October 22, 2007

Brown Fountain

The Poulas family had a weekend chock full of constipation and sleep, two things that we haven’t had since the start of this new life. One of these was obviously a welcome change, the other a new challenge to cope with. Saturday started out great, with numero uno getting a chance to play a round of golf, and it couldn’t have come on a more beautiful day. We experienced what passes for autumn in Shreveport; a “crisp” 75° day drenched in sunshine, and humidity dipping below 90%. It was nice to take advantage of it.

While I was enjoying a day with the boys, Mom had a nice relaxing day; holed up with a screaming baby, a bottle of prune juice and some glycerin suppositories (just in case). Fortunately for all parties involved, the prune juice was as far as they had to take it. Two ounces goes a long way towards fixing what ails a 12 pound baby’s intestinal woes. Luckily, Annie doesn’t yet understand the unique circle of life that she started on Saturday morning. A century from now she will be sitting in a rocking chair in a house of her own, drinking the same brown elixir keeping it all regular.

Now, some time ago, I pledged honesty when I wrote the initial post of this blog. At the time, I didn’t have any intention of seeing the plan of writing on a daily basis through, but each successive day I have enjoyed it more and more. It deserves everything I’ve got to offer. So here goes.

I would venture to say in hindsight that two ounces of juice was about double the dose that was needed to get the job done. Typically, there would be a couple of ways to be sure of this. Brown or watery bowel movements over a twenty four hour period would have been one, but accidentally (the way of all great discoveries, as we already know) I stumbled across the only surefire way.

It all came about as we drew to a close a very difficult day as far Annie was concerned. Bath time was getting under way. The lights were low, Fionn Regan was quietly playing (again) in the background, and the formula and bath water were an equally warm and soothing temperature. In a short time, Annie would be in her mother’s arms in their favorite rocker, gently drifting off to sleep. And as I held my impossibly soft, unimaginably innocent daughter in the crook of my arm, I heard my wife loudly tearing a piece of fabric in the next room. As I turned to ask what project it was that she was working on, I instantly saw and felt my rookie mistake. What goes in must always come out.

Ten minutes later, when my clothes were soaking and the pruney spray was scrubbed from the sink, cabinet, counter, wall, rug, and floor, Annie was in her bath as if this were a run of the mill Saturday night, smiling up at me.

Annie wanted to make amends for my dousing, so she gave me the most appreciated re-gift ever, another long night’s sleep. As you will recall, two weeks ago she slept for ten hours straight one night. I mistakenly thought she was on the road to a well rounded sleep pattern, when she was in fact coming down with her first illness. The next night she was back to three hours at a time. But this weekend she may have turned a corner.

She went to bed at her normal time and woke just after midnight as usual. I fed her and changed her, and went to sleep prepared for my 3 a.m. wakeup call. She didn’t disappoint, and I groggily rolled out of bed, turned off the monitor so my wife could sleep, and clumsily prepared a bottle. Coincidentally, I only had cold water for the formula, and in the time it took me to warm up Annie’s meal a miracle happened. She actually put herself back to sleep. My shit-eating grin reappeared and I put the bottle in the fridge and snuck back to bed. That glorious little baby repeated this at five, and soon enough I had been sleeping for eight straight hours. She followed the same pattern last night, and in just two short days I am whole again.

Here’s to some anticipated consistency.


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