Saturday, July 7, 2012

The 5 o'clock Power Hour

Hello! And welcome to the Gibson Family 5 o'clock Power Hour! During this hour you will experience a dinner and entertainment so ASTOUNDING it will leave you in TEARS! 

Tears, you say? How in the world can dining and entertaining a 9 month old result in tears, you might ask?

Well, you'll soon learn!


Since coming back from our niece Taylor's graduation at the beginning of {June},Wyatt has been having some trouble with his sleep cycle. The road trip just really did him in, and he's had trouble maintaining his normal nap schedule ever since.

All of a sudden, Wyatt wants to stay up late (10 pm! Wha?!) and get up early (1 am! WHA?!) and then just kind of roll around in the middle of the big bed from 1 am to 5 am (Kick! Jab! Thump! BOOM!).

It has made for some really crappy sleep for Mom and Dad.

But all that is over. Done. Caput. Finito. No. More.

For you see, Mommy made a decision at 6:37:45 am on July 3, 2012, just as the song birds began to sing, the sun began to crest the hillside, and Mommy came to the very, very end of her rope.

No more getting up in the middle of the night. No more using my body as a human-dam at the end of the bed to keep Wyatt from plummeting to the ground. No more waking in the middle of the night to a screaming child, telling the hubs to go back to sleep, then resenting him for the rest of the day for agreeing. No. More. Nightshift. Mommy.

{Now, as a side bar, you need to know that I am being completely facetious and serious at the same time. But in the most seriously facetious way, of course}

As I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, holding Wyatt on one hip, and splashing cold water onto my face with my last free hand, I pondered, "How can I trick this baby into sleeping through the night?"

I thought back to my own childhood, searching through my mind's filing cabinet in pursuit of the answers I know MUST be there. Ashley playing in the dirt, Kimberley playing with rocks, Ronna tricking Ashley and Kimberley into eating said dirt and rocks. {That can't be right, right?}

I ignore my flippant memory of back yard play days with my sisters. How could playing in the back yard apply to making Wyatt sleep through the night?

Then it hits me.

Wyatt naps.

After deciding to finally give up my futile effort of sleeping through Wyatt's slaps to my face and jabs to my rib cage, I usually rise at around 7:15 am. We get up, go the living room, and begin our trek across the day together.

Wyatt is usually good for about 3 hours. At around 10 am, though, he begins to lose his chipper attitude and descend into what I endearingly call "Monster Mode." Monster Mode is when the lovely, smiley Wyatt Lee turns into the enraged, hostile Dubya El. He takes no prisoners and humors no mommies at this time.

We usually put this monster down for a nap at this time, by giving him a bottle, turning the TV to PBSkids {Thank you, God, for giving me childlike programming all day long, amen.},  and nestling down with him in the recliner until snores abound.

He will sleep anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and half, depending on how rough a night he previously had.

After he wakes back up, we continue with our day, playing in the living room, helping Mommy unfold clothes she just folded, and eating lunch.

But again, around 2, the monster comes back and Wyatt is again laid to rest. {I know, being laid to rest is a euphemism used to take the place of "someone being placed 6 ft under," but after you meet the monster, you'll see how that particular circumlocution actually describes Wyatt's nap time perfectly.} He will sleep about 30 minutes for this nap and arise refreshed and raring to go.

We finish our afternoon with Daddy coming home from work, Mommy beginning dinner, and Wyatt taking his third and final nap of the day-- during the 5 o'clock hour.

Now, back to my spark of genius...

Then it hits me.

Wyatt naps.

When my sisters and I were still young, we played outside. And my mother made sure we played outside a LOT. I remember asking her, as an adult, how she handled putting three kids to bed each night. 

She smiled a devilish smile and said, "By bedtime, ya'll wanted to go to bed. You didn't take naps during the day, you played outside. During the summer, I would let ya'll in just long enough to eat lunch, maybe watch an hour's worth of TV, then back out into the sprinklers you went. Ya'll were dead tired when you came in. You'd stay awake just long enough to eat dinner, take a bath, and hit the bed."

A circus ringleader, she was. Sort of like Master Yoda, but better, and in an apron.
I decided that I must cut out naps. But how? Wyatt is only 9 months old. 9 month olds need naps. Mommies need 9 month olds who need naps.

I spoke with Auntie about this on Monday while accompanying the hubs to pick up a water tank and concrete mixer. Her solution sounded simple: "You'll have to cut out that 5 o'clock nap."

Okay. That's right. I'll cut out that 5 o'clock nap.

So for this week, I've cut out that 5 o'clock nap.

And MAN ALIVE, did Wyatt enter Monster Mode with a new found sense of valor.

I am now referring to that particular stretch of time as the 5 O'clock Power Hour. It involves sitting a very sleepy baby down in the floor and letting him cry, scream, kick, and carry on until there is no more cry, scream, kick, or carry on left in him. It usually takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes for him to give up and act like a baby again.

Tuesday, Colt was late getting home from work, so Wyatt stood in his walker, screaming like the day he was born, while I cooked dinner. 

Then on Wednesday {July 4th}, we were in the car on our way home from some Independence Day celebrations. He screamed from Jasper all the way to the drive-way {which, for anyone who doesn't know, is a 35 minute drive}.

Thursday, we were at Nanna's house to celebrate {Pappy's Birthday} together. For the entire power hour, Nanna kept saying, "You cannot keep him from napping. Just let him take a nap." To which I had to answer, "If you try to let him sleep, I will load him up and go home. And he will cry all the way home." 

And on Thursday night, somehow, by the Grace of the God almighty, Wyatt slept through the night.

On Friday, Wyatt awoke at 9 am to begin his day. He had his 9 month checkup at the doc's, and after leaving, he took a nap. He took a nap from 12:48am to 2:48pm. 

And guess what!? 

That was the only nap Wyatt took the entire day. 

Sadly, at 9:30 pm, after one failed attempt at going down for the night, Wyatt still didn't want to go to bed.

But with the hubs to comfort me, we put Wyatt to bed.

He did not want to go. He stood in there and screamed for 10 minutes.

We huddled together in the center of the bed, staring at each other as though we were the worst parents on the planet.

"You have to be strong," the hubs said. 

"I know," I answered, biting my bottom lip in despair.

"You know you can't go to him right now, " the hubs reminded.

"I know, “I say, "He'll only think he's outsmarted me... again."

And then everything was silent.

We snuck down our own hallway as if we were breaking into a prison to spring a lifer. Colt pushed the door ever-so-gently open. We peered in, like scared children readying themselves to see a Chucky Doll standing in wait. 

Wyatt had fallen asleep curled up on his pillow. We slipped a blanket over our mad little man, flipped the his Angelcare Monitor on, and scurried back into our bed, where we slept the entire night.

For 8 hours.

And that, my dear friends, is how you will be reduced to tears during the Gibson Family 5 o'clock Power Hour.


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