From the Memory Lane files I bring you the end of the crib and beginning of the Big Boy Bed. Here’s what happened. The little guy was climbing all over his crib and seriously making the case that he was frankly viewing the whole crib as one big challenge or test of bravery. So it was clear that it was time for it to go. We took the side wall of the crib down and LTD was psyched. It only took him two days to roll off. I made my first trip to Buy Buy Baby to get the crib side safety railing and all was well for about two weeks. Out of the blue, one of The Mommy’s coworkers was getting rid of a nice twin trundle bed and the price was too good for us to pass up. As quickly as the crib converted it was gone. The car’s roof took a beating, but LTD now had his very own big boy bed.
Not for one second did LTD have a problem with his new sleeping arrangements. He jumped in with full force and the crib was not even a distant memory. I swear he used the phrase ‘big boy bed’ about thousand times over the next few days. Of course he rolled out of this one even quicker and I made my second trip to Buy Buy Baby to get a bed sized safety guard. The only downside is that it took him less than a nanosecond to figure out that he could jump on the bed and that act would be pleasing to him. Of course his up and down gave me the opportunity to feel even more like a parent by telling him to stop jumping on the bed. Now we read to him in bed and the only challenge is to not fall asleep ourselves.
A while ago I featured the iphone in a media review and talked mostly about how it has made my life easier. Well since that review LTD has only broken it once and only been iphone banned for life once. However, he indirectly benefits from one of the iphone’s greatest apps. I give you Pandora Internet Radio. While Pandora has basically an infinitely selection of musical tastes the channel that I use almost exclusively is Lullabye Radio. The station plays contemporary lullabies for today’s hip parent, in other words it is Raffi free. Pandora does play ads but I must say they are infrequent and a small price to pay to not have to pay a price.
I first discovered Pandora while on vacation with the little guy who thought the purpose of the vacation was to see if he could go 36 hours without sleeping. I searched Pandora and found the Lullaby channel and was soon enjoying some sweet mellow tunes. At the end of the day I’m not sure just how much the lullabies helped LTD sleep but I will say this, once those tunes started I was out like a light.
LTD was never one of those ‘need a blanket’ type of kids, I assume because for so long he never had one in the crib with him. But a little after he turned one The Mommy and I began putting a super soft blanket in his crib to cover him at bedtime. He took to it like rice to white. Early on his favorite activity was to gently rub the soft blanket corner against his cheek. Almost a year later and the blanket has taken on new significance. The good news is that we don’t have a ‘wooby’ situation on our hands and he is not co-dependant. However, his current practice is to walk around his room with his blanket wrapped around not as Superman’s cape but more in line with Elvis and James Brown. And when you think about it, it makes more sense this way since the little guy has taken to dancing whenever he hears a rockin’ beat.
Perhaps the best outcome from the addition of the blanket is that it allows The Mommy and me to ‘tuck’ him in at night. I don’t love the fact that he likes to sleep with the blanket very close to his head and unless he is in a deep sleep he will not let you move it from his cheek. In fact he puts up a pull fight, which is funny since he is half asleep. In conclusion, I think I speak for LTD when I say, soft is good.
Check out this article on baby sleep safety and products from the New York Times by Andrew Martin. Click here.
There are some who feel that Mercer Mayer’s 1968 classic There’s a Nightmare in My Closet is a pretender to the Maurice Sendak Where the Wild Things Are throne. They feel that both in style and substance Closet is a bit of a rip off. I on the other hand, feel that that is a weak argument offered up by, as the kids call them these days, haters. There’s a Nightmare in My Closet is a very simple and quick read, which is one of the reasons I like it. The book tells the tale a young boy who every night before going to sleep, grabs his helmet and popgun to check that the closet door is shut and then hops into bed. It turns out there is indeed a Nightmare in his closet, but it is nothing you would expect. It seems just like ninjas and bears, nightmares are more afraid of you then you are of them.
The boy turns out to be a little bit of a jerk and the Nightmare a little bit of a wimp, but this delicious role reversal is what makes this tale work. On a childhood development level, Closet assists parents with the pre-bed time talk that every one of us will have at least once, the bogeyman discussion. By making the monster silly the author helps to diffuse the after dark panic attack. Now if we could only tackle the real nightmare in The Mommy’s closet, the amount of clothes.
Ever since I started spending my days taking care of the baby I have had to re-adjust my expectations and time management ideas about what I could accomplish during the day. LTD usually takes a long nap in the morning and the afternoon; this is when I go into turbo. He is out for long enough for me to plan lunch or dinner and finish various chores and get some work done. However, something unusual occurs from time to time. He sleeps for longer than I planned. It’s like winning a small one-person lottery, but it has a weird side effect. I find myself with time on my hands and nothing to do. Living with the baby prevents me from getting into any big projects, I mean it’s not like I can paint the living room while watching him, so I do lots of little things. Yet, during the times when he sleeps longer than normal, I have a window of extra-unplanned minutes and I can’t think of what to do. The block of time is so unexpected all I can do is stare at the wall; I can’t complain it really is a good problem to have.
The company Rockabye Baby! has produced lullaby renditions of The Beatles, Coldplay, The Cure, U2, The Eagles and of course AC/DC and Metallica, plus many more. The tunes don’t have lyrics and are played using chimes, bells and other soft instruments. When The Mommy first got a few of their CDs, I was curious as to what they would sound like, but after listening to them and getting past the fact they don’t have lyrics (for obvious reasons) I sort of got into them. Rockabye Baby! joins the trend of children’s music that adults can actually stand to listen to. However, I do find it funny that instead of singing my son an old Russian lullaby passed down from generation to generation, I can play him Stairway to Heaven instead. These lullabies are also helpful in providing an alternative to the actual “rock-a-bye baby” song which gets depressing the more you sing it.
Marcia Brown’s Stone Soup, first published in 1947, offers something for everyone. The story features one of the first known printings of French soldiers not surrendering to anyone. Additionally, Brown examines the nature of the military industry complex and in particular it’s affects on a small village. Finally, she discusses the role of the military using private homes to quarter soldiers and studies the selfishness of a community. Not bad for a children’s book. Stone Soup based on a French folk tale and while some would say that the author stole the tale I would argue that, as the French say, she wrote it as an homage.
Stone Soup centers around three hungry and tired soldiers who stumble upon a tiny village seeking food and shelter only to find cold and egocentric townspeople. Instead of getting revenge and murdering everyone in sight, the soldiers use their wits to trick the villagers into providing food and accommodations. While I don’t recommended eating Stone Soup, I certainly endorse reading it.
I’ve never been a night owl, but this is getting ridiculous. I used to go to bed between 11 and midnight and now, not so much. The days are long my friends and I feel every second of them when the sun goes down. Beginning around 9pm I hit a wall, sure I’m awake but it’s only on a technicality, my body is still vertical. On nights when LTD sleeps all the way through, I don’t feel it as much, but for obvious reasons when I get up at 1am and stay up for half an hour, the next day I really feel it.
Crashing so early screws up a lot of things in the late evening, things like dinner. By the time The Mommy gets home from the office we have a limited window of time to feed the baby and ourselves before our tanks hit empty. Most nights we have pretty well oiled machinery in place to deal with all the items on the nightly checklist, but on those evenings when we are in the tall grass it is just brutal. The truth is that when I am in the weeds I have no problem going to bed at 9:30, I feel no shame. And thanks to the DVR we don’t miss Burn Notice.