Thursday, April 5, 2012

Milk puffs

First, an obnoxiously blue shout out and thank you for all of the helpful e-mails regarding what to do with a bed escaping toddler. I got a handful of e-mails, which was nice, because if you look back on the appears no one has any advice.

Or I have no friends.

And even at thirty (grumble grumble add a couple years), I hate feeling like the last kid picked in dodge ball.

There was a range of ideas: manual restraint, silent treatment, heavy blankets, gate corralling, screen time in bed, and a vote for providing him some enhanced brownie supplements. (Joke! I mean, it was suggested, but she was joking. DON'T WORRY!)

Status? No change in bedtime histrionics. But no change is better than it getting worse (Hello lemonade!) And I've determined after the 2nd time I walked in on Felix crying on the floor the other night, that he's competing in Steeplechase in his dreams. I'm adding to the list of suggestions: scrap the toddler bed, go rogue Montessori-style, and move his mattress on the floor.

Scene: 6:00am. Ali and Eric's bedroom. The couple's sleep is interrupted when in Ali's sleeping stupor, she gets the sense of an intruder:

"Ummm...Eric? There is a small silent creature at the foot of our bed. I'm sensing Ewok over gremlin. I think he's armed."

Eric remains in his state of somnolence.

Ali, only having experienced a child, who at almost 4, still believes he is trapped in a bed until an adult comes to rescue him, did not realize it was her other son, Felix.

Eric asks, "Do you want to put him back to bed?"

What Ali thinks: no, I want him to use this new found independence and make me a farmer's omelet so I can have breakfast in bed. And a mimosa would be a nice touch.

What Ali says: "I'm too lazy to go back into his room and sleep on the floor, holding his hand in his toddler bed...I'm throwing him in here. I'll turn on PBS if I have to."

Sleep deprivation before 6:30am = relying on an electronic babysitter.

NOT good. Shame. Shame.

Ali puts Felix in the bed, and believe it or not, he kinda, sorta, in a way...falls back asleep. Public television not required, thankfully.

Granted, his feet palpated her kidneys in a pretty aggressive manner...but she was NOT vertical. And could keep her eyes closed.

But there was 1 lingering problem: death breath.

Cut scene.

Scene analysis: For 4 years I've secretly wanted my kids to be co-sleepers, but this Ménage à Trois we had going the other morning made me pause.

You have to understand my history:

I am one of those moms who secretly envied the moms who say, "so and so just traipses into our room and gets in bed with us when he wakes up at night." We've been the lucky recipients of babies and toddlers who have zero interest in co-sleeping at night, and would rather you go to exorbitant lengths to get them to sleep--like sleep on the floor and hold his hand through the crib slats. It's not for a lack of trying. Oh, and don't get all judgey on me because I couldn't do cry-it-out for longer than a minute until after 2 years (and all those nasty habits of parent-centric bedtime routines got hard wired into my enabled off-spring). I've made my bed, so I'm going to lie in it...unless I'm beckoned into a small boy's room to bunk on the floor, asked to cuddle, hold hands, or sing the "Tigger" song on repeat in the middle of the night.

As infants, I used a co-sleeper, and took plenty of naps with the babies on my chest (read: all of them), but never did I have the baby who slept better in between Mommy and Daddy overnight. But I wanted it. I wanted it, because, well...I'm kinda lazy.

And also, I'm a cuddler. I have very affectionate kids, but I wouldn't call them "cuddlers." I would call them proximity preferers: they like to be in very close proximity to a parent, preferably touching, but not enmeshed between them, or spooning. Hey, they like their personal space.

Luckily for me, they did prefer a chest nap over a crib nap any day.

There is nothing like the warm bundle of unblemished skin, rising and falling in cadence, sitting on your chest for a few hours. And when I look back, I recall another aspect of baby napping that I miss..."milk puffs."
That's what I lovingly refer to as those sweet milk breaths a baby transmit to your nose when your baby is sleeping on you.

Gaping mouths...little milky drool, and that fast breathing that provides you with these little "puffs" of breast milk.

It's one of those things that I think you don't truly understand until it happens to you.

It's like how my sister-in-law loves that her dog smells like Doritos.
I've been carrying around this idealized vision of co-sleeping with my kids, and with Felix's recent sleep hurdles, been thinking more and more about trying to either a) initiate breast feeding again, or b) train him to co-sleep. But the other morning, my hopes were dashed. It wasn't the kidney exam--it was his breath.

NOT milk puffs. It was nothing short of garbage breath.

What gives? This kid flosses and brushes every night.

Is it because he is an obligate mouth breather?

Does he have some decaying flesh lodged in his molars from his friends at school that he bit?

Whatever it is, I don't like it.

The fact that the air that comes out of my 2 year old's mouth rivals the scent of any sludge that comes out the other end, is pretty unbelievable.

So...yeah. Co-sleeping is off the table. The mattress has been moved to the floor in such a way that hand holding can happen while a parent is high up on the spare bed. I'm just concerned that like hot air, death breath rises. In that case...

...since I didn't win the lottery, I've decided to start a company that develops organic toddler breath strips.

I'm taking recommendations for flavors...(flesh and garbage won't be on the list.)


  1. OMG PLEASE PLEASE invent these toddler mouth strips. I will buy them in every flavor as Maggie's breath is god-awful as well.

  2. I hear parsley is good for kicking bad breath. Perhaps it's the ballrog.

  3. Parsley and mint? 3 year old Nicholas used to breathe onion breath when Burger King featured onion rings for awhile (we didn't do fast food often - promise) - foul!
    I think it's smart to put Felix's mattress on the floor, and if escaping is a problem, perhaps you need a gate at the door (of course then he'll stand there and call out, I'm sure).
    You kids used to like bedside service when you had night issues as well. It's just who they are.