Monday, April 14, 2008

Oy, Baby Sleep

My baby is sleeping. He seems to have decided that the carseat is an okay place for a nap after all. Who knows why it didn't work the other 45 billion times I tried it over the last four napless months. I hope I'm not jinxing it by mentioning it here.

It's funny I mention the jinx. I'm finding there's a lot of superstition around getting the boy to sleep. This past Saturday night, we went out for a nice early, baby-friendly dinner with some friends, the parents of LE's friend who's 3 weeks older. LE ate and ate and ate. He had some of everything. Haydari, içli köfte, eggplant salad, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, cucumbers, cheese, pide, lahmacun, izgara köfte, çöp şiş, strawberries, kiwi, apples, raisins... Plus he got to run around with his dad and his little friend in the near-empty restaurant. That night, despite going to bed an hour late, and despite not having a bath or a story, he slept ALL NIGHT. 8.30 to 7. No wee-hours nursing. If this has happened before (since his sleep crumbled, I mean), I don't remember.

So naturally the following night, not without a big dose of superstition, we attempted to re-create the conditions of LE sleeping ALL NIGHT. We let him have his long nap at 4. We took him to a restaurant. We gave him everything off the table to eat. We let him run on the grass. 'Has it been 20 minutes?' asked BE from the grass, because it had been about 20 minutes of running the night before.

But last night it wasn't the same. LE wasn't as keen on all the food and a lot of it was thrown. The covered woman at the table next to us kept clucking and muttering 'Günah günah' because it's a sin to let bread go on the ground. Incidentally, I asked BE at what age a person is considered responsible for their behavior in Islam. He said it's eleven for boys and nine for girls. So I guess even Islam considers girls more mature. BE said it's because they think girls are sexually responsible for themselves at nine. I wondered if this was related to Muhammed consummating his marriage with Ayşe when she was nine. He didn't know. Back to LE, throwing food. He also threw carrots, tomatoes, cheese, izgara köfte, chicken, apples, and he whacked a spoonful of haydari out of my hand. He ate some food, but he also threw a lot. I like taking LE to restaurants because I don't have to clean up the food he throws.

The running was different too. LE wasn't as keen on that either. He fell down a lot and cried a lot because I wouldn't let him go into a hole that had been dug in the grass, or eat dirt, or pull on other diners' tablecloths. He had a better time with BE, who is less of a cruel disciplinary taskmaster than I am. When BE stopped him from doing anything untoward, LE happily ran off in another direction. So that's already starting, that Baba is the fun guy and Mommy is the hard-ass, except Mommy is the only one who can make crying stop or come to him at night.

LE made a new friend last night too, a little girl 3 days older who'd also just learned how to walk. The fathers giggled at the babies staggering around with their arms in the air, saying, 'Ah, yours is drunk too,' because that's what they looked like. Babies are so much the same. They kept trying to poke each other in the eye, or trying to kiss each other but just knocking each other down. The little girl looked cute as hell in denim shorts with red tights underneath. LE was immune to her charms, but he sure wanted that empty cigarette pack she had ahold of. When she had to go home, LE saw his chance to try to get into that hole, and we decided to go home too.

LE was in bed just before 9. Up at 3.30 for a fitful nurse during which I had a strange dream about these steampunk little people in our garden. We wanted to catch them but they were much too fast, and the only way to make them stop running was to ask music trivia questions, for which they were compelled to stop running and answer, much as vampires are compelled to count small things like ball-bearings thrown in their path. Then LE began punching me around 6, meaning our superstitious plan failed and there is no way to get him to sleep all night. It was just something that happened. Or maybe it was because the food was different. Or because his 4pm nap was 15 minutes too long. Or maybe because he made a new friend. It could have been that it was too cloudy.

The carseat nap is over. LE is on my lap and I'm typing one-handed. I should end this post before he starts trying to help me type. He's not very good at typing.

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