Last weekend, Jewel started rolling over from back to front on a regular basis. It started late in the week with one roll one morning, then four rolls the next morning, and suddenly we couldn’t keep her on her back.
At first she was frustrated by it because she couldn’t pull her arms out from under her belly to hold her head up, but eventually she sorted that out and then would only get frustrated when she got too tired to hold her mighty noggin off the floor. Now, I’m not going to tell my daughter that she’s fat, chubby or rotund, she’s just husky, but perhaps one fewer midnight snack, sweetie pie, and your arms may not be so thoroughly trapped.
And, with a few less nocturnal noshes, perhaps your Mom and Dad would be able to roll you back onto your back rather than calling out from the kitchen, “I’ll be there, honey, as soon as I push down the french press” or simply honking out a snore, asleep beside you on your activity mat, plastic rings and bee-booping toys bobbling against our noses.
But I was awake to witness most of these developments despite the fact that they occurred in the early morning hours before the chaos that her brother brings with him, cooking, playing rock concerts, and playing baseball inside–which is not at all like inside baseball. Once that fraternal fracas begins, there’s no safe place to lie down.
During the early hours when they skies were dark and Jewel’s eyes were bright, Mama was grabbing, or trying to, the few uninterrupted hours of sleep she could get in the system of sorts that we fell into several weeks back, when everyone over six months old came down with a cold that included a nasty, nagging cough.
It was around the time that I took 3B for a follow-up check from his previous double ear infections and pink eye–not that we would ever bring home a more pernicious bug from the sick waiting area than the one we went there to purge. Neither Mama nor I could stop coughing, particularly as we tried to drift off to sleep, which meant that we were constantly waking Jewel, smothering ourselves with pillows or bolting out of the room to hack and wheeze in the living room.
3B was also afflicted with the same seal bark–in fact, he also still had an ear infection, although it was minor enough that the doctor chose not to treat it. But, alone in his room, 3B didn’t have anybody to wake except himself. He seemed to sleep through his coughing fits, but the effects of them showed after he woke, when he was tired from the time he got out of bed at 7:30.
In hopes of providing at least 1/4 of our household some sleep, Mama and I alternated sleeping on the couch, depending on whose cough was worse during any particular night. However, I often ended up on the couch simply because I don’t have the equipment needed to feed Jewel during the night, and it’s much easier to cosleep with her on our bed than on our couch. Also, Mama would come in from the couch to feed Jewel, then fall asleep alongside her.
You might think there would be enough room on our king size bed for two adults and a baby–even a husky one–but you’d have never slept next Jewel, who sees mother’s milk as a goldfish sees food: there’s never enough. For Mama to sleep near Jewel, she has to sleep on the far edge of the mattress, so that our little food hoover can’t smell Mama’s boobs–seriously, it’s worse than a teenage boy at a Victoria’s Secret fashion show…she’s got a one-track mind, she drools over them and is speechless.
I could, I suppose, form a Berlin Wall betwixt these two cuties, but our pillow-top mattress has devolved into a two-trenches-and-a-berm-top mattress, which means that I’d be perched atop the berm, requiring me to shim my hips to keep from rolling off onto either cutie. So I sleep on the couch.
And that’s where Mama brings Jewel at 5 a.m. every morning, one of them cheerfully smiling, delighted to see me, the other glaring out from half-shuttered eyes, muttering something about “up 30 times, kicking, knocked pacifier out of her mouth, rolling, won’t stop eating.” It’s my job then to keep Jewel out of the bedroom for as long as possible. She makes it easy for me by generally staying wide awake for about an hour and a half. I then take about half an hour to settle her down before dropping her off on our bed while 3B is rousting in his room.
In the last few weeks, he’s taken to getting out of bed, then curling up behind his bedroom door with his lovie, waiting for his Mommy to come get him. So, after I drop off Jewel, as I come out of our room, I crack 3B’s door open, say good morning, tell him he can come out to the living room, and then head out to start making breakfast for him and Mama and me. By the time 3B and I are eating, Mama wakes up and I hand her the ringmaster’s hat for the day while I get ready to go to work.
Mama keeps the circus rolling on her own while I’m at work with more grace than I could ever hope to muster, and then when I return home, we press the rewind button and start moving 3B and Jewel to bed. Ideally, we would then sleep while they sleep, but Mama needs to work and lately I’ve had enough work to keep me busy at night too.
Then there’s the issue of cleaning the house–OK, who are we kidding?–picking up enough of the toys that we won’t get puncture wounds in our feet when we stumble through the house in the middle of the night to collapse onto the couch, coughing. Then, before we work until we can’t see straight, Mama at the dining room table, me on the couch, watching the Olympics over the top of my laptop, we clear enough space on Jewel’s activity mat for her to lay down. And roll over.
I’m working to make cancer history. Will you help me?