Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Hold me, touch me.* Or, on second thought, don't.

It's an interesting thing, how people born of the same parents and raised in the same household can be so totally and utterly different.  My dad and I were talking about this the other day and he observed, "I mean, jeez, could there be two people more different than you and [my middle brother] Josh??"

And I've seen it in my own children as well.  They look incredibly alike -- Josie is basically a daintier version of Zeke -- but their demeanor and countenance (at least as babies, I obviously can't comment on Josie's personality beyond the 7 1/2 months she's been alive) is quite divergent.  Whereas Zeke was and is more emotionally needy and sensitive, Josie is mellow and self-sufficient.

I've never had to sleep-train Josie, even for a night.  From the age of 2 months, I could just put her in her crib, turn on the musical mobile, give her a pat and leave the room, and she'd be asleep within a couple of minutes and sleep through the night.  Zeke still won't do that.  With much cajoling, reading of books, singing of songs, and lying down with him for a few minutes ("lie to me, Mama," he'll say when he wants me to lie in his bed with him - it never fails to crack me up), he'll go to sleep in his own bed.  But he'll invariably wake up crying about needing a clean diaper or wanting to come in my bed, and I'll soothe him and get him back to sleep, and then a few hours later he'll wander in and just crawl in next to me, wanting to snuggle.

Zeke is the one who would be happiest if he could somehow surgically attach himself to my body.  When he was a baby, he liked to take his bottle with the front of his body pressed up against mine, with his head in the crook of my arm.  If we're on the couch watching TV, he's all entwined in my arms and legs, or at least resting a hand or his head on me.  He wants to sit on my lap, snuggle with him in bed, and somehow be touching me as much as possible.  It's so sweet, and he's affectionate and lovely, but sometimes I feel a bit suffocated and have to tell him to get out of my face.

Josie is equally sweet, but far less clingy.  She doesn't like to face me when she takes a bottle, she prefers to sit facing out and lean her back against me.  She's always happy to see me, giving me a big smile and a squeal, but doesn't need to be on me all the time.  She likes to be held, but doesn't fuss if you put her down.

But, Josie is in full-on teething mode.  Her first little bottom tooth popped through over the weekend, and the other one is ready to blow at any minute, so she's in pain and constantly rubbing at her gums.  And last night, for the first time ever, Josie just wouldn't or couldn't put herself to sleep.  She was fed, she was medicated, her eyes were all red-rimmed with exhaustion, but she cried and cried whenever I put her down.  So I sat her in bed with me while I watched Lost, and rubbed her belly while she chewed on a teething ring.  She finally fell asleep at 8:30, an hour and a half past her normal bedtime.

Then at 2 in the morning, she woke up crying again.  I gave her a bottle, dosed it with Tylenol and Motrin, rubbed her gums with Orajel, and put her back in her bed.  Normally, she'd roll over and go to sleep.  Last night, all she wanted was to be touching me, so the minute I put her down she wailed.  I rocked her in the chair for an hour, and then finally just brought her back to bed with me.  As long as she was curled up against my arm or some other part of my body, she was fine.

Of course, Zeke woke up at 4, right after Jason left for Vail (he's back up there for a couple of weeks), and wanted to climb in with us and snuggle.

"Yeah, yeah," I sighed.  "May as well make it a party."

So I dozed, off and on (mostly off), the rest of the night, with two little leeches children pressed up on either side of me.  Both of whom snored.

I need Josie to be done with her teething soon so she can go back to old self.  I don't think I can handle two children who treat me like I'm the mother-ship and they're the barnacles.  

*Fans of The Producers (the original movie with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder, not the stupid remake) will recognize the "hold me, touch me" line.  Seriously one of the funniest scenes in one of the funniest movies ever.  I tried to find a clip on YouTube but I guess it's copyrighted.


  1. Barnacles! Excellent image! Here's hoping your littlest barnacle feels a lot better fast. Teething is tough, I've discovered.

  2. Ugh, it suuucks. I don't remember it being this bad when Zeke was going through it, but I've probably developed selective amnesia.

  3. I don't think it's possible to be a mother without selective amnesia.