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Monday, November 08, 2004

Daddy-Daughter Day (Disaster) 

Well, disaster might be a bit too strong of a word for it, but I can definitely say things didn't go as I'd hoped.

Sunday was Evelin's book club day (Willa Cather's My Ántonia), so Celeste and I planned a nice afternoon of hanging out and stuff. I figured we'd spend some time on the playmat kicking the monkey and poking Taggie, maybe take a walk. Who knows.

Celeste had other ideas.

Since Evelin was going to be gone for about four hours, we had some expressed breast milk in the fridge, but Celeste's eating was timing out for Evelin to feed her just before she left around noon. Often, after lunch, Celeste likes to play for an hour or so, but not yesterday. After a burping, she snuggled down on my chest for nearly a 90 minute nap.

I could deal with that; read a little, relax a little, go with the flow. However, when she woke up, it was a different story. Around 2:20 p.m. or so, Celeste needed a change, something that never makes her happy. That I could deal with, but after a new diaper she usually calms down. This time, she didn't. It'd been about two-and-a-half hours since she'd last eaten, so I figured she was hungry, but that bottle did not suit her or something.

For the next 40 minutes or so, she was alternating between screaming and taking maybe two or three tugs on the bottle and me trying to bounce/rock/sway/swing/dance/sing/plead with her. Apparently she did take in a bit from the bottle because after about 10 minutes of calm swinging on the front porch, she puked it all up.

After a change of clothes (for both of us), Celeste settled in on my chest for a chapter or two of Don Quixote and fell soundly back to sleep.

Around 3:30 p.m., Evelin called to say she was on her way home. I warned her that Celeste was going to be really hungry when she got home, so please hurry. I tried to keep the panic from my voice. I'm not sure I succeeded.

Around 4:00 p.m. Celeste started to wake again. I changed her diaper, but Evelin was still on the road, so I made up a fresh bottle. Maybe it made a difference that the milk was warmer this time*, or she was just too hungry to be picky this time, but Evelin got home just as the last of that bottle was going down. And this time it stayed down.

Hopefully, the next time, it will go a little more smoothly ...

* Back when we were giving her formula, we never heated up the water and Celeste was fine with it, so I didn't think to try to warm up the first bottle. The second one was made with milk that still had some ice crystals in it, so I ran the bag under hot water for a while before loading the bottle. It wasn't body temperature, but it was definitely not refrigerator temperature. Maybe, for Celeste, breastmilk has to be warm and formula has to be cold.

Blogger Commenting:
Ahhhhh. I bet it was the warmth of the first bottle. Good for you! Who would ever think 45 minutes could be so long...except when a baby is crying. Thank the gods neither of us have colicky babies!!!!

Enjoy the tummy naps while you can. Conor has moved out of them, and those were some of Dave's favorite early baby times.

Your afternoon with Celeste sounds fantastic to me!!!
 
Did you knock on wood when you said that, Anita?! Did you?! Oh man, now I'm going to worry that you've jinxed us ...

Actually, it could have been a worse day, and Evelin said she was glad it didn't go too smoothly because otherwise I'd start expecting her to get more done around the house during the day ...

Hey, have you seen "The Wonder Weeks" by Hetty Vanderijt? It argues that these fussy spells (and at 5 weeks after EDD, Celeste is in the middle of a big one) are linked with jumps in learning/brain development. The fussiness is connected to trying to adjust to new understandings about the world, how it works, who barely got himself reëlected, etc. Anyway, it looks like a pretty good parenting book ...
 
She could have sensed your bit of nervousness and that set her off. I have one kid that did that. He still does a little of it at 14. If I'm slightly jumpy about something, he just goes batty on me. Which tends to make me jumpier.

Neither of my kids were breastfed, so we didn't have to deal with the warmth of the milk. In fact, we made an effort to try to feed them with tap-water temperature milk. But I can imagine what it must be like for her to suddenly get a bottle that is the wrong temp. It would be like when I get a swallow of cold coffee when I expect hot. Same coffee, but the temperature just makes me gag.

karen
 
I think your cold coffee analogy is dead-on. I wasn't really nervous with her (or at least not consiously so), but as the crying mounted I did start to get worried. Maybe that was creating somesort of negative feedback loop ...
 
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