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Jan 18

nighttime parenting

First, let me say that, for the record, when one of my kids is puking in the middle of the night – I want my husband beside me. He’s freaking fabulous with puke. We have a system, a routine, a carefully choreographed dance that we’ve worked over the past seven years of dealing with nighttime pukers and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But other than that, really, I’d rather he just pretend to sleep thru it.

Sam had a rough night last night – for no specific reason, he just did. He doesn’t usually wake up in the middle of the night, he’s, for example, more consistent about sleeping thru the night than his almost seven year old sister. But last night, he woke up and was crying and crying. He was very upset, about a whole host of different issues (because when you’re three and a half, there are lots of things that bother you, apparently). He wanted to nurse, he was upset about not getting play time in with Daddy earlier, he wanted his big sister Sarah, he was just upset. It was one in the morning, and he was up and crying.

I like nighttime parenting. I like the intimacy of it, I like snuggling with my kids and making it all better. I love holding a sleeping baby/child, and I like being able to make it all better with a kiss. Sometimes it takes a little while, like it did last night, but I don’t mind. Especially with Sam, because it’s so rare for him to wake up. I figure sometimes he just needs a little extra love and am content to work my way thru it until he calms down enough to go to sleep.

Marc, however, is not a nighttime parenting guy. This is fine, and may well be his adaptation to having children with me. Because again – I prefer to do it alone. Last night, I had to talk him out of taking a sobbing three year old out into a snow storm to cry in the car so he didn’t wake everyone up. Having learned thru years of experience that a crying child in the middle of the night wakes nobody (everyone pretty much just sleeps thru it), I knew this was a dramatic overreaction designed to make a somewhat tough situation a thousand times worse.

I love my husband more than anything – and honestly believe that my children are infinitely blessed to have him for a Daddy – but he’s really crappy at middle of the night non-vomit induced waking.

I’m groggy and slightly cranky this morning. Still sore after the weekend’s adventures, and yearning for early bedtime tonight.

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