Us vs. The Baby

The last few days have been pretty rough. Maggie went from sleeping eight hours through most of the night to waking up every two or three hours, crying very loudly. Unfortunately for us this happens to coincide with Michelle’s writing deadlines, so I’ve been playing Mr. Dad this weekend during the day. Even with all Maggie’s waking up, she stays awake through most of the day, which means we haven’t had time to catch up on our sleep.

We couldn’t figure out what made her suddenly wake up in the night when she was doing so well. She is a little bit young for teething, and she doesn’t exhibit all the signs. We fed her extra from a bottle to make sure she was well fed. Maybe it’s just one of those things?

Today, because we both worked from home, we decided to go pick her up from daycare together. Although Michelle has only seen her once when picking up Maggie, our pediatrician has her children at the same daycare. We joked, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we saw Dr. X here? We could be like, ‘Help us!'”

As we were leaving, who should walk through the door? Hallelujah! We told her about Maggie’s recent sleep schedule, and the conversation was pretty enlightening.

Dr. X: How’s it going?
Michelle:
 Good, except Maggie has been waking up every two or three hours recently.
Dr. X: She’s five months? It’s a social thing. She’s more aware now. She’s manipulating you because she knows she can.
Me: How long should we be waiting before we get her? We waited five, ten minutes but her crying seemed to keep ramping up.
Dr. X: You have to let her ramp up and calm herself down. Thirty minutes is an okay time to let her continue crying. I know it’ll be hard but-
Me: Oh, no. We can totally do that! We just thought we were being bad parents.

She was very matter-of-fact in telling us it’s related to social learning, but she made it sound like Maggie was some sort of diabolical genius, aware of her actions, and using us as puppets. Maybe she’s just getting us back for all the embarrassing photos we’re constantly taking of her.

The course of action is clear tonight. Ignore the baby! Hopefully she won’t hold a grudge in the morning. Your move, Maggie.