Vacation is a relative term

To the untrained eye, it would appear I just had four days off. Four days of not working. Four days of rest of relaxation. Four days to recharge my batteries before returning to the rigorous world of print journalism.

Well that’s bullshit!

My four-day “vacation” was anything but. In fact, I’ve come to realize there are no more vacations, at least not as I once knew them. You see, a vacation used to mean something very specific to me. Obviously it meant not going to work, but it also implied that I was going to have a good time. It meant I was headed some place with friends or with MJ. It meant that a hotel and a bar or two would be involved. It meant being carefree, doing what I wanted when I wanted to do it and genuinely having a good time.

Now, not so much. My “vacation” began with a trip to the ER because MJ couldn’t stop throwing up. Thank God for my parents who were nice enough to come rescue Will and take him for the night, or else things really could’ve gone wrong. Tuesday morning we slept in and that was going to be the highlight of my time off. Because then Will got home and ever since then it’s been horrible.

We took him to a friend’s house on New Year’s Eve, and were naive enough to think he would simply drift off to sleep upstairs in his Pack & Play while we enjoyed some NYE merriment. Wrong. Fucking. Answer. Instead, he stayed up THE ENTIRE NIGHT. Will watched the ball drop with us because every time we tried to put him to bed, he screamed bloody murder. And don’t tell me to let him cry it out, because we did that too. We left him up there for 30-45 minutes at a time and he NEVER stopped screaming.

Which brings us to New Year’s day and our night from hell last night. He didn’t sleep for more than 2.5 hours at a time. It was a horror show. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown last night as I held my screaming son and wanted to shake him shouting “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU WHY WON’T YOU STOP CRYING YOU WRETCHED LITTLE DEMON SPAWN OF SATAN?!?!!?”

I have friends who never — under any circumstances — take their son out past his bedtime. I used to think they were crazy for this because it kept them from going places and seeing their friends. But they held steadfast, and maintained that if they broke his bedtime routine they’d ruin everything and have to start from scratch. I chalked it up to them being wusses, but now I think they may be the wisest parents in the history of parenthood. Because right now, I’d gladly forsake any kind of fun for myself in lieu of my son sleeping 8-9 hours at a time on a regular basis. I don’t need Christmas or birthday presents, just a son with a regular sleep schedule.

And to make matters worse…I’m sick. I’m stuffed up beyond belief and my throat hurts. Will has a doctor’s appointment later this week and I won’t be surprised to learn he has something wrong with him too. Maybe an ear infection.

What the hell 2009? Didn’t I tell you you had to be nicer than 2008!? This is a dubious start to what was supposed to be a spectacular new year.

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9 thoughts on “Vacation is a relative term

  1. I agree with the keeping to a bedtime schedule.

    2009 is gonna be awesome! I stand by that!

  2. Ick. I’ve been there. My first kid (my son) was so easy in that regard. He never had any trouble sleeping and no matter how often we woke him up and he drifted back to sleep, he was always happy. My second (my daughter) is the complete opposite. If she is off her schedule in ANY way (lunch half an hour early? nap 20 minutes late?) even a tiny bit then it would screw up her (and our) entire day. She also didn’t sleep through the night (not even for 4 hours in a row) until she was a year or so old. If she had been my first kid there may not have been a second!

  3. Thank you for writing these “moments where it is kinda sucky to be a parent” posts. I’m going to print them up and give them to my wife, as reasons why I’m not ready for parenthood.

  4. Sorry to hear you didn’t have a relaxing time off.

    Despite the various pulls of family, holidays, parenting and coparenting, I relished every minute that I got to stay home and drink in my son this break.

  5. Hope you feel better.

    Also, the best times your baby sleeps through things the most is when they are also most susceptable to germs-go figure!

    We used to take David with us everywhere too. It helped him to be more flexible, because he would sleep anywhere. But we’re quickly learning that Danielle prefers her routine and so we go to the parties and only do the ones we can base around the baby’s schedule and we leave around bedtime with the kids IN their PJ’s, teeth brushed and clean diapers. This way when we get home after a long car ride, they just get plopped down in their beds and go night night:)

  6. Oh-and being that this was Will’s FIRST Christmas, I think you’ll find as he gets older, there is MUCH less to worry about (except what you need to write in his letter to Santa there’s more and more specifics each year!) and he will be so much more fun! Not that he isn’t now, but he will be opening presents and talking about Santa (I assume) and being a good boy because Santa’s watching.

    One other thing is, maybe he’ll sleep in if you put him to bed later. Last year we put him to bed late (pre-sibling) and we had to wake him up because WE wanted to see what Santa bought him;)

    As far as New Year’s Eve…we were all alseepy by 9 or 10. We were up at mdnight for a feeding and a nightmare so I said “Happy New Year and Goodnight!”.

  7. Alright so I wanted to start off by calling you a wuz but Vic said that was uncalled for. So I am sorry before I even begin, ok? Now first I hope you feel better. Second I understand that you were at a friends house. So letting your child scream is not really an option. But I am going to say now that you need to let him cry it out. And not just for 45 mins. I did the whole cosleeping thing because I was nursing and then a list of other reasons. But then he started beating me up in my sleep. Between Vic, the baby, and the dog I was losing it. When we moved I knew it was time. Victor cried for at least 2 hours the fist night before falling asleep. Then woke up two hours later. This pattern repeated. The second night it was an hour. Every night it got better. But It was heartbreaking and sanity destroying. But by the fourth night it was dowm to 30 minutes and he slept through the night. Now he will fall asleep and stay asleep or wake up and cry for a couple of minutes and fall back to sleep. If we keep his schedule he will sleep through the night. If he gets sick or we stay out after bedtime, we end up with a couple of sleepless night until he adjusts again. If a wagger would help, I bet you can’t let him cry it out all night for a week. Conditions to be determined later. By the way you are doing a wicked good job being a parent!

  8. At least you are the type of parent that suffers through it. I lived next to woman who used to dope her kids up on cold medicine when she was having people over or taking him out to a friends get together. Sickening. My friend and I used to joke about giving my boys ice cream with a delicious nyquil cherry topping but we were never even bordering on serious.

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