Sunday, March 03, 2013

no one ever told me...

So, Campbell has his very first ever fever.  I say "first ever", as its the first one I know about... he might have had one here and there, but nothing noticeable and substantial...

...a few days ago, he was a little sluggish and even turned away his food--and just know, he NEVER turns away food... yesterday he coughed all day and had a fever... last night, he slept off and on for most of the day... we took him to the doc today, and naturally, he's pretty fine. 

He has his daddy's immune system, methinks. 

Fatherhood has been an interesting ride, and its no secret that I call Campbell Isaiah our "inconvenient blessing".  He's a definite blessing. And tax write off.  He smiles and you melt, he giggles and it makes you laugh with him, and when he is all cuddly, its the best.  He's a blessing.

But he is darn inconvenient... you know how many movies I saw at the theater in 2011?  38.  You know how many I watched in the theater in 2012?  Less than 10.  Seriously.  I've heard other parents say "Less than 10?!  I would be happy with 5 per year!" but I'm an avid movie goer and movie watcher...

He is darn inconvenient.  Never realized how inconvenient he would be.  There are a few other things that people didn't tell me... for instance...

No ever one told me... can hate car rides?  ALL I ever heard was "Oh, when Junior is upset, we just drive around the block a few times and he goes to sleep" and "Oh, when Little Mary is crying, we don't go home, we just keep driving and she just goes right out" or "Oh, when Bon Qui Qui is cranky, we just put her in the car seat and she just nods off immediately..."

Somehow, someway in my feeble little mind I just had this image of putting little Campbell, bawling his tiny little eyes out, and him just quieting down immediately, and then after a few miles in the Red Robin, he is just snoozing away...

Not so.  Oh, nay.  Nay. Nay, he say.

Matter of fact, Campbell hated that car seat, especially for the first few months.  He wailed and cried and screamed and went nuts... if you are familiar with Birmingham, and Highway 280 in particular, you'll know where I'm headed with this...

Usually after work at The Most Caffeinated Coffee Shop in Birmingham, I take a ride up the mountain to the Greystone area to pick up Little Pocket Change to bring him home (grandparents help to take care of him during the week).

Most of the time he is fine in his carseat... but as we crest the Brookhighlands Hill and get into the turning lane to leave 280 and turn onto Valleydale Road, somehow that is his 15 minute threshold.  And that is where he'd go nuts. In his own little baby squeal, he tells me, loudly, "Get me outta this carseat.... like, five minutes ago, Dad.  Now." 

I thought they loved carseats.  Not so.

No ever one told me...

...I'd have to be a chemist.  We make our own baby formula now, which we feed Campbell, along with fruits and veggies puree'd or chopped into tiny, soft cubes for consumption... but before, in his first few months of life, we used Enfimel, then Gerber's Gentle baby formula.

My bathroom counter for the first five months of my son's life
He had this schedule of waking up around 1am for a bottle... and around 330 or 4am for a bottle... so somehow, The Lovely Steph Leann and I had an unspoken system that just came to be... Campbell cried, I would roll out of bed, stumble into the nursery, pick him up, bring him to the groggy The Lovely Steph Leann, then trundle downstairs to the kitchen to make his bottle... a few scoops of powder, a little bit of water, tighten the cap, shaky shaky shaky, and pour into the bottle.

Then I would stumble back upstairs, hand the bottle off and go back to sleep.  Or stay awake, depending on The Lovely Steph Leann and if she needed me.  Finally, I wised up, and kept the water and powder and ingredients in our upstairs bathroom... so when I handed him off, I could just stumble into the bathroom...

And yet, I found myself at 128am measuring powder and pouring water into narrow bottles, all with sleepy eyes that sometimes let my hands pour powder onto the sink, or water onto the counter... once, I dumped the contents of the newly made formula into a bottle... one without the liner in it, so it went straight through the plastic cylinder and onto the counter and floor with a kersplash. 

I had to be a chemist in the middle of the night.  Really?  Seriously?

No one ever told me...

...that formula was so darn expensive!  Holy crap!   Like, 15 bucks a can, and not even a big can.  And diapers?  FORTY BUCKS FOR 176.... that seems like a lot of diapers, but when Chunk Monkey is filling it up five times per day, that doesn't last as long as you'd like. 

Not just diapers and wipes and bibs, oh my... oh no... nay... we got toys.  And onesies.  And pants.  And shorts.  And shields for the BluRay player.  Which don't work ($14 gone).  And baby gates.  And toy leashes.  And pacifiers.  And paci leashes. And bottles.  And nipples.  Fast nipples.  Slow nipples.  Medium nipples.  And drying mats.  And car seats.  Not one, but three.  One for when he's little.  One for when he's bigger.  One for the in-laws as well.  And the one that was for when he was little now has to be replaced by one since he's bigger.  And strollers.

Is there any need for a stroller to cost $300?  Three.  Hundred.  Bucks.  I was floored.

And don't even get me started on smocked outfits that cost $40 and $50 each, outfits that he will not be able to wear by May.  I don't own a stitch of clothing that cost me anywhere near $50...

No one ever told me...

... that I would so freaking tired.  All.  Of.  The.  Time. 

I don't mean lack of sleep... combined, my hours of sleep are almost normal.  In the years BC--before Campbell--I only slept 4 to 6 hours per night... Combined, in the early days of the kid being in our lives, I'd get that, 4, 5, sometimes 6 hours per night. 

But they were never consecutive.  Sometimes, it would be 3 hours, then wake up, then 2 hours, then wake up.  Sometimes, I'd get 2 hour stretches of sleep 3 seperate times during the night, each interrupted by 20 minutes of baby care. 

In my job, I'm rolling into work around 430 in the morning several days per week.  The Lovely Steph Leann doesn't get much more, as she has to get up many days around 5 or 530, so she can get ready and then deliver Campbell to our caretaker--namely, his Pops and GG. 

So, I'd get to sleep around 10.  I'd wake up at midnight.  Then I'd close my eyes again around 1230.  I'd sleep til 230.  I'd get to sleep around 245, then be awakened around 345.  Then its 4.  And I have to get up.

Campbell Isaiah was born in December 2011.  No joke--I literally did not dream, or at least remember any dream I had, until about April or May.  I could never get enough deep sleep to dream. 

And The Lovely Steph Leann had it worse.  She is used to 7, 8, maybe even 10 hours in the night.  She loves to sleep... well, I do too, but I do like getting stuff done too... and she will sleep anywhere and everywhere she can.  So for her to get cut down to 4 or 6 non-consecutive hours of sleep was pretty much devestating.  Yeah, I was tired... poor her, she was a zombie for 7 straight months.  And still has zombie-like moments, even with Campbell at 15 months old.

And finally...

No one ever told me...

...about night terrors. 

What the what? 

All you people told me about not having a life anymore, and how we'll give up things in our lives, and how we'll have to watch the same TV shows over and over and how we'll have to stop going to the movies and so on and so on and so forth...

But NONE of you people told me about night terrors.

Its 1245 in the morning.  I awake to Campbell screaming his fool head off.  The Lovely Steph Leann turns the lamp on.  Campbell Isaiah is absolutely going bonkers... and yet... no tears.  He is just wailing, but in some weird way, he's not even awake.  He's just looking around, making loud, screaming, crying sounds.  He's not looking at us, and all efforts to console him are completely ineffective...

Of course, we do the parent thing where we wonder if he's hurting, and whether he's hungry, and maybe when he fell off the bottom step and banged his head, you know, two months ago, maybe that is now coming back to hurt him...

So, I Google it.  And I come up with "Night terrors".  The kid begins to cry uncontrollably, but is not fully awake, so therefore won't produce tears many times.  Efforts to calm them down usually increases the problem, so the solution is to let them cry it out.  Or so I read.

The Lovely Steph Leann held him for about 10 minutes, then passed him to me.  I stood by the bed and held him while he squirmed and wiggled and cried and wailed... and in about 15 minutes... he laid his head on my shoulder and went back to sleep, as if nothing ever happened.

She and I looked at each other with a "What the crap was that?" look, shrugged, and went back to bed. 

I would have appreciated one of you, out of the hundreds, nay, thousands of people I know, telling me about this. 

Epic fail on all of you.

And as this kid gets older, I'm pretty sure this list will grow. 

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post! See why so many moms blog - to keep from going insane!

    There really is probably a reason for the night terrors. Annabelle had them. She was usually overstimulated in some way or another.


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