Thursday, July 8, 2010

Repetition and Rejection

"One little horsey plays peekaboo, loves to run and play with you, two little duckies..."

Oh how I curse the music that comes with baby gear. Sure, it's great for babies who love repetition, but when I lay down at night, I always have a loop of music from one of Alex's baby gear bits stuck in my head. The Bright Starts swing uses instrumentals that I've never heard before, but we use the swing so frequently, it might as well play the Star Spangled Banner as familiar as the tunes have become.

The mobile on his crib plays a Bach piece, a Beethoven piece and a Mozart piece. I'm not as familiar with Beethoven as I am with the other two composers, so when I heard the song and found I recognized it, I was surprised. More so when I realized that it was because Billy Joel used the tune for one of his songs! Beethoven's Pathétique Sonata is used in his song "This Night" and I found myself singing the lyrics along with the mobile. Then there is the new jumparoo which puts different lyrics to "Old McDonald" amongst others. With all these twists on songs I already recognize, the torture is infinite!

To add to my pre-nocturnal frustrations, before bed I always use the Medela. So I sit there, with a half hour to kill and the "woooka woooka woooka" sound which always makes me more sleepy, so instead of reading I try to play a game on my Ipod Touch to keep me awake. Despite my intentions to play something more intelligent, I always go back to Babo Crash. This is a Bejewelled knock off, where you slide the shapes to match 3 or more. After playing it and rotting my brain for 20 minutes or so, I close my eyes in bed and all I can see is a grid with colored shapes.

Along with all of that, there is the repetition of our routine. I live in three hour clumps. Feed, play, nap. Insert intermittent fussing here or there. Rinse, repeat. This part I don't mind so much. When Alex is not feeling at his best and giving me a run for my money, I can count how many three hour sessions I have left until my husband comes home.

As comfortable as we are with our little routines throughout the day, Alex is definitely his own little person. While I wouldn't have it any other way, sometimes I wish he would give mom a break. Just when you think you've unlocked another part of the big baby puzzle, he goes "Nope! REEEEJECTED!" For instance: it used to be that you could sit in the rocker with him, cradle him on his back on the Boppy, stick a binky in his mouth and off he'd go to dreamland. Well, first he decided he didn't like being on his back. Noooo problem. Then, he rejected the binky. OhhhhKay. NOW, he wants to only be held on my left side while being jiggled, patted and shooshed to. And it better be done exactly right, or he'll try to wrestle himself out of your arms or claw your neck so badly that you look like you've just withheld the last bit of catnip from your junky cat.

The 'stop that baby from crying' entertainment methods have also become rather erratic. Where once upon a time, we could just smile and soothe, now I'm inventing things like the carwash (running my hair over his face back and forth like a car wash... works really well for now!) and the running man (bicycling the legs quickly with clicky sounds, then tickling the ribs with raspberry sounds). And they have to be done a very specific way, or REEEEJECTED!

In the end, there is one repetition that makes it all worth while... Alex has gotten really good at laughing over and over again, and that's pure sunshine in my book.

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