Tuesday, January 19, 2010

my colicky baby

Seeing my facebook friends with their cute lil' babies has been reminding me of my own children in their infancy. It really is a very special time, filled with wonder and delight. Everything changes. Partially because of the emotional uplift and the deep bonding, but partially because babies are high maintenance and demand a lot of care and attention.
Of course you know all of this stuff by now.
Sleep deprivation is one of the most common side-effects of newly acquired parenthood. Especially for mom. I did what I could for my own 2, but dad's not always enough and that's the way it is sometimes. Sleep deprivation can especially be a strain if a baby is colicky. For everyone. It's pretty common, but it can be even more hellish.
The colicky phase usually ends by 3 or 4 months, but can start anytime after birth.

My first was a colicky baby. Cerridwyn (or 'Dwynna' for short) didn't sleep through the night until she was 4 months old. We dealt with it pretty well, mainly because she was our first and we had no idea what to expect. Being new parents we kind of expected anything and everything. As far as we were concerned it was all wonderful.
Of course one of the inherent obstacles in putting a colicky daughter down to nap was lulling her to sleep, laying her in her crib and leaving the room quietly. Simply putting her in her crib awake was not an option. She would scream to the point of exploding. So if we could manage this much, it ensured everyone's chances of undisturbed sleep.

Unfortunately we lived in an old house with creaky floorboards, and doing this was next to impossible.
I would cradle her in my arms while feeding her, swaying steadily while seated in the rocking chair in her nursery. When she was out I would slowly stand and lie her down in her crib, carefully replacing the milk bottle with a pacifier, in mid-suckle, as to not disturb the rhythm.
If that went alright I would quietly tip-toe out of the room, carefully avoiding the known creaky spots on the floors. Once I made it out of the room and closed the door I was home free.
The scenario was almost identical to the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
If I could not replace the idol with a fake nipple, and tip-toe around the nasty spots, then 7 gates of hell would break loose.
And I would spend an eternity in that chamber.

Sometimes it did seem like an eternity.
And both of us would end up falling asleep in the rocking chair.

..She's going to be sweet 16 this October.

It does go fast, friends, so enjoy it as much as you can.
respectfully yours in parenthood,

Sunday, January 10, 2010

a glance back at the noughts;

A lot can happen in a decade.
A lot, and it passes so quickly. Barely a chance to say hello and goodbye.

a few highlights and dark patches;

- 2000: Spent Christmas of 1999 in the new house on Chase Ave. in Rogers Park.
Celebrated New Years Eve at the Metro with Jane and another couple. The Flaming Lips w/ a reunited Hum. Unbelievable show.

- 2001: I turn 40. Big party at Leona's. Very nice time. Find out my father has prostate cancer. Surgery follows.

- 2002: I begin training at Improv Olympic. Spend the next 9 months studying ensemble improvisation. The family adopts a stray Shih-Tsu and call her Lucy. My fathers' cancer returns. He begins chemo and radiation therapy sessions.

- 2003: My marriage to Jane ends after 13 years. I break ties with the community of people she associated with. I audition for an improv troupe and co-found International Stinger. I start smoking cigarettes again (oof!)

- 2004: My father passes away at age 69. My dog Ozzi has to be euthanized at age 15.
Focus on work, single parenthood, and improv. GREAT year of improv and Stinger. First DSIF, Monday Show rehearsals and first 8 week run.

- 2005: Lots of work, Spring trip to Disneyworld with my mom and the kids. More great improv with Stinger. We gain membership status at the Playground Theater and rank as a top troupe. Another glorious Monday Show run. Standing ovation at DSIF!

- 2006: Meet Leslie in September. Wonderful lady, good changes happening. Road trip to KC. Lots of good Stinger shows. . My dog Alma is put down. She was 16.

- 2007: Romantic year. Week-long trip to Philadelphia with Leslie in May, then to Tulum for a wedding in the Fall. Dwynna turns 13; officially a teenager. Work picks up on remodeling my home. Massive bathroom demo and remodel at my house. Last DSIF trip with Stinger. Coach Bob and member Stacey move to Portland.

- 2008: I adopt a stray cat, and call her Scully. Leslie moves in with me. Stinger goes to Toronto Improv Festival. I take a break from Improv after 6 years. Lots of work on the house. The country elects Obama as its first black President.

- 2009: Buy new Mac Pro, printer, 30" monitor. Invested in 3D software. Economy tanks, unexpected sewage issue, debts build to boiling point. Celebrate 10 years at 1340 West Chase Ave.

..Kind of a cursory examination I suppose. Some pretty sad times in there. A few intentionally not mentioned. And glorious moments too. Lots of them. All formative years, and much of it blurred by how quickly it has passed. Seemingly faster than any other decade in my life.
In fact, I know there will be things I'll remember later that didn't make the above summarization. Even special moments.

But glancing back and looking ahead, this is about making better years ahead. Being with Leslie, and being with my children more. A better year, and a better future. Winds of change are blowing. Good ones.

So long, noughts. It has been quite a ride.