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baby practice

Zion knows he's going to have some younger competition soon, and it may be that he remembers—from his own experience on the giving end!—how hard it can be on parents having a newborn around. Lately he's certainly being very considerate in offering us some chances to work up our game, at least as far as the being-up-all-night-holding-a-screaming-child aspect of the affair is concerned.

He's always been very different than Harvey when it comes to sleeping. Harvey is tough to get to sleep but then he's pretty much set for a long stretch; Zion drifts off quite easily (even during his bedtime story!) but then is a light and restless sleeper. And of course, when he wakes he wants company and help getting back to sleep (as has Harvey for most of his life, though we're really cracking down now). Leah tends to provide that service, mostly because Zion doesn't like me all that much so I am never what he's looking for when he has comforting in mind. Sometimes, though, the whole affair gets too aggravating even for her patience—what with the deliberate grabbing that forms part of how he cuddles with his mama and the accidental kicks as he drifts off to sleep—and I get to take a hand. Like last night.

One difference between Zion and a newborn, of course, is that he's pretty verbal. "No Dada, I want to sleep in my bed, with Mama!" Also his violence is more focused and directed: after flailing for a couple minutes yelling "let go of me!!" he switched his tactic to hitting me in the face. I gave him a halfhearted spank after the first couple blows, but that didn't actually seem like the direction I wanted to go in: things were already plenty escalated, and I just wanted to get back to sleep. So I let him satisfy himself by bopping me a few more times, at which point he succumbed to the inevitable and let me cuddle him until he drifted off.

So maybe it's not that much like a newborn: the really little guys can't reach your face to slap you, but on the other hand they have no idea of what might or might not be inevitable. But whether you're dealing with a one-month-old or a two-and-a-half year old, there's still that same wonderful moment when they finally start to settle down and you shift all at once from being mostly just annoyed (if not downright furious) to feeling like a loving parent—and receiving love from the deal as well as just giving it. That, and the being up at all hours of the night. That's the same too.


OMG Zion was kicking me and talking to me for THREE HOURS in the night before I gave him to Dan. I was all in dire pronouncement land. NO MORE SUGAR! NO MORE NAPS! WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO MAKE YOU SLEEP??? But Dan got him to sleep in short time, all with a very calm fatherly voice that I heard mumbling through the wall. Clearly he is a better parent than I.

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