Anything He Needs

Let me start by saying that I know I’ve been flakey with my posts lately. I’ve honestly just been so busy, I hardly know where to put myself. I wrote the following right after Thanksgiving, and never had a chance to proof-read and post until now. I hope you enjoy. Happy Holidays!

We went up to the San Francisco Bay Area to visit Cherise’s parents for Thanksgiving. We drove. I know, it sounds like a stupid plan with an almost 2 year-old in tow, but he was actually extremely well-behaved! I uploaded a bunch of his favorite videos (Baby Einstein, Elmo, etc…) onto my iPad so he could watch while we drove. He stayed up for the first hour and a half – no videos, just hanging out – and then he finally conked out. I drove for 260 miles and then he woke up, so we stopped, grabbed a bite to eat and then got back on the road. He watched his videos until we got there and he never really complained. We were both shocked. And proud. Road trip part 1: success!

I should probably let you know at this point that Jacob has been rebelling against sleep a lot more than usual lately. Add a new environment and a new crib and a messed up schedule to the mix, and you have a potential recipe for disaster.

Thankfully, it wasn’t a complete disaster.

Only a partial one.

Jacob refused to go to sleep without one of us there. It’s not like he would just stay awake and talk, or complain, no. I’m talking about full-fledged nuclear toddler meltdown complete with blood-curdling, vomit (or gag reflex) inducing screams. In our own home, we have the luxury (or misery, depending on your perspective) of allowing him to scream all he wants – we know that he’ll eventually fall asleep. When staying with other people, however, we kind of have to not. Plus, he’s in a strange environment, so we don’t wanna traumatize the kid. Anyway, to make a long story short(er), for the first 2 days, he would only go to sleep if I stayed and held his hand. If Cherise was there, all he wanted to do was be with her and he wouldn’t go to sleep (he did get acclimated by day 3, which was of course the day before we left to return home – I know, welcome to parenthood).

But here’s the thing: as I sat there with him in the dark room those evenings, holding his little hand (any time I tried to take my hand away, he would grip tighter and pull my hand up against his body as if to make sure I wasn’t going anywhere), I wasn’t frustrated or upset. The only feeling that came over me was peace. I’ve always known that no matter what, I would do anything for him and his mom – whatever they need – but this really put it into practice. I watched as he breathed. Heavy at first because he was worried I was going to try and exit the room, then lighter as he became more comfortable. Then finally, his breathing became shallow and restful and I knew that he was off in dreamland. I slowly removed my hand from his little grasp and crept out of his room feeling like the baby whisperer.

And then, at 1:45AM, he woke up calling for Cherise. And yes, she went and got him at 2AM – we couldn’t have a screaming kid in a house where other people were sleeping… She slept on the couch with him until 6AM came around and he decided that we’d had enough sleep and he was ready for the day. So, no, we didn’t sleep enough over the holiday.

The next night, he slept through and we were thrilled, but the rest of the nights we were there, he woke up between 2am and 4am and called out for Cherise or myself (mostly Cherise), only we decided to stay strong and not give in. Both nights, he went back to sleep after about an hour or 1.5 hours of calling for us, then screaming, then crying until he finally fell back asleep. We’re really hoping this stops, as it’s carried over to home…

We had a great time hanging out with the family! Thanksgiving was truly wonderful! Jacob got to hang with his grandparents, his uncle nay nay (Nathaniel) and his aunty Joy Joy. He even got to see his great-grandparents!

The trip home was, well, interesting…

We left in the morning – later than I wanted to, but that’s what happens when you leave the packing for departure day – and I decided I would drive until after his nap. Only, he didn’t nap. And, yes, he was exhausted. To make matters more complicated, he drank a full 3 sippy cups of his milk before we left (we changed his diaper right before we left, but it was no match for the 30oz of liquid coursing through his little body). We were about 120 miles into our trip when he started really complaining. Then he let out a shriek, and said: “Dump!” (yes, I taught him to call his poop ‘dump’ – say what you want, I find it hilarious. And harmless)

Cherise reached back to check his diaper, and he had soaked through his diaper, his pants, and completely wet his car seat. Yay. On top of that, we were about 17 miles from the next rest area, so I had to exit the freeway and pull over to the side of the road. First thing we saw when we got off the freeway was a woman pulling down her pants, squatting and peeing next to her car (welcome to the exit for route 128!). We parked on the opposite side of the road so we could change Jacob and swap out his car seat (luckily, we had the extra car seat that Cherise’s parents bought for us in the car). As I got Jacob out of his seat and into the front where I was going to change him, Cherise shrieked. There was a bee in the car, right next to her head. I grabbed the key, jammed it into the ignition and she opened the window. The bee flew out, and over the car and came up behind me again. And back into the car. We managed to get it out again, and that’s when we realized that were bees everywhere. We got Jacob changed as fast as we could, and then I attempted to change the car seat – to no avail. There was just too much stuff in the car. Cherise had the brilliant idea of putting the pad from the new seat in the old one – thus protecting Jacob from the wet – and so, after 20 minutes, bees (I actually kicked one while trying to keep it out of the car), and some cursing at the car seats under my breath, we were back on the road. And no, he didn’t nap. At all.

We got home and Jacob passed out in Cherise’s arms after his bath.

On Sunday, Jacob and I spent the day together so Cherise could have some time to herself. We watched the 49ers beat the Rams (Jacob actually likes watching football and hockey – Yes, I’m proud) In fact, he kept saying “Run ball!” after I told him they were running with the ball. At the end of the day, we got him in the bath and before bed he looked up at me and said: “I love you Dada”

I melted.

So, yeah. Anything he needs – I’m there.

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Jacob’s Daddy

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