Savvy Stories – from Chapter 3

They aren’t babies for long.

It’s about a year, more or less; then they’re walking – and once they start to walk, they aren’t really little kids yet but they’re not really babies anymore, either. Once they put on a pair of long pants, and it will happen sooner than you realize, they suddenly look about three years old, maybe five.

They grow up fast.

So you have a year of about 365 feedings in the middle of the night, maybe twice that, but after a while it stops. After a while, they sleep longer and don’t require a 2am. Maybe it’s 4am or 5am, but trust me, 5am is WAY better than 2am.

I did the math, and I figured that at most there would be 1000 of these middle of the night feedings, but probably closer to 700.

That’s a lot, but…

During those 700, my daughter and I would smile in the near-dark as we made her formula, I’d hold her while she ate, and we’d watch bad TV re-runs for 20 minutes afterwards.

But we’d also share some time doing silly things that you just do while you’re doing the other stuff. 700 of anything sounds like a lot, but when you break it down, it isn’t. You get 700 of these, maybe less,

for the rest of your life,

and no more.

They will never come again. Even if you have more kids, THESE will be gone. What will you do with them? Complain? Waste them, grumbling?

I’d take the time to consider that 20 minute digestion period as a 20 minute hug, knowing full well that there would be a day when she’d be an irate teenager and wouldn’t let me hug her for anything. So, I’d have one in the bank, for that day. There’d be days when she’d be off to college and we’d miss her; I’d have one in the bank for those days.

Then there just might be a few days when I plain old missed the little tyke bouncing in her chair and smiling up at me as I made her middle of the night snack.

.

.

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Savvy Stories chapter 3 Post Tuesday October 15, 2013

 

Yeah, I’d change Savvy’s diaper in the dark without much effort; that part came pretty easily to me once I had to start changing diapers, but once we got downstairs, she was usually awake. I’d only turn on the pantry light so we didn’t go blind as we made up some formula, and I’d sit her in her bouncy chair while I mixed it up, plopping her and the chair right on top of the kitchen counter. Why not? It was a small chair and there was no chance of her getting out or it falling off. It had a seat belt. From her inclined vantage point, she could watch me make her snack, and sometimes she would smile. In the low light from the pantry, I could see everything I needed to do, and we’d get it set up quickly. Then, since we had 20 minutes of feeding followed by 20 minutes of waiting, I’d sit in the rocker and find something humorous to watch on TV. In the near dark, she would eat and I would hold her.

This, I decided, was quality time; some moments that I could use to reflect on the day. Time that only she and I would ever share.

And it wouldn’t last long, I’d remind myself. The warnings of dozens of friends whose kids were off to college just as we were having our first, echoed in my ears: They grow up fast. They grow up fast.

 

Come back tomorrow for the next installment of Savvy Stories chapter 3

If you are enjoying this Savvy Stories eBook, you can own it now through Amazon dot com for your Kindle, Barnes & Noble dot com for your Nook, and Smashwords dot com for your Apple ipad, Sony, or any other eReader!

Savvy Stories chapter 3 Post Monday October 14, 2013

 

I couldn’t fall back to sleep after waking up for a middle of the night feeding. Not at first. But you develop some pretty good systems after a while. Defense systems. Self preservation. Because it turns out that you can die from lack of sleep faster than a lack of water. It’s true. Many new dads have been hospitalized for that very thing. Or should have been. They’re zombies. You see ‘em at work, they are just going through the motions. They aren’t organized yet. They don’t have a system.

Aside from every shirt I owned having a spit-up stain on the shoulder, the other system I had was one where I could quickly and efficiently get the feeding routine going and fall asleep in the rocking chair glider. Tracie had loaned it us from when she had her first kid. Another one of those godsend gifts my wife was smart enough to say yes to while I was like, what do we need that ugly thing for? While Savvy ate and then took her 20 minutes upright digestion time, I semi-snoozed in the glider. After all, there was no sense in both of us being awake, was there?

But that didn’t last.

I realized that there was maybe something to be gained from those dark hours of the night, when it was just my little girl and me, and sometimes the dog; but usually he stayed upstairs and slept with Michele.

 

Come back tomorrow for the next installment of Savvy Stories chapter 3

If you are enjoying this Savvy Stories eBook, you can own it now through Amazon dot com for your Kindle, Barnes & Noble dot com for your Nook, and Smashwords dot com for your Apple ipad, Sony, or any other eReader!

Savvy Stories chapter 3, Post Sunday October 13, 2013

 

Some of the telltale signs of reflux are that the baby spits up a lot and arches her back really severely before doing so. And here I was all impressed with the way she could arch her back so much. Future gymnast, I was thinking. Oops. The remedy was simple; feed her slowly, and then hold her upright for 20 minutes afterwards.

Simple. And slow.

Feed her slowly… at 2am… and then hold her upright for 20 minutes…

So, your night now becomes a wake up cry for some late night feeding, right around the end of the late show; you go over and pick up the kid, change the perennially wet diaper, go downstairs to make a bottle – not too hot – SLOWLY feed it to her via a small nipple size – who knew those things even had sizes? – which makes her eat it even slower than she already does. That kid was one slow eater BEFORE the new slower nipple. Then, after she’s done, take a few burp breaks, and hold her upright for 20 minutes to let her get it down. Then you can…

Well, by then you can just stay awake and watch TV, because you’re so awake doing all that other stuff, you can’t fall back to sleep.

Come back tomorrow for the next installment of Savvy Stories chapter 3

If you are enjoying this Savvy Stories eBook, you can own it now through Amazon dot com for your Kindle, Barnes & Noble dot com for your Nook, and Smashwords dot com for your Apple ipad, Sony, or any other eReader!

Savvy Stories chapter 3, Post Saturday October 12, 2013

 

Sleep? With a new baby I the house? Oh, you’ll sleep, but you won’t get 8 straight hours anymore for a while; and it turns out that 4 hours sleep plus 4 more hours sleep doesn’t equal 8, it equals two bad partials. Some of them aren’t even 4 hours, and depending on when the interruptions occur, you may be so close to your wake up time that it’s just not worth it to try to go back to sleep. Or you can’t, which is usually what happened to me.

Our kid had a slight reflux problem. That’s not uncommon in newborns, the doctor tells us; sometimes their esophagus muscle isn’t fully developed yet, and it can’t always close fully. Give your kid a bottle and lay her down, and you’ll be seeing all that formula again real soon. And that means turning on lights and waking up enough to clean up the mess.

Nobody wants that.

You’ll do it the first few times, and then you’ll be so sleep starved that you’ll learn to give the kid a bottle in the dark while still being 80% asleep. And when you can pull that off, returning to sleep after the feeding is a real possibility.

Screw that up with a projectile vomiting session and you are REALLY screwed.

Plus, you probably have to feed her again.

Oh, the horror…

Come back tomorrow for the next installment of Savvy Stories chapter 3

If you are enjoying this Savvy Stories eBook, you can own it now through Amazon dot com for your Kindle, Barnes & Noble dot com for your Nook, and Smashwords dot com for your Apple ipad, Sony, or any other eReader!

Savvy Stories chapter 3, Post Friday October 11, 2013

 

Actually, I’m not that greedy. Almost, but not really. Allow me to explain.

When I was growing up, we visited my grandma and grandpa in Cincinnati on a regular basis. We also had regular holidays with my mom’s brothers’ families, and as a result, we were pretty close with my cousins even though they all lived an hour away. Mom saw to it that the effort was made to keep the family close. On Christmas Day, all of them came to our house and we opened presents and played all day. On New Year’s Eve, we went to my grandma’s house. Fourth of July was at my Uncle Gerald’s. Summer cookouts were held at my Uncle Lawrence’s. You get the idea.

Mom also was a shutterbug, so she was always taking pictures of any festivities. A few weeks later, when the pictures were developed, you’d get your stack of reprints in the mail.

This methodology allowed me to feel somewhat close to my nieces and nephew as they grew up. Being in college a thousand miles away in Florida, I still went home to Ohio for Christmas and stuff, but missed being there in person for a lot of the birthdays and first communions of the next generation. These days, social media has alleviated a lot of that for those who wish to make the commitment. I can stay in touch with relatives pretty easily, and my nieces and nephews are a constant supply of entertaining posts.

So at the time of Savvy’s arrival, social media and email had allowed many of my relatives to feel close to the situation, and to help let them stay that way, we wanted to have a shower there.

Computers are nice, but there’s nothing like actually seeing people in person.

The Ohio shower went off without a hitch, and we made out like bandits! We got a GREAT “pack n play” which used to called a play pen when I was a kid, but I’ll admit, I hadn’t stayed on top of the changes in baby terminology since my childhood. That thing was the type of gift that you assume you need and should probably get, but having people who have “been there and done that” pick out a really good one and give it to you, that makes all the difference.

That was just one of many great gifts we got at the Ohio shower. Great idea, whoever thought of it.

And while having a new baby on the way means you get a lot of gifts at baby showers, the arrival of the new baby means that very soon you won’t get a good night’s sleep for several months.

If you’re lucky, it will only be several months.

We WERE lucky, and it still damn near killed me.

 

Come back tomorrow for the next installment of Savvy Stories chapter 3

If you are enjoying this Savvy Stories eBook, you can own it now through Amazon dot com for your Kindle, Barnes & Noble dot com for your Nook, and Smashwords dot com for your Apple ipad, Sony, or any other eReader!