It’s been a little over 24 months (counting the pregnancy days as well) since I had a night out, meaning a late night dinner, or a movie night or just a get-together post dinner. A million things change once a baby comes into a couple’s life. In fact, nothing is ever the same. Though I haven’t really found the time (a mom’s clock is now monitored by her baby) to actually ponder over such things, there are these quiet moments of ‘just me and my athletic mind’ in which I sit down and fret over the things that I miss. But I don’t really fuss for too long, because there is always “someone” who needs you almost 24/7 and I have to practically pull myself together every single day to cater to the needs of this little tiny human being who is now the center of my world.
Anyway, it so happened that this little human whom I shall call “anklebiter(AB)” because he really bites through anything these days ( his favorite, though, are humans). So, AB must have sensed that I was probably missing on a lot of things in my life and decided to give me a slice of adventure. Here’s how it started:
AB yawns loudly letting everybody around know that he is now terribly sleepy and needs to be in bed right away. I am so glad to see this that I want to jump in glee (I think every mom waits for the minute her baby drops off to sleep).
It takes a whole of 30 long minutes for AB to doze (whatever with those huge misleading yawns). Anyway, I tuck him under his favorite blankie and tiptoe outside the room to check on a few emails/catch up with friends/stare at nothing/browse for a movie….
The house is eerily silent. I stifle a few yawns as I decide to slumber in my bed. My husband, who has already yawned ten times, is finally able to get his eyes off from his laptop and is now intently browsing on his cell phone (I am gonna hide that thing one day, I swear the same thing every single day).
Me: It feels so good to be in the bed to be able to entertain these random thoughts inside my head which goes- oh, I should get my eyebrows done, I should pay my credit card bill, I should read that book, I should cook more broccoli for AB tomorrow….Husband is now fast asleep (bless the men who have empty minds)
I am just beginning to let sleep envelope me into a bear hug with my favorite comforter, when I hear soft cries. Okay, just tap him gently because that’s what google says.
The cries are getting louder. Okay, diaper check – looks good. Temperature check – pretty cool. So, I continue tapping AB gently.
The cries are getting louder and louder. Ignore him, I say, as I dig myself under the comforter, waiting for AB to get back to sleep all by himself. (Because that’s what google says).
AB – Is anybody going to carry me at all? Okay, so here it goes, I can cry louder than they think. Awwwwwwwww.
Louder. Louder. Louder. And louder.
I throw away the covers and look at AB who is now screaming his lungs out. I give him this look, “You win, just like always” and carry him. I wake up my husband as well who is now pretending to be asleep. He grunts and groans and gets his sleepy head straight.
I am convinced that AB is having a stomach ache. Yep, he definitely is hurting. (Who can doubt a mommy’s instincts?)
Grandma chirps in (who is also awakened by the cries),”Give him the gripe water. That’s what I gave all my babies.”
I pour the gripe water down AB’s throat. It’s got a nice flavor but he doesn’t like it at all.
Husband offers, “Give him the gas drops that the doctor gave.”
I nod as I pour down another few drops down AB’s throat.
AB: These people are nuts! I am not having a tummy ache, you crazy people. Let me just cry harder to piss them off. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww..
Me, husband and Grandma have tried all the tricks, played with all the toys to change AB’s mood. He smiles now and then but is still grumpy.
Husband says, excitedly (as if his brain is finally awake), “Car ride. That’s what he needs.”
Grandma says, “Good idea. I’ll stay back and rest. You guys should be going.”
AB’s face is now bright and happy. So that’s what he needed, a little fresh air, I thought as I entered the car in my pyjamas with bathroom slippers. Yikes, what am I doing?
Husband (Once he is behind the wheel) – “Maybe he wants to hear us talk. Let’s keep talking about random stuff so that he falls asleep eventually.”
Me – Not a bad idea, I say, I always wanted to go on a late night drive and have romantic talks. Probably, this is it.
Thanks AB, I silently mutter. AB is now growing increasingly silent with each passing minute. May be he is going sleep now, I get my hopes really high.
The music is on as we are now driving through the streets and chatting about things that are totally trivial. Hey, who cares? The baby is quiet.
Good music, night drive, long talks with partner with an on/off crying baby in the middle of the night. Who says I am not having fun?
Okay, he is now definitely asleep. We continue chatting as we head towards home. AB probably sensed it because that’s when I began to panic. A baby waking up from sleep when you least expect is worrisome, leaving you unprepared.
AB (loudly crying) – Really? Talking for so long. I am so completely bored. Let me cry just to annoy them.
AB has drifted off to sleep again in my arms as the car continued to move in circles. I let out a small prayer before the car comes to halt finally. Carefully, delicately, I carry a sleeping AB in my arms, reach the front door, reach the bedroom (Yay! He is sleeping), very gently, now I place him on his bed. There he goes, his eyes wide open.
Okay, so the adventure is not over yet, I sigh to myself.
AB: Wait, we’re home? Weren’t we supposed to sleep in the car? This is cheating. I am not sleeping anymore. I need the C-A-R.
Husband – I think he needs to watch his favorite rhymes. That’ll probably put him to sleep.
I quickly protest, explaining him the dangers of exposing TV to young kids.
AB: She is so obsessed with what she reads on the internet. I am just going to cry harder until she lets me watch my rhymes. It’s so much fun to watch them just after midnight. Sleep is boring anyway.
AB has heard every single one of the rhymes with active interest, showing no signs of sleep. I march over and switch off the TV, signaling that it was time to sleep.
As expected, there were loud screeches and screams.
Grandma: You know what, maybe it’s the teething. His gums are probably hurting.
I am lost in thought as I over-analyze the situation (just like how I analyze every “baby situation”) – Google on symptoms of teething, get him a washcloth, get him a spoon, and get him a teether.
AB throws every single item that I hand him to soothe his sore mouth. It wasn’t teething after all, I press my lips in disappointment.
Just as I set my mind on another trail of thought to examine what could be bothering my little toddler, he marches off into the bedroom, hops onto the bed, with an expression, “I am sleepy, let’s go to bed.”
Husband and I hurriedly join AB on the bed as we wait for our chance to embrace dear “sleep”
The lights are off, the room is pitch dark, AB is fast asleep followed by husband who has also drifted off to dreamland. The adventure is finally coming to an end. I should also be dozing off any minute now.
I am wide awake, have been trying to welcome sleep since I hit the pillow. Reportedly, “princess sleep” has decided to abandon me tonight!!!
In a few hours AB will be awake demanding my unflinching attention. I tell myself, shut your eyes and wait for sleep to come.
I hear AB stirring slightly in his sleep as I hold my breath wondering if he’ll spare me this one time.
So much for my nightly adventures!!!