February 17, 2009

Things I Learned Whilst Lying In Owen's Crib

Owen, like most kids his age, prefers to be comforted by his mom. I understand this. My feelings are not hurt. I do not smell pretty or have breasts. When he invariably wakes up in the night, it is Beth who goes to comfort him. When I try, he screams as if I am trying to gnaw off his arms. If he could speak English, I'm sure this would be translated as where is my mommy...get this guy the fuck out of here right now. But the other night was rough and when it looked like we were in for another rough one, I tried to take over for Beth. I was, surprisingly, moderately successful. About 10:00, Owen started making noise so I climbed, cat-like, into his crib with him. He was tired enough that he didn't do an identity check. Over the course of the two and a half hours that I spent next to and under him, Owen managed to maneuver me into a series of positions which left me uncomfortable and unable to sleep. Yet I made a vow that I was not going to move or in any way jeopardize Owen's sleep until he, himself, woke up. Here's what I learned.

  • I am not a large man. I'm not overweight or tall but the time at which I could comfortably fit into a crib is long passed. Worse, cribs are like the ideal torture device for adults. There is no possible way to get comfortable. Especially with a grumpy baby in there with you. If it wasn't getting closed down eventually, I'd say they should buy cribs for Gitmo. Those guys would sing in no time.
  • If there's any genetic component to it, Owen got his snoring gene from me. For something so small, he's a hell of a good snorer.
  • Having a kid sneeze a nice juicy sneeze directly into your ear is just as bad as you'd think it would be. It's hard to say if I lost hearing because of the loudness or the kid snot stuck in my inner ear.
  • Owen wears nice warm jammies and our windows, up until this weekend, sucked. I was dressed in PJ bottoms and a t-shirt. Owen was dressed in jammies (tops and bottoms) over which he had a nice fuzzy onsie. I got cold. Like, really fucking cold. Well into hour two (remember, part of this time I was actually under Owen and had made my vow not to wake him up) I got desperate and found his baby blanket and strategically placed that on various parts of my body in succession. This was not at all satisfying because his blanket is no more than 12 by 12 inches.
  • Despite what I often think, I cannot indeed sleep anywhere or in any situation. I know it's shocking but despite being a mattress, shivering, getting sneezed and snored at and being twisted into odd positions a circus freak wouldn't even find comfortable, I didn't get a wink.

After a while, Owen woke up, became lucid and realized that I was not Beth. And he got pissed. I got to crawl back in a warm bed and sleep. But I also learned that it's uncomfortable, sure, but kinda nice to be trapped under a sleeping baby. Which I was. Again. Last night. I woke up at 3 AM to him faceplanted on my back. My back, which was covered in a puddle of drool.

Speaking of drool, I have to go find out if I need a root canal. Please think no root canal thoughts for me, okay?

Posted by Chris at February 17, 2009 7:03 AM

There is such a thing as climbing cat-like into a crib? I'm pretty sure I'm missing that gene.

Posted by: Shelly at February 17, 2009 8:00 AM

I've always been confused by the physics of climbing into a crib...I remember when Beth used to write about getting into Mia's crib and I would just scratch my head in confusion. I think I need a chart. But good for you, for trying to handle some the night stuff - it's not easy for any daddy, but sometimes the little ones CAN be tricked!

Posted by: Sam at February 17, 2009 8:22 AM

Wow you guys are really NOT having any luck with Owen and the sleep thing. I hope he realizes soon that sleep IS a friend...not an enemy.

I too am confused by the physics of crawling into a crib...because no matter how many times I play the scenario in my head I don't think I could get my leg up that far and over the rail...especially not with enough grace as to avoid landing ON the baby! HPmm...

Posted by: wn at February 17, 2009 8:32 AM


Posted by: DeAnna at February 17, 2009 8:35 AM

As I'm facing, in the future, probably 2 root canals I'm wishing you no root canals. Although I did learn with my new dentist that she is a fan of giving you valium. I think I love her...too bad she refers you to an endodontist for the root canals.

Posted by: daisy at February 17, 2009 8:50 AM

This cracked me up. This was exactly how it was with our son. I fear we are heading in that direction with our daughter to. I am SO tired right now it is hard to type and look at the screen at the same time. I hope things improve in your house!

Posted by: Christina at February 17, 2009 9:09 AM

SO glad I'm not the only one who can't figure out how you guys are getting in there with him. If I tried something like that, I'd topple the crib. Trust me.

Thinking no root canal thoughts...

Posted by: Fraulein N at February 17, 2009 9:27 AM

I thought I was the only parent that ever crawled into the crib! My family gave me such a hard time about it but it was the only way to get the little one to stay asleep. Thank goodness I am not alone in the crib sleeping thing.

Posted by: CSC at February 17, 2009 9:27 AM

wow. i'm saying a little prayer of thanks that my kids sleep (for the most part). you are dedicated (and possibly a little crazy), good story though. :D definitely thinking no root canal thoughts...

Posted by: Jen at February 17, 2009 9:46 AM

No root canal. No root canal. No root canal.

Posted by: Maria at February 17, 2009 11:09 AM

now that's dedication. i'd sooner let my kid cry all night than risk the chance that a crib may not be able to hold my weight. i'd never live that down. heh.

Posted by: ali at February 17, 2009 12:14 PM

I have SO been there with the awkward sleeping positions and drool in places where they shouldn't be. As a note, at about 4 months, my little guy started waking up every couple hours to be comforted. Alas climbing in the crib was not an option, but curling up on the couch was. But then I found one night I had accidentally left the burp cloth in the crib with him, and he slept 6 hours straight. Now he still has a half dozen or so "baba's" that he chews on every night at age 2. Keep trying a favorite teddy bear or blankie, and you may end up with a Baba like ours.
And been there, done that for root canal, 3 times. Think positive, and you won't have a problem! (okay I'm lying) Good luck!

Posted by: Lindsay at February 17, 2009 1:03 PM

This brought back fond memories. For the record, toddler beds are not comfy either.

Posted by: Kristy at February 17, 2009 1:08 PM

Chris, I know this is going to sound a bit too logical....but why didn't you take him out and cuddle on the couch? :)

Posted by: Issa at February 17, 2009 1:48 PM

Oh, you were talking about an infant. Not my stupid dead fiance. Who also had the worst problem sleeping and would more often than not end up drooling on me and I wouldn't move an inch because I wanted so badly for him to get some sleep.

Posted by: k8 at February 17, 2009 2:16 PM

You're a good man for trying :) (And succeeding!)
I cannot imagine any adult climbing into a crib. It seems like an impossible feat.

Posted by: Heather at February 17, 2009 3:02 PM

*crosses fingers*

Posted by: Hannah at February 17, 2009 3:26 PM

I'm impressed you got into his crib at all. Hope he's feeling better, and that you and Beth got a better night's sleep.

Posted by: Nat at February 17, 2009 3:47 PM

While I have never had a root canal, my wife came awfully close, but was able to avoid it with a crown instead for now. Here's to hoping.

Posted by: Sean at February 17, 2009 3:54 PM

how the hell did you get in the crib? Wow, I am impressed as well. The thought of doing that has never even crossed my mind!

I don't mind sleeping baby drool on me, but sneezing in my ears - yuck!

Posted by: carrster at February 17, 2009 5:26 PM

My boys are little bundles of heat balls when they sleep... I have no idea where all their internal warmth comes from!

Posted by: ewe_are_here at February 17, 2009 5:37 PM

I am so thankful that my kids sleep. I don't know how you and Beth stay sane. I have a friend who would crawl in the crib with her son, and fall asleep there. Now she's all of 5 foot nothing and probably 100 pounds soaking wet, but still, I never understood how she did that, and slept there until morning. And really, I thought she was the only person who crawled in the crib with their kids. Who knew!

Posted by: Steph at February 17, 2009 6:54 PM

I'm impressed that you woke up.

Mine, for all the wonderful husband & father that he is, does not. On the nights when I *have* to get up early (he's the home-in-the-day guy) I kick him & he dutifully gets up & deals, but I just lay awake to "see what the problem is"

Posted by: harmzie at February 17, 2009 7:21 PM

I can't even imagine climbing into a crib. You realize those things are not intended for grownups, right? Thank God you didn't both go crashing through to the floor!

Hopefully Owen's sleeping habits will improve soon.

Posted by: coolchick at February 17, 2009 8:30 PM

I've got to ask: Where was Beth with the camera? Even Mia for that matter. She could have gotten up for that shot! Anyways, sorry about the crib, that totally bites. Hopefully as he gets older his sleeping habits will be better. You're a good husband for giving Beth a break though. I'm sure she appreciated it.

Posted by: Dianna at February 17, 2009 9:14 PM

I can't believe you even fit in the crib! I can't even picture it, well, I can, and I burst out laughing at the idiocity of it!

Posted by: Heather at February 17, 2009 9:15 PM

I laughed red wine all over my keyboard reading this. Hilarious.

And all I have to say is our crib has a weight limit of 40 lbs. What the hell kind of Escalade-style crib do you own?

Posted by: mandy at February 18, 2009 1:10 AM

You're not tall? Really? I always saw you as being 6-ish feet tall. No?

Beyond that - I want to know how any grown being gets into a baby crib. I don't spend a lot of time around them (babies or cribs) so I'm not sure how this is even feasible.

Posted by: Emily at February 18, 2009 2:11 PM