Though Wee 4 is obviously my fourth child - meaning I successfully raised past infancy 3 other children, I occasionally lose my common sense and use the internet to seek out those hidden gems of parenting I just must have missed the first three times around.
The conundrum I am currently facing is Reid's love of the night life. The kid can't get enough of it. He is every day (with very, very few exceptions) up from 11pm to 4am. Now if this was my first rodeo - it wouldn't be so bad. I would be 7 years younger and not have a dictator (Wee 3) that wakes up at 6am everyday.
With the bags under my eyes beginning to exceed the free weight limits for your first piece of luggage on most airlines, late last night I went in search of advice. Now I don't necessarily feel Reid has to sleep during these hours. If I could at least put him down or entertain him in some other way than singing old Army cadences (he can't get enough of these) I would be thrilled.
Here is what the Parenting Experts say I should do:
1. Play Classical Music - it is sure to soothe my gentle giant and some how make him smarter.
2. Place a slow moving and mirrored object above his head.
3. Speak softly to him with short mono-syllabic words.
So, in desperation and after looking around to make sure no other moms were around at 3am to mock me, I did all these things - many times.
The results - nada, zip - not one moment of happy quietness. Instead, most of the time Wee 4 looked at me as if I had lost my slow moving, classical music playing, gibberish speaking mind. And then to stress the point he was baffled - he screamed, loudly.
In the face of overwhelming defeat I needed to rethink my strategy - did I actually think any of these things were entertaining? Nope. I find classical music depressing (sorry I know that's uncultured) - I find looking at myself in the mirror a bit dull - I mean no matter how many times I blink it is still me - and its really difficult to have an interesting conversation when you are only allowed to use the words on your daughter's kindergarten spelling list.
So here is my new list of things to do when Wee 4 is fussy at night. Each one is Reid tested and giggle inducingly approved. In fact from now on when having a bad day I may do these things to make myself less fussy.
1. Play happy music with a solid base and good tempo - and play it loudly. In fact, combine playing it loudly with goofy dance steps and lots of butt wiggling.
2. Turn Reid's mobile off automatic and spin it as rapidly as possible. The closer Reid's little ocean animal friends came to a mass concussion the harder he laughed.
3. Say long interesting words in a variety of voices. I found Reid likes bizarre cooking ingredients read off in Kung-Fu movie voices. For example "caaarrrraaaadddddammmmooommm" or "muuuuggggwarrrrtt" in different octaves are surefire winners. Throw in an occasional high pitched "hi ya" and "wiiieee" and you are golden.
Now some of you are probably thinking "how did she ever get Wee 4 to sleep once he was so wound up?" Laughter, laughter is the key - apparently in small infants it causes hiccups and exhaustion. Wee 4 went down an hour early last night and once again I proved that real mothers can kick expert butt on little sleep and with no complicated studies or research.
Morale of the Story: Trust your gut - after all that's where your baby spent all his time before birth and he was pretty happy in there.
A bit sheepish for briefly losing my mind,