[In case you’re wondering about the whole ‘Dale Jr.’ thing, for you non-Southerners, the son of Dale Earnhardt – a stock car racer of Biblical proportions – is often referred to as Dale Jr., but originally his nickname was Little E. So it looks like our Little E is now Dale Jr.! If that made no sense, just go with it.]
It may have been the best of times. It may have been the worst of times. I really can’t tell you. I remember very little of the J-man’s first year. It was really a blur. I was SO TIRED all the time then that now, when Dale Jr does something, I ask Tim if the J-man did that too… because I truly can’t remember. So, for your reading pleasure, a comparison of the two so far:
J-man: what’s that? Why would you think I needed to sleep? I have to be up to eat every 2 hours anyway, so why would you force me to try to nap (for 25 minutes initially, although we did get that number up to FORTY WHOLE MINUTES)? I sometimes will only sleep while in a carseat with the car moving, so Daddy perfected “driving naps on 540.” Also, putting me down “drowsy but awake?” HA HA HA HA HA. Seriously, just nurse me to sleep, then hold me for at least another 30-40 minutes to make sure I’m really asleep, then carefully, carefully, carefully put me down, leaning your whole upper body into the crib so we are touching until the very end. Plan to be back soon! If I make a noise, or shift slightly, go ahead and get up, because I will be. I was still waking every 2 hours at 7 months, and didn’t sleep through the night until I was 18 months old.
Dale Jr: obviously read those “sleep books.” I love this. I love my crib. Is my thumb there? Then we’re good. I started sleeping 10-12 hours straight per night at 2 months old. I am the poster child for “put me down drowsy but awake” which Mama figured out only because she really had to go to the bathroom, so put me down in my crib for just long enough to do that… and I was out when she came back. I enjoy napping, and have been able to self-soothe from the beginning pretty much. Mama and Daddy spent several nights waking up to make sure I was still alive because they couldn’t believe a baby could sleep that long.
J-man: I will nurse and nurse and nurse and nurse and nurse. And hate the bottle. And nurse and nurse and nurse and nurse and never let go even while sleeping. PS: and nurse.
Dale Jr: I nurse when I’m hungry, and then I’m done. I don’t especially like to go to sleep nursing. I have taken a bottle a few times, and seem to be OK with it. I DO nurse about every hour during the day (when I’m not sleeping) but since I don’t nurse at all during the night, Mama is perfectly happy with that.
J-man: I am HUGE and outgrew some clothes before I ever got to wear them.
Dale Jr: I am HUGER and outgrew a LOT of clothes before I ever got to wear them. Also, I’m out of sync with brother’s clothes sizes, so the hand-me-downs aren’t helping at all. Also, I’m growing out of the 9 month summer clothes that Mama bought when I was 2 months old because I outgrew the 6 month clothes she bought when I was 1 month old.
How Mama’s work is going:
J-man: I occasionally made Daddy drive me to Mama’s office because I would go on bottle strikes and refuse to eat. I ate enough during the day to not starve to death, and then nursed until I could not nurse more at night which made Mama tired. People in Mama’s office got very angry when she went to pump every 3 hours. Mama is surprised she didn’t wreck driving to work everyday in a daze state from lack of sleep.
Dale Jr: Mama’s work people have heard me on conference calls because sometimes I need to eat, and are perfectly fine with that. They also realize Mama gets way more work done now that she’s home.
How Daddy’s work is going:
J-man: Daddy doesn’t get to work during the day. Ever.
Dale Jr: Daddy can work while I nap. Sometimes.
Maybe now is the best of times. It’s not the worst of times. It is a good time.