Monday, November 14, 2011

the smell

We are in the trenches.  The trenches of establishing a sleep schedule for our little bundle of screaming-crying real tears- why are you evil adults trying to make me sleep joy.  We had a 'routine.'  Sometime in the mid evening, after Corbin had eaten and regurgitated his dinner usually all over me, we'd send him to his swing with obnoxious white noise to get all drowsy (baby hypnotism I tell ya).  Then when he was nodding off, Mr. Incredible would do The Transfer (all you parents knowingly nod and murmur in amazement.... those non-parents, Austin would scoop up Corbin and move him to bed without-hopefully- waking him up too much and thus requiring us to start the whole thing over again).  Corbin might wake up after a little while and then we'd try to calm him down or send him back to the swing on occasion but for the most part he'd sleep for a couple hours in his own crib. Ya-ay!  

But for the last few days, things have been different.  Probably a combination of us feeling guilty using a swing to put our baby to sleep plus the fact that we were just finally getting into a routine with the little bugger and he changed things up on us and BAM enter the sleep wars.

First we tried sending him to his crib without the swing... and he was pissed.  (Sorry for the language but I believe that is the only word to describe the look on my darling son's face as he glared at us in his baby straightjacket (a.k.a swaddle) and screamed his discontent.)  He screamed and writhed around until we caved and went and got him.

Then we tried weaning him off of the swing- he only got a few minutes in it and then to bed he went.  Where he pretended to sleep just long enough for us to leave his room, perform a victory dance in the living room, congratulate each other on our AWESOME parenting skills, and settle down on the couch to watch a TV show.  Then the screaming banshees of hell flew forth from his lungs and we were back to square one.

We had some variation of all this for several nights- we added patting and shushing in his ear while not picking him up, picking him up and rocking/shushing, and going back to the swing even.  However, once we had declared sleep war, Corbin was NOT. BACKING. DOWN.

Last night after ONE HOUR of on and off screaming (by on and off I mean he had to stop to catch his breath at some point-right?!?) I picked him up, rocked him, mangled the words and tune of "You are my Sunshine" (dang lullabies!), and put him to bed where he collapsed into exhausted sleep until 2:30 a.m.  Which brings us to the main story of this blog post.

At 2:30 a.m. I awoke to a smell.  I used to be a rock star sleeper- could sleep through earthquakes, demolition, Ed the stupid dog next door.  Then I had a baby.  Now I wake up if Corbin breathes too heavily in the other room or if the video monitor decides to lose connection and flash white for a nanosecond.  On the other side of the bed, we have our family sleep princess- Mr. Incredible.  He's always been a light sleeper and is usually awake a split nanosecond before I am if something is amiss in baby land.  All this to say, we have never been awakened by a smell before.

It wasn't a baby smell by the way.  Nor was it smoke... but a burnt, plastic-y, something-bad-is-happening-in-the-house kind of smell.  Corbin was still asleep (amazingly) but the smell was not good.  I sniffed around the hall, sticking my nose near our ancient wall heaters, the over, microwave, even our dryer out in the garage but I could not figure it out.

Mr. Incredible was pulled out of bed and sent to seek out said smell while I gathered sleeping Corbin (NJH@&%NFO@@!@## for waking a sleeping baby!!!) and took him to our room.  Mr. Incredible sniffed around for a good twenty minutes while I was trapped in bed with a now eating baby contemplating the news headline tomorrow morning- "Young Family Found Dead In Local Home" "Mysterious Gas Claims Family" and wondering if the batteries on our smoke detectors and CO2 detector were still good (when did we change those?  did they go off the other day when I burned dinner? why do we entrust our LIVES to stupid 9 volt batteries?!?!?!)

Mr. Incredible gave up and once Corbin was full and happy, I headed out once more to SAVE MY FAMILY!  However I could find NOTHING awry.  Finally, my middle-of-the-night rational took over and I went back to bed with my sleeping family (if we're going to go, at least we'll go together) (I know, overly dramatic but that's apparently how I get at 3 a.m.)  (I did set up a little fan to blow the toxic chemical filling our house out of our room and opened a few windows) (wow- grammar foul-excessive use of parenthesis. 5 yard penalty or whatever)

The next thing I knew it was morning and Corbin and I appeared to have survived the toxic gas calamity. And Mr. Incredible was triumphantly waving something in front of my bleary eyes.

The mysterious source of the toxic smell that was surely going to be responsible for the demise of the Christmas Tree Face Family!  Can anyone pull a Sherlock Holmes and figure out what the heck happened?

Well my dear Watson, apparently those directions- "For top shelf of dishwasher ONLY" are pretty serious.  Somehow this tupperware-container-thing- lid flipped out of its top shelf home and landed on the very bottom of the dishwasher where it melted into a goopy mess and filled our house with the smell.

By morning the smell had cleared away, leaving the eventful night of terror, certain death, and-most significantly-the failure of our only victory in the sleep war thus far, a distant and fading memory.  Good thing I took the time to retell it here where this tale will live on forever in internet-land.

I can now face the day a survivor.  Now if only we could reclaim those few hours of baby sleep victory... maybe tonight!  This is Christmas Tree Face signing out.