Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Boobie Strike

Yes, you read that right. The Momma has finally lost her marbles. She's flown the coop. She's gone to the zoo. She's tiddled her last wink, so to speak. That's it. No more. The kitchen is closed. The milkshake machine is on the fritz. It stops here and it stops now. It's a full-fledged boobie strike!

Rrrriiiiight. Easier said than done.

You've heard it said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Well, imagine what a roadmap to hell would look like if it were drawn on a dirty sliding glass door. More red lines than my 8th grade math final. Throw in some jelly smudges and ketchupy finger prints inside and doggie licks outside. Now lick your finger and draw a picture of the neighbor's broken-down truck in the ketchup. And just for good measure, throw a handful of dirt at the doggie licks. Step back and take a good look. Now you have an accurate picture of what my eyeballs look like these days.

What is wrong, you ask? What has caused such a rift in my sanity? While the facial tic may be entertaining for some, others wonder where it came from and "please God make it stop!". Well reader, wonder no more. I'll tell you. It's Mary-Beth, our youngest, almost 6 months old now. She was born to happy people...

Well, we used to be happy people. We used to smile. We used to go places and do things, see people. When someone came up behind us and scared us, we used to jump like any other sucker would. Now we hit the deck and play dead, hoping to sneak in a nap before anyone realizes we're faking it. If you twitch a little while you're down there on the floor somebody'll leave the room to call 911 - you're guaranteed at least 5 minutes of shut-eye. You might catch hell from the paramedics, but if they send good-looking ones that don't button their shirts up all the way, it's almost worth it. ;-)

Anyway, Mary-Beth couldn't have been an easier newborn. Truly. We were so proud! Surely we had Miss Einstein on our hands. Surely no other infant on the planet was as advanced as she. Our baby smiled early, she pooped only once a day, she latched right on as if she'd been nursing for years. (Brilliant... just like me.) She would nap anywhere, never fussed during bath time, started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks old. What a lovely child, we remarked. How lucky we are, we exclaimed to all who would listen. What an angel is our sweet Mary-Beth!

Yeah, the Angel of Death!

At 5 months old --- to the day --- Mary-Beth started waking up every single blessed night at 2 a.m. At some point she got the idea --- I don't know how or why, I didn't ask and she didn't say --- that she didn't have to sleep all night anymore, that if she screamed loud enough her momma would bust out the "kitchen" just to keep her from waking Bubbie (a.k.a. Jonah). She was right, but that's beside the point!

Where did she get an idea like that, you ask? Good. Question. Maybe it happened at baby school? (Who's been driving her to baby school?!) When they gave Mary-Beth her copy of the International Rules of Baby Conduct I forgot to insert my own little chapter on sleeping through the night. (CRAP! I knew I was forgetting something.) I know she's told her little friends in the nursery at church, but no amount of binkie torture made anyone spill her beans.

At first I decided to just get up and feed her. What the heck - it only takes about 15 minutes and she'll outgrow the need for this little feeding soon enough. Right?

Wrong! (Are you new here?)

Once a night turned into twice a night in short order. As in midnight and 3. Then twice became thrice - 11, 2, and 5. "You've got to be kidding me!" I said. (Actually both Dan and I say it three times a night - at 11, 2, and 5.)

Have you ever tried to convince a baby that it doesn't need to eat in the middle of the night? (I hear you laughing, but I'm serious.) There's just no reasoning with Mary-Beth. And she doesn't just belly up to the bar and politely ask for a drink. The whole neighborhood knows that she's awake. She doesn't cry, she screams. Shy, retiring, petite dew drop? No sir. There's just no taming this shrew!

So I've made a decision. I'm going on a Boobie Strike. It worked with Jonah!

One night (or rather, one morning) when Jonah was about 8 months old, I just couldn't physically or emotionally make myself get out of bed at 3am again - no, not even ONCE more. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I'm no spring chicken. I'm barely hanging onto my looks with my fingernails as it is - I need my zzzz's! Every single morning I wake up and count at least 50 more pterodactyl claws where my petite little crows feet used to be. Even the ones that got filled in by fat are coming back!

So I called a boobie strike. I gathered together every last frayed and weakened fiber of my barely-there sanity and called a boobie strike! Only God and chickens are up at that hour!

In a fit of slobbering mumbling apoplexy that had my hubby raising one eyebrow, I put a pillow over my head and ignored the 3am jabbering, which turned into 3:15 fussing, which turned into 3:30 crying, but resulted in 3:45 sleeping! He slept until 6am!

I was so delighted that I did the same thing the next morning. This time he jabbered for 1/2 an hour and slept until 7am. From then on, he didn't even wake up until 7! YAY! With my best touchdown end zone dance, I cheered and declared victory for all the tired mommies within earshot... which consisted of... me. And waaaay over there on his side of the bed was my hubby, surveying the madness... still with that eyebrow of his. I was tempted to stab it with a salad fork. Why I had a salad fork on my nightstand is still a mystery to this day.

So back to the present day, the big plan was to call a Boobie Strike on Mary-Beth. I use capital letters now because I had a feeling it would be a battle of epic proportions. One you tell your grandchildren about when you're old enough to be able to set your teeth in a cup next to your bed at night. ("Granny, tell us the story about when you taped Momma to her crib with only a hamster water feeder!")

Her Highness wouldn't like this strike business. The neighborhood would hate it. I was sure her therapist would even hear about it someday. But I was determined. I made my plans and set the date for last weekend. Until...

IT happened. dang. A reason to postpone the strike. dang dang! The only reason a mother approaching my level of insanity would ever dare postpone a strike. A cold. A wicked snotty sniffly slurpy cold. The kind that keeps you up all night because you can't breathe. Dangit!

Oh well. Someday I'll do it. I'll get her back to sleeping all night. I'll do it or die trying! There's got to be a plan out there I just haven't thought of yet. After all, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

Of course, it's easier to just shoot the cat.



cindy said...

i hear you on that one!! ds slept from 7 to 7am at 2 months with one feeding in between. then it turned to three feedings at 6 months. who knows why. i found it hard to strike too as he'd wake up november dd! he is now 7 months and i have been on strike for a week!! he does get to eat around 11pm but then is not fed until 6am at the earliest. enough is enough!
good luck to you. love the blog!

Caitlin Rawson Desicison Maker said...

Hey Dellaina, I can totally agree and can i join the strike. Connor is getting up more and more every night and He seems to love being with me I thought this was in our past !!! I would love to strike but connor would probably wake up his brother since they share a room and then we would have all had it. but i couldnt have said it better myself, Good Job I think you are hilarious. I look forward to your next post. Your Friend Caitlin

Anonymous said...

Hey there. Okay, forget the content for now, I looove the way you write. It was worth the wait for the entertainment factor alone .....

Anonymous said...

Okay, now onto the content. DD is now 5 but was a "high maintenance" baby and toddler. So I know the sleep deprivation of which you speak. Very well. Too well. You could have stuck my in a corner (heck, in the middle of the floor ... or chair ... or desk) at any time, any where and, if left alone, I could have fallen asleep at the drop of a hat. Sweet, blessed sleep. So ..... how's that cold doing ...? (3x a night!!!!?????)

Anonymous said...

Yep yep yep, I agree, that sounds like my life. My DD is 2 next week and still wakes up every now and then! Not for the boob, but a sippy cup. LOL

I love the way you write, thanks for keep this updated, please PLEASE keep on writing. When you write ur book let me know the name so I can buy it!


KimandJami said...

As always you crack me up chica!! Keep it coming!!

Anonymous said...

You've got me laughing so friggin' hard that I'm crying! LOL! Ethan still nurses, but night nursing stopped at 17 months. I was a wreck, but being a single mom the only way I could get shut eye was to allow him to suck away while dozing! LOL! I wish I was as strong as you! And, I can't wait to hear how it goes! LOL!

Anonymous said...

You are brilliant, just brilliant! You can take any mundane, everyday topic and spin it into a witty, fascinating, relatable, hysterical tale that has me waiting for your next entry. You should be selling this stuff! Or I should at least be paying you for the laughs! (But don't quote me or I'll deny it!)

The Momma Chronicles said...

Y'all are entirely too nice to me. But thank you! :-)

Anonymous said...

You have me laughing! I am still nursing my one year old and we are doing a boobie strike also. This is the encouragement I need.

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