Like anybody, I like a good night’s sleep. That usually means 7.5 hours, starting at 9:30pm. Tonight, my head hit the pillow at 10:30, which was good. For the past three nights, I’ve been drifting off at about 11:30, even though I was laying down at 11:00.
Exciting things are happening and they tend to keep me awake.
So, when my head hit the pillow at 10:30, I expected to be sawing logs in seconds. But, again, I found myself unable to sleep right away.
But tonight was different.
I wasn’t thinking about exciting things. I wasn’t thinking about anything at all. For some reason, I just couldn’t sleep. I could hear our youngest, Scooters, peep every once-in-a-while, but that didn’t really keep me up.
I decided to get dressed and do a couple of things in the office, in hopes that they would help me sleep.
While in there, Scooters’ cries got louder and more sustained. I kept telling myself he’d go to sleep.
He didn’t. He just cried longer and louder. I told myself “he’s cutting teeth, he needs to learn to sleep through it.”
But after 30 minutes or so and a particularly heart-wrenching cry, I went in.
Boy, was I glad I did.
Somehow, his heater had gotten turned up to…90 degrees. Let me type that again. 90 degrees.
It was 11:30 and his bedtime is 6:00. His room had been 90 degrees for 5.5 hours.
I grabbed Scooters and his hair was sweaty and matted and his huge cheeks were as flushed as you can imagine. He felt like he was on fire.
My first instinct was to get Heidi and figure out what to do. But then, I realized she was tired, too. And I don’t always have to consult somebody else before making a decision. So, I let her sleep.
I opened the door, turned the heater down and turned the fan on. Then, I took Scooters and we went outside and sat on the porch (it’s pretty chilly tonight, like 40s). That helped quite a bit. Then, he acted hungry, so I took him in and got him a bottle. I also washed his head and face with a cold washcloth, which I then put at the back of his neck while he drank his bottle.
Finally, after all that, we went up to his room and checked the temperature. 85 degrees. Unacceptable.
So, I opened the window and we sat there, in the dark, for 15 minutes or so, while the room began to cool down. We talked and played and then I gave him some more Tylenol and put him back to sleep. This time, the door was closed, the fan was on and the window was still open. I’ll go back in there in a few minutes and check the temperature and close the window.
It was horrifying to see my little guy in that kind of condition. But it felt good to make it better and still let my hard-working, exhausted wife sleep. Plus, Scooters and I connected some more and had fun.
Typically, I would let Heidi take the lead in fixing those problems but it felt good to do what made sense. Sure, I can think of a few things I could have done better, but I felt more like a parent tonight because I let my love for Scooters and my instincts take over.
I love parenting.