“She is very soft daddy.”
That was Frank’s first proclamation when he came down stairs the day after we brought her home and realized his sister was here to stay.
It’s been a while. This may be the longest break I’ve taken from Frank’s Place since this all started last November. To say we have been tinkering with a workable sleeping schedule would be an understatement. Currently I have the 11pm and 2am feedings while Tracy gets the 5am and any crying or heart alarms that occur after 3am. So far so good I think.
When we had Frank it was a little easier. We followed the advice of some wise veterans, and we let him cry for ten minutes to see if he would go back to sleep. At first we thought this was a little barbaric, until I started clocking the average time it took him to stop crying and actually go back to sleep. He never got past 3 minutes. So we were able to shoehorn him to a sleeping schedule.
Amongst the metric ton of unsolicited advice we received after Frank’s birth, this little needle in a haystack of expertise was the best, partly because we asked and mostly because it worked like a champ.
So there are a few things going on now that make this shoehorning a little less doable with Anne Marie. First and foremost, she’s a micro-premmie, meaning her birth weight was less than 3 pounds. We feel like we shouldn’t let her cry very long. I mean she’s ten pounds now so I’m not sure why her birth weight makes us hesitate or abandon the experiences we gained with Frank, but it does.
The other issue is Frank of course. He feels the need to be on her every moment, except when he is sleeping of course. And the kid can sleep the hell out of his bed. Those of you out there who have babysat Frank know his legendary relationship he has with mattress and pillow. Four hour naps and 12 hour sleepathons through the night are the standard. The only deviation is when he naps for five hours or goes 13-14 hours dusk to dawn. Plus he can sleep through anything from tornadoes to vicious thunderstorms to smoke alarms and now his sisters crying and heart monitor alarms.
But when he is awake he feels everyone should be awake, including his sister.
Man he was a psycho the day we brought her home. He was never more than 1 inch from her face the entire day. I wasn’t sure wether to tranquilize him or blast him with a water cannon normally used for riot suppression. He has calmed down a bit, but he still wants to “soft her”. That’s his way of saying he wants to touch her head. Anytime he does someone will always say, Frank do it softly. So now that’s what he calls touching his sister, softing her.
Frank has also proclaimed that Anne Marie is a very cute baby, a very small baby, and he alerts us, at the top of his lungs, whenever she is sleeping. Whenever she makes eye contact with him he says “Anne Marie likes me.”
Enjoy it while it lasts Frank, enjoy it while it lasts.
Here of some shots of the only Anne Marie in captivity settling in to her new surounds.
This last one I should have done with time lapse. It took her about ten minutes to migrate from the middle of the cushion to the crevice between the two cushions until she was comfortable and finally fell asleep for good. She never made a sound, just kept adjusting until she got to where she is in this picture.
Here’s hoping we have another sleeper on our hands.