My expectations for Dylan’s sleeping schedule have been dialed back considerably in the last week. At this point, here are my only goals:

• He stays down from bedtime until at least midnight or so before the first wakening
• He requires intervention only 2-3 times total
• He’s able to put himself to sleep, i.e. does not require a certain set of circumstances in order to fall asleep which will then change once he’s in bed (like rocking him into unconsciousness, then putting him in the crib, which one of those Ferber books amusingly compared to how you might feel if you fell asleep in your bed with your pillow, then woke up on the living room floor — which depending on your personal history with alcohol would probably either be highly upsetting or disturbingly familiar)

I had high hopes for him sleeping through the night with no interruptions but I’ll tell you, after the initial Great Crib Resistance (which included one entire night where nobody slept a single solitary wink, except Riley and the dog, and there was nothing that could soothe him, unless I wanted to head across town at 3 AM to my co-worker’s house, to whom I had given the swing, and beg to borrow it back for just one more night, which as far as I was concerned would have been a viable choice except for the inescapable feeling that it would have also been like taking Christine for just one more drive), the routine of getting up a couple times to offer some quick comfort is Totally Doable.

(By the way, if you’re wondering why I decided it was time to break the swing habit instead of letting him sleep in it forever, it’s not because my brain is full of angry self-destructive hornets. It’s because he was just too big for it, and could turn his body sidewise in the seat — despite the belt thingie — and get painfully stuck.)

If the above goals are happening without a lot of wee-hour fussing, I’m calling that Good Enough For Now. Yes, I’d like to sleep eight hours in a row at some point, but as long as Dylan and I are getting a decent amount of sleep each night (I happen to think this is a bit more important than my own comfort, by the way), I can deal with continuing to lurch out of bed a few times per night. It’s probably good practice for staying ever-vigilant against zombies: cuddle baby, put baby back in crib, check perimeter of house for uprising of undead, etc.

Oh! Speaking of zombie preparation, I’ve starting taking a real kickboxing class where we work on heavy bags and wear gloves and shit, and while we all know punches and kicks are ineffectual against the living dead, I do feel confident that this class will teach me valuable skills for defending my household from the hordes of survivors who will be after our stash of Chef Boyardee and Balance Bars. Thanks to fefferbee, who let me know about this awesome class that’s just ten minutes from my house, my Badass quotient is slowly increasing. I mean, can’t you TELL?


Uh, okay, maybe you can’t tell in this exact picture, and yes, that headband IS kind of dorky looking, and no, I don’t know what I’m doing with my face, and — listen, just . . . SHUT UP RIDE STOPS AT THE ELBOW.

Also, excuse me but my pain-in-the-ass children are so stinking CUTE:


Super-rad robot shirt courtesy of Kristin, and could you just die. Also, holy crap Dylan’s getting big. I mean, he’s a burly little chipmunk these days, and when he starts bouncing in the exersaucer it sounds like the whole thing’s going to fall apart. I suppose we won’t be using that toy for much longer, which, wow, I swear to god we just bought it.

A rare smiling photo of my boy Riley, who really isn’t always suspicious, I just never manage to capture the many grins with the camera. Especially since he tends to run from the Nikon now like he’s a tribal Papua New Guinean: HALP IT IS GOING TO STEAL MY SOUL.

The term “witching hour” is a common one among parents, and it seems to generally refer to the same time of day: the pre-bedtime, post-dinner zone, which in my household has become something of a daily cross to bear. We’re always trying to keep Dylan awake for just a bit longer (I’ve learned that 7 is the earliest he should go to bed, but that definitely doesn’t mean he’s a happy camper for the preceding half hour or so), we’re trying to deal with Riley who is alternating between bouncing off the walls and channeling Satan, we’re trying to bolt our own dinner, we’re simultaneously wanting to grab as much quality time with the kids as possible and wishing like hell they’d just go to bed already.

We used to deal with this time of day by taking the boys for a walk around the neighborhood, which was a perfect solution — they stayed entertained, and JB and I could chitchat while getting a little exercise. Now it’s just too damn dark outside, so we rattle irritatingly around the house like marbles in a can. Dylan gets fussier and fussier, Riley fine-tunes his ability to detonate people’s skulls with the sheer force of his whining, and I find myself staring glassy-eyed at the clock: has it really been only five minutes since the last time I looked, DEAR GOD IS THERE NO MERCY.

Those of you who have similar evening-time challenges, how do YOU deal with the Witching Hour? I could use some inspiration, because last night around 6:47 I spent a few minutes just sort of fondling a bottle of liquid Benadryl and thinking, would it really be so wrong?

I don’t even want to acknowledge Daylight Saving Time. That is going to suck, if you’ll pardon the expression, a giant bag of baboon assholes.

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