: I give up trying to lull Ben to sleep with Counting Crows, and start singing the intro bass synth line to Covenant’s “Like Tears In Rain”. Ben immediately settles

8:46PM: Ben’s tortured, hysterical, desperate sobbing subsides into the occasional gasp. I reflect, again, on the fact that I have the only baby who is calmed by goth-industrial dance tracks.

8:50PM: I get my laptop and cue up a Bar Sinister playlist from two weeks ago. We dance through the same Covenant track, the Presets’ “Pretty Little Eyes,” Assemblage 23’s “Smoke” and the first few bars of a Combichrist track. After “Like Tears In Rain,” Ben chirps, “More?” After “Pretty Little Eyes”, I try to put him down…and he immediately jumps back up. I sigh and resume dancing with his head down on my shoulder.

9:10PM: Instead of putting Ben down, I fall backwards onto the bed out of SHEER EXHAUSTION, with him still on my chest…like he hasn’t slept since he was VERY WEE.

9:30PM: I open my eyes to realize that I have a sleeping toddler on me, who is, at last, peacefully unconscious. I carefully transfer him into his crib, and go to wash and sterilize his bottles by boiling them on the tiny in-room kitchen stove.

Now, I hear a wedding afterparty starting up, and after tonight, I totally deserve to go catch up on drinking with my extended family-by-marriage. Unlike my family, who always want to get up and work out or do yoga the day after a wedding – or who just don’t drink much because we’re Jews -Paul’s family knows how to TEAR IT UP. They’re actually loading in booze right now, into the conference room of the Staybridge Suites we’re staying at, for a WEDDING RECEPTION AFTER PARTY. Awesomeness.

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