October 4, 2008

September-A Cruel Month

SLEEP DEP!! September was a tough haul. Why? Because Lady E. has refused to go to sleep at a normal hour for over a month. In late August, The Battle of The Pacifier began when we were ‘advised’ during a routine checkup by the medical authorities here that it was best to stop all reliance on pacifiers to quiet our toddler. And thus the troubles began.

Today, I felt like a 770-point drop in the Dow Jones because I was up until midnight yesterday, driving the Rising Daughter and my amazing wife around in the Hiroshima night, hoping the thrum of our car’s engine would lull Elena to sleep. I felt like a character in Stephen King’s classic, “Christine.” We’ve been doing these night cruises, or similar sleep-inducing countermeasures, for over six weeks now. The other tactic I’ve employed is the ‘night stalker stroll’, where I roam the paths around our neighborhood after 2200 while our toddler contentedly rests in the crook of my right arm, singing along with songs from my iPod.
(Above photo) While we are near the center of the city, we still have a peaceful path through rice paddies 50 meters from our apartment building.

Lady E. seems to like a little night air before she finally nods off. I’m aware that it’s a stage, but she adamantly refuses to go to sleep without some kind of fuss—such is the right of small children. Even with a thirty-to-sixty minute siesta in the afternoon, these days she won’t go to sleep before 2300 most nights. So, our creative energies are laser-focused on new ways to get her to go down and grant us a few hours’ respite. We’re like a toddler sleep think tank…this has improved my innovation skills, and Naomi and I realize Lady E. is at a new stage in her young life. I am also aware that most parents go through these phases and our tribulations are nothing new to most people, but hell, it is still fun to write and think about why this stuff happens.

The weather has been warm and we are slowly – and reluctantly -- easing into the autumn. Over the past summer, we took Lady E. to the beach a few times, where she showed a fearless love for the ocean, to the extent that she would joyfully scramble into the waves and promptly sink…repeatedly. This made us think that early swimming lessons for her might be a good idea. Thus we have started baby swimming lessons at a local pool. It’s a load of fun because all three of us can participate in the excitement and learning. And so the good ship SS Elena floats on….


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