Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Positive Thoughts Positive Thoughts Positive Thoughts

We're hitting the wall here at Chez McLean - baby number three is six months old and we're having sleep issues.

Big ones.

You never know what you are going to get with babies and the only rule of thumb is that there is always someone who has it worse than you. I was at a party a number of years back and ran into a guy I went to university with. His first son was colicky and screamed for six months straight. He talked about one night driving around, trying to lull the baby to sleep, the kid screaming its head off in the back, his wife sobbing beside him.

Neighbours of ours had a son with colic as well and basically neither of them slept for around six months. Nothing they could do. I saw him outside when the baby was a few months old; we're good friends now but we didn't really know each other at that time. I had the dog and he leaned over:

Hey buddy, there's a good boy, hey I didn't know you had a dog. What's his name?

We talked for about five minutes and then he leaned over:

Hey buddy, there's a good boy, hey I didn't know you had a dog. What's his name?

So it goes. Someone always has it worse than you do.

The latest and last addition to the clan is not a sleeper. She's teething and she was a little sick after Christmas and as a result the last two weeks have been pretty brutal as she needs to be in bed and cuddled to sleep and the majority of that time she has to be on the teat.

So that means not a lot of sleep for the wife.

Me, I've been on the couch for six months now and considering the two oldest were in their beds at three and four months respectively, well, this is not what I was expecting. I can't sleep in the bed with a baby and so I'm getting a little cranky and a lot achy and pretty tired - I miss my bed and I miss my wife. I'm a wreck and I have it way better then her, so you can imagine.

Saturday morning my wife got up sick and so Saturday night I took baby and sent her to bed and so I lay on the couch with fifteen pounds on top of me so while I dozed here and there, not much was working for me sleep wise, until I finally took her up at 4:45am to see if I could grab a couple of hours. That night wrecked me further but it told us a little something about our daughter, a few things we suspected. She doesn't need to eat through the night (she took a couple of ounces of formula but even that was more habit methinks) and she doesn't need a boob in her mouth to sleep and she can sleep for more then a few hours at a time.

So to the doctor for a scheduled checkup yesterday and she said that it was ok to let her cry and so this weekend the boy will be bunking with our oldest and we'll be plopping the baby into her crib and it will be let her wail, all night if we have to, and it will be me who is on duty because its been quite clear that when Mommy is available then the expectations are far different then when Daddy takes the call.

And I'm fine with being the hard man. I did the same with the boy. Different circumstance. In his case he would nurse himself to sleep and then be fine for the night but we decided enough was enough and I sent my wife outside to garden or something and I put him down and he screamed for a half hour and my only reaction was to turn the volume on the ball game up and then the next night it was ten minutes of the same and on the third night he went straight to bed without a peep.

So we'll get it done and it will be tough and likely some time before we rest but if I get to my breaking point I'll remember then when our little one was a few weeks old the pediatrician told my wife that she had suspicions and so we waited a week for the results to come back, knowing how much we loved her and would love her but scared shitless (and thinking selfishly at times as well) about what this would mean for all of our lives. And then finding out that the results were fine and then the rush of relief and the feelings of guilt as well because of what our thoughts were for whatever we say and think we are human after all.

And talking to my old man and the two of us insisting that whatever happened it would be alright, that it would be just fine, because that our credo, my old man and I, that it will always be fine, no matter what cards life deals you, things will be fine, enough positive thoughts crackling back and forth along the wire to deny what might be in store for us. We were right that time but it was a fine reminder of what lurks out there.

Someone always has it worse.


As for the Oilers, well they have the BJS tonight and a win could put them into fifth place and a loss tonight and then a couple of more could put them in the same old same old precarious position but facts are facts and they hung on when Hemsky was out and now they have won four of five and have been good value for the most part. The farm system has supplied Reddox and Brule and Potulny and all brought help when help was needed and the first two likely will be Oilers for a while now unless they get used as bait. And now Hemsky is back and just as the trickle down happened when he was out well now its reversed and he and Horcoff and Penner give the Oilers a line that can outscore most and so Gagner and Cole will face a little lighter load as will Cogliano's line and Souray and Gilbert will get a bit of a break with the puck going the other way a lot more with Hemsky on the ice.

And of course its becoming clearer that progress is being made. Mike Lupica says about the Yankees since the Red Sox uprising that when they get hit and go down they don't get back up and for a while there this Oilers club was like that after Smyth got moved. And there were a lot of games where you were left muttering about breaks and of course losing a game or two because of bad breaks means you're unlucky but losing over and over again because of bad luck like they did last year just means you are a bad team. This club had a calendar stretch of about ten months where the total regulation wins during that entire time did not reach double figures.

These days they are winning in regulation and they are full value for it and when they lead late into a game there is no sense that in the end they will end up in OT or the shootout because of the invariable panic and inexperience that would lead to the tie. Instead you have your veterans, though still not enough, and enough kids who are starting to push the results the right way that things get closed out nicely.

So they're not out of the woods yet and a loss tonight will result in much gnashing of teeth I am sure but they have games in hand, games they still have to win but the fact is that they are in position to be getting chased instead of chasing and its becoming pretty clear that help is on the way in Pisani and maybe another vet or two to help out. The Canucks' expected surge hasn't happened and the Oilers might, just might, be getting it together to make a push that gives them some clearance. They are eight up on the Kings and six up on Nashville and they have more work to do but stretch together a few more wins and we may all be able to breathe for a game or two.

Now all together now ... positive thoughts.


HBomb said...

Yikes, sounds like a rough ride for you. Intimacy is probably at a premium around the house these days, eh?

Black Dog said...




Swabbubba said...

Ah the joys to parent hood...
My kid never were to bad although my son would never sleep in his crib? playpen yup, couch yep, crib nope. Oh well he survived.

It is making sense to me now. I think one Raffi Torres better have his head on a swivel methinks Laddy is coming calling. Payback is a bitch

Mr DeBakey said...

Whenever Mrs DeBakey would see a baby she'd say "It's sooo cute. I love babies. We should have another"
[That would be our third]
I'd say "Go ahead. Don't let me stop ya."

Them Oilers, they're close.
I'd like to see another Top-6 forward.
If Row-bear can't can't get 'er done, find someone who can.
But they're close.

Boondock said...

I feel you, BDHS, and I only have the one. I have a 9 month old son, who was born 8 weeks premature, who is finally into a steady sleep pattern.

It's only now that I'm sleeping all night for the most part that I realize how bad I was feeling before.

The thing that blows me away is the quality of this blog over the past couple months. You have written some amazing stuff.

A couple months ago, if I had tried to write something, you would have assumed I was typing with my nose.

HBomb said...

Pat, I feel for you in one sense, but in another....who needs sex when you've got Ales Hemsky to watch on TV?

I was craving a cigarette tonight after the game, and I don't smoke.

Billy said...

Nice post dude. The colicky baby is always a fear, especially when our second one is comin in the summer. Got lucky on the first one, he got used to his crib right away and we havnt looked back since.

As for the Oilers, they are guttin out some good wins. Tonight they beat the BJ's, although accordin to Hitchie they were outplayed vastly. Who knows though, I missed the game and instead watched the Nucks lose a heart-breaker.
Truthfully I dont see any clear favorites amongst the whole western conference besides San J and Detroit. I think the playoff picture is pointless to even watch this early, and hence i've been tryin to distance myself from the anguish which is living and dyin with my Nucks.They've sucked for a while now, but the corner is being turned again. And i'm hopin for a strong second half.

Anyways, Hemsky looked pretty freakin good in hilights. I dont like the Oilers, but can admit that Hemsky would be a nice fit on my Nucks.

Black Dog said...

thanks boondock - yeah its murder; it gets a lot better and then you have two and its brutal (two is ten times the work of one - sorry Billy!) and then it gets better and you have a lot of your life back.

And then you start thinking, well maybe we could have a third. And that's where the trouble starts.

Good one, Mr D. As always.

Black Dog said...

Good one hbomb - yeah that was something.

You are right, billy, its early and I figured by now the Canucks would have pulled away, just a little collective sag - I think they let down once they got Sundin and then Luongo back.

But its all about hope and for the first time in a couple of years the Oilers look like a decent club. First they need to get in and then hopefully in as the fifth or sixth seed. I don't expect much this year but who knows what can happen.

Billy said...

(two is ten times the work of one - sorry Billy!)

Sweet, thats just great. We knew the workload would increase, 10 x's though. Pshaawwww, I hope...

ps. Vancouver has lost 7 in a row, but don't be fooled. The team is gellin again, and there is the possibility that in a week or so the team starts to really try out its improved horsepower. Again, I hope...

Black Dog said...

Billy - yeah I wouldn't worry if I were a Canucks fan - I think they'll be fine

As for the kid well you have increased laundry and cleaning and now you're even in numbers and that's not even starting with how the first one reacts to the second one - that's the real key. Our little guy has been fine with our third but when he came along our first went pretty mental.

Rest up is all I'm saying ;)

grease trap said...


Rest up, you think time's precious now? I remember driving with the car full of wife, kids, pets past a beautiful green field with big shady elms. A guy about my age was lounging up against a tree reading a book in the gentle midmorning if that summer perfection.

Let me repeat: Reading. A book.

I rolled down my window and called out half in raging jealousy, half in sincere warning: "You don't know what time is!" Fist held up and shaking just to complete the crazy.

Now with the kids old enough to have conversations with, I'm just waiting for late May, early July. I'm going to go sit in the shade of an elm tree and read. A book.

grease trap said...

Ps. Pat, isn't this the weekend you impotent yourself?

Black Dog said...

g.t. - a week today

The whole time thing is crazy - I remember days spent whiling away the hours, doing absolutely nothing.

And then four years of madness.

And then a time when I could actually read a Saturday paper, go out for pints regularly, hell I even went away for a weekend with a buddy to Montreal - just the two of us!

Because it got easier.

And thus I fell into the trap ...