Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Another Night Of The Screaming Tomato. But much more Screamy. And Tomatoey.


It was one of those impeccable timing things, almost spooky in its perfect synchronicity.

We left the relaxing idyll of the Beach Shack and (via Newcastle) returned to the big House in Sydney. C flew back to Country Town to continue work leaving us, his loving spouse and child, in the Big House with the Naughty Nephews and their parents (and mice).

And at 9.30pm Tricky metamorphosed into his evil alias: The Screaming Tomato.

It was horrifying. At first I fretted about the rest of the family, and the next door neighbours, trying, and no doubt miserably failing, to get to sleep, but after several hours of on-again off-again Hellspawn shriekfest it was every man and mouse for himself.

I tried everything I could to get him to sleep. I patted (hopeless), I rocked (useless), I even tried tucking him alongside me into bed (actually agitated further) which the books say very sternly not to do unless you’re prepared to deal with co-sleeping until at least puberty(or similar).

And finally, I succumbed. I broke my own rule and sometime, well before midnight, I picked him up and breastfed him even though I knew he would be awake again by 2am.

For months I had been holding out, night after night, waiting for the magic hour of 5am, often feeding earlier, even as early as 3.30, but knowing that having fallen into the deep sleep that always follows a nightly nurse he would stay that way for two hours. I don’t know why this is so, I only know that it is. This is what happens, this is the law. It’s a given, it’s concrete, it’s absolute, it’s like gravity or herpes. It’s permanent, it’s unchangeable, it’s unbreakable, it may as well be written in letters of fire on the palm of Buddha: AFTER BREASTFEEDING AT NIGHT YOU GET TWO HOURS OF SHOOSH.

It broke my heart last night to discover that the two hour shoosh rule was complete crap. It was bogus, it was fake, it was no rule at all.

Instead, as soon as I put him back into his cot, he let rip with a Level 11 bloodcurdling shriek. My mouth dropped open. He had been toying with me all this time. I went back to the above mentioned list of completely Useless Settling Techniques. They were equally useless the second time around, and the third as well, but at least they filled in time before I could attach him to my breasts again which seemed to be the only thing that worked and kept him quiet.

The only good thing was that finally, when i eventually did fall into a coma, I did so without torturing myself over that radio interview last Friday and thinking of all the clever, sensible things I should have said.

10 comments:

Em said...

That sounds terrible, OG. I'm also a proponent of the no breastfeeding- -before-5a.m.-rule-(except in the case of emergencies).

Was the bad night unusual for him? I ask because nights like the one you describe usually signal an ear infection in my girls. If Tricky has had a recent cold, you may want to have his ears checked.

Hope everyone sleeps better soon.

Spanglish said...

Poor Tricky, but even more poor Ova Girl. I hope he feels better.

Urban Chick said...

hope it's ok if i tell my fellow readers how to hear the lovely ovagirl's interview from last friday: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lifematters/stories/2007/2045532.htm

Urban Chick said...

fast forward to 12 minutes to hear OG!

Nico said...

I also discovered towards the end of our nursing that the once sure-fire method to get him to sleep was no longer. I hope that the tomato phase was just a one night thing!

granny p said...

Ears: yes possibly. But also ..teething?...

Hope you've had sleep since.

Melissa said...

Hilarious! I've come to your blog via Life Matters podcast. I read your post about milestones and eating shoes, and agree wholeheartedly. I have a 13 month old son who doesn't do all those babycenter milestones, but knows how to post items into rubbish bins and and toilets, just like grown ups do. I just have to work on his discrimination so that he doesn't put useful or electronic items into said receptacles...

LL said...

If lil'mooey doesn't conform to her normal routine and after all normal settling doesn't work, dummy, drink, quick cuddle... then we try teething gel, swaddling (yes, swaddling at 16mths because sometimes it works!!!) and then we try panadol... if that doesn't work then we know it's gonna be a real bad night it's cuddling on the couch watching tv.

seepi said...

Hubby gets up with our munchkin and they have another midnight dinner of toast and milk. And if she's still not sleepy he watches I Love Raymond.

Putting her in bed with us always increased the screaming, just like you said.

Ovagirl said...

I think it was the shock of having had so many previously quite good nights and then this king hell night of the living dead.
And not having c was hard, in the mornings he usually gets up and takes tricky out and gives him breakfast etc and i get to sleep in to some outrageously extravagant hour. Like, seven.
It may have been teething, it may have been the hot night, it may have been sleeping in his cot after 8 weeks solid of portacot. That or spite.