Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Magic Finger

In trying to get Elijah to sleep, we usually throw him in the co-sleeper when he’s drowsy. At which point he gets really mad at being thrown in the co-sleeper. You can see it in his face, one minute he’s having fun baby time with lots of big people making hilarious faces and the next minute he’s in baby jail. “Noooooo baby jail!”

Rather than shut the door and sneak off to drink wine, Diana or I will sit with him and soothe him until he calms down enough to fall asleep. This can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour, depending on how mad he is.

The books suggest rubbing his head to soothe him. But as you know, he has Cradle Cap, which grosses me out to no end. So instead of rubbing his head and getting skeeved out, I take my finger and rub along his hairline. And wouldn’t you know, it works. He actually likes the finger rub, to the point where I can get him calmed down from a raging fit to sleep in a couple of minutes.

I always imagine I’ve flipped over an angry crocodile and the finger rub is the equivalent of rubbing the croc’s stomach, Popeye style.

I’ve also convinced myself that the finger rub will calm him down for the rest of his life. When he’s 16 and argues with me about borrowing the space car, I’ll rub his forehead with my finger and say, “There there, boy.” And some subconscious trigger will cause him to call immediately asleep.

But more likely he’ll just punch me.

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