Woke up to the sounds of gna, gna, gnaaa around three this morning. Faith stirs, so I ask her:
“Should I go ahead and feed him?”
You could put a hand on his back to comfort him.
“Yeah, that never works, he keeps waking up. And then I have to feed him.”
Then pick him up a little and then put him back down.
“Naw, that doesn’t work either. If I go in there he won’t be happy unless I feed him. Happens every time.”
My passive attempt to convince her that I was the wrong guy to send in for the job failed utterly.
I filled a bottle, just in case, put it in the warmer, just in case, and then went quietly into his room. Gna, gna, gnaaa, says baby Zane, interspersed with little cries. The gna, gna sound is the noise he makes when hungry, it could be that he’s gnawing his hand off in order to make it. In the glow of his nightlight I slide an arm through the crib bars and stroked his head. He calmed down immediately: no movement and no sounds. Hey, maybe she’s right?
Five minutes later, my limbs falling asleep in the odd position, I gently retrieved my arm and tried to escape. Zoink! up pops his head and he stares at me in the dim room, incredulous.
Ok, on to phase two.
i.e. another one that never works.
I pick him up for a snuggle and he starts removing my lips. Hmm, that may be a sign he’s hungry. “Let’s go get the bottle, baby Zane.” We walk down the dimly lit hall, Zane’s left arm extended in front of us, guiding us, as he always does, to the kitchen and the warmer which I’d failed to turn on. While we wait for the bottle to warm up Zane resumes the destruction of my lips, accompanied by a few plaintive gna, gnas.
Back in his room with the bottle I risk delaying long enough to slip a bib on him and he immediately becomes desperate, “THEY’LL NEVER FEED ME AGAIN!” Plop goes the nipple into his mouth and all is right with the world. Well, except Dad left the door open a crack and the nightlight in the hall is shinning on his face like the alien lights on little Barry in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I foolishly try to skootch the rocking chair sideways without disturbing him and give up, remembering all of the times I’ve tried to adjust something only to interrupt Zane’s eating and being unable to get him started again.
Zane persevered and ate around five ounces, quite a bit for him these days. Afterwards I let him drift off in my arms, wanting to ensure he fell to sleep so that I could go back to sleep myself. He drifted off, I slipped him into bed, and he woke up even as I rolled him over and patted him reassuringly. Slowly back to sleep, put up the rail, grab the bottle and try to make my escape.
Zoink! up goes his head. Forget it buddy, you are on your own, and I slipped out of the room.
He’s been sleeping eleven to twelve hour nights quite regularly. The one thing that messes it up is if he doesn’t drink enough milk the day before. Yesterday was close, but still on the low side. And it’s not because we aren’t trying, he’s got a shorter and shorter attention span when it comes to drinking milk. Maybe we should be trying a larger nipple opening (if there is one) or even sippy cups?
Better yet, we could hang a Gerbil waterer off the side of his crib and he could snack whenever the mood hit him.