Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#024 In which our hero discusses Scientists and sleepless babies.

Storm clouds are gathering. And I mean that in the most ominous, metaphorical fashion you can imagine. The Scientist and I -

Oh, first: in the grand tradition of the half-dozen or so blogs I read on a nearly daily basis I have decided that I will bestow people mentioned in my meager online ramblings with interesting, descriptive names. I'm not entirely sure why everyone that writes online seems to feel the need to disguise the names of people they write about. It's certainly fruitless in my case, since of the three people or so that read this thing all know me personally and wouldn't have to work very hard to figure out who I'm talking about. But anyway, it's more fun that way, methinks. So, since my wife enters into my writing fairly often, and I don't want to call her just S., which seems a little lame, I will be calling her The Scientist. Because a.) she is a scientist, b.) I think that's insanely cool, and c.) it conjures up all sorts of fantastic imagines of bubbling beakers and weird electronic equipment (which, sadly, is nothing like a real working lab). Back to the storm clouds.

The Scientist and I are new parents, the little girl (who I will be calling "the little girl" or "my daughter" or "Lily" because, well, how cool of a name is Lily?) is only eight months old. So we haven't been doing this job very long. Eight months into a new job is just the starting to feel comfortable enough around your co-workers to tell a dirty joke phase - and that's assuming that the parameters of your work don't completely change every other month which seems to be the case with the little girl. Wait, did I just completely screw up the metaphor?

Anyway, up to this point the biggest source of conflict we had regarding parenting was what stroller to buy. The Scientist wanted the four-on-the-floor typical thingy, I wanted the super-cool all-terrain three-wheel off-roader. Surprisingly, we got the stroller I wanted. I suspect that The Scientist either really didn't care or was lulling me into a false sense of superiority for bigger battles in the future.

Well, that day has come.

The little girl isn't sleeping through the night. Most books tell us that she could be, even should be, at this point. But she isn't. She gets up at least once a night, and is usually up for an hour or more. While that doesn't sound terrible, it's always at random times - sometimes after she's been asleep an hour, sometimes after five hours. So every gurgle and rolling over could signal the start of crying, or not. It disrupts my sleep cycle, and I know it's much worse for my wife. Even more so being that getting the little girl back to sleep usually involves picking her up, taking her downstairs, sometimes feeding her a bottle, sometimes not. Sometimes she goes back to sleep right away, sometimes it's hours later. The Scientist and I agree that this is not the ideal situation.

But, that's about all we agree on. I want to try the (doctor approved) method of putting her to sleep and letting her cry for awhile before coming to the rescue. Our pediatrician even gave us a booklet on how to do this; and it explains how in five nights or so, she'll be sleeping through the night, no problem. However, The Scientist is having no part of it.

To be fair, I'm much more willing to let the baby cry. I don't like it, but it doesn't bring my world crumbling down. And, if five nights of crying will result in a baby that sleeps through the night, I'm all for it.

So, the heated discussions have begun. The Scientist refuses to let her child cry, end of story. Never mind that my wife is tired all the time, and because of this she keeps getting sick. The entire situation, needless to say, is extremely frustrating. I'm fighting a battle I can't win, and worse yet, coming across as an unfeeling bastard because I'm advocating the "just let her cry" position.

Things will come to a head soon. And when these storm clouds finally let go, the shitstorm that results is going to be biblical in proportions.



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