Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sleep, perchance

Last night the little guy was seized with a certain mania (that being a commonly seen high-end of his personal spectrum and not at all unusual for an almost-three-year-old, at that) which caused him to ravenously gobble down his bedtime snack of goldfish crackers and milk. The inevitable result was hiccups, and although I was fully aware that he had brought it upon himself, I still sympathized with the little guy, saying something to the effect of “oh no, you have the hiccups!” with an appropriately downcast tone of voice. But the little guy was having none of that: “No, Daddy, these aren’t sad hiccups, they’re happy hiccups!” All right, then.

The little guy has been pretty happy in general at (and on the subject of) bedtime this week, which I’ve been eager to mention yet somehow managed to pace myself so that I could hit it squarely today. This past weekend, in addition to picking up a few things to remodel the basement workout area for my wife’s birthday, we also went ahead and bought a new bed for the little guy. This took some seriously dedicated shopping time, since first stop Wal-Mart had none of the things we were looking for, and second stop Toys R Us had a suitable bed frame (the indispensible criteria being that it support a crib mattress; optional criteria being the incorporation of Lightning McQueen from Cars; nailed it on both counts) but was a bit lacking on non-babyish linens. This then necessitated a third stop at Target, which my wife undertook after dropping me off at home with both kids so I could start building the bed, and fortunately she was successful in obtaining Cars-themed sheets and comforter and pillowcase.

We did not, as it turned out, end up getting a bedframe in the actual shape of a sports car, but the one we opted for at least has a footboard shaped like Lightning McQueen’s face as well as a headboard decorated with a huge picture of Lightning, Francesco Bernoulli (his main rival in Cars 2) and Shu Todoroki (an incredibly minor fellow World Grand Prix racer from Japan in Cars 2, which I find delightfully random). We have all been calling it the “big boy bed” but it is very clearly a toddler bed, with its bright blue and red parts of mostly plastic and its approximate four-inch ground clearance and its bumper rails on either side to make sure the little guy doesn’t accidentally roll out. But he’s thrilled with it, and I’m thrilled for him, so who cares about semantics?

Gateway to Akira
Speaking of rolling around in one’s sleep, the little girl is proving shockingly adept at that herself. More accurately, she has just about perfect the art of rolling over onto her stomach after being laid down on her back in the crib, and in that position settling into nice, peaceful sleep. I sleep mainly on my stomach, and so does the little guy, so presumably the little girl is doing something which comes very naturally and which I hope (at the risk of jinxing the whole thing) bodes very well for her ability to transition from our room to her own room and sleep through the night at a significantly earlier stage than her big brother managed.

Still it’s a bit strange to think about it in those terms. I think as the birth of our daughter approached, my wife and I both resigned ourselves to long, long months of (understandable but nevertheless trying) neediness because that was the main personal point of reference we had. If and when our second child proves to be easier than the first, it’s always going to come as something of a surprise, not to mention make us feel like time is flying by: the little guy barely let us sleep more than four hours at a stretch until he was one year old or so, so if the little girl is allowing us six or more, did we somehow miss a birthday in there or something? It’s always an adventure, I suppose. Climbing one mountain does not mean you’ve climbed them all.

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