Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Baby's first sleepover...

This last weekend my husband and I hosted our annual Bags Tournament. We invite a bunch of our friends over to have a few drinks, eat a few burgers, and play a few games of Bags (otherwise known as cornhole). This is a double elimination team sport. We encourage our friends to get “Team” t-shirts and get really into the festivities. Because our friends and family that come for this annual event usually have a little too much fun, our little peanuts go and spend the night at Grandma & Grandpa’s house.

This year my in-laws had their hands full; a toddler and a four-month-old! Let me mention that up until this point my infant had only been away from me for a couple of hours at most. Also, during the one occasion that he was under the care of someone else he refused to take a bottle. My poor mother-in-law tried everything! It was a semi-traumatic experience for all involved. I was determined that this overnight was going to go better than the previous babysitting stint. 

crying baby

It was time to prepare… I am a breastfeeding stay at home mama, so I have not had a lot of cause to give my baby a bottle. Unfortunately, if I ever wanted to be able to have someone else help out with my little peanut I would need him to be willing and able to take a bottle. So I started trying to supplement by giving him one bottle a day in the evenings. My firstborn son would take anything and everything; if it was edible he ate it. This was not the case with Steven. This whole bottle taking thing did not start off well.

Steven refused to take the bottle every time. It was time to figure out what the problem was; it was time for a little trial and error. I bought a bottle warmer, several different types of bottles, and a couple different brands of formula and dove right in.

I tried a couple different bottles with one brand of formula… nope. I tried different formulas…nope. I warmed up the bottle in the bottle warmer…insert duh moment here. Of course he wanted the milk to be warm, I am not a refrigerator and the milk that I produce is not chilled. Okay. Time to go back and try different bottles and formulas heated up… It really truly was just a matter of temperature.

Steven would now take one bottle a day from me. But would he take it from someone else? I was terrified that I would be getting a phone call at 1am saying “Laura, you need to come and collect your children. Steven is refusing to sleep, not taking a bottle, and screaming non-stop.”

What else could I possibly do to avoid getting this phone call? Hhhmmm. Maybe I should provide a schedule of what my child’s day is like; when he eats, sleeps, and actively plays. That might help.

All-righty then. I open up a word document and insert a table and get down to cataloging my baby’s daily routine. Quite simply put, he eats every three hours, is awake for two hours and then NEEDS to be put down for a nap which varies in length, and poops all the time! He will fight sleep, because apparently sleep is not his thing. He likes to be social; I like to think it’s because his mom is super cool. Okay, schedule is done. My in-laws can now look at the schedule and get an idea of what to expect when. Time to start packing.

I am an over packer when it comes to my children. I subscribe to the it is better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it” newsletter. You don’t get that newsletter? It comes free with a subscription to the “I have to go shopping AGAIN!” magazine (I am being completely facetious – the above mentioned newsletter and magazine are completely fictional). Needless to say, when I pack for my kids I pack everything they could possibly need and more.

Now that Steven is taking a bottle, there is a typed daily schedule provided, and the kids are all packed; to grandmothers house we go!

After unloading the children and all of their overnight belongings it is time for me to “go over” everything with my mother-in-law. I know… I am completely crazy! But I wanted to make sure that she knew how to work everything, how to make the bottles, where the pacifiers are, and… the list goes on.

My mother-in-law is very patient (I love you Sandy!). She goes over everything with me, takes notes, and asks questions. I ask her if she is ready for this. She tells me she is and that I should go have a good time.

Deep breath. Deep breath… Okay. It is time to kiss the kids and tell them goodbye for the night. I give Steven a kiss and send up a quick prayer for a successful overnight. I give William a kiss goodbye and tell him to have fun.

William walks to the door and says, “Bye mommy. See ya! See ya!” Then promptly closes the door behind me.

Instead of getting choked up over my baby having his first overnight I am chuckling the entire way to the car. William and Grandma quickly popped out of the garage to wave goodbye, and away I went.

I had a great time visiting with the out of town family and friends who participated in the bags tournament. It was actually one of the most entertaining tournaments we have hosted in a while. Although I kept worrying about how my baby was doing on his first overnight, I eventually let it go and had a fun night.

There was no 1am frantic phone call. The overnight was a success and the boys came home mid-morning after a fun night with Grandma and Grandpa. 

As much fun as having a night off was, I miss my peanuts when they are gone. I am so happy to have my boys back at home.


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