Friday, February 15, 2008

La java du petit matin

Oh, how I've grown to hate four a.m.

Before le Petit arrived, four a.m. was a largely a mystery to me, a vague memory from college days when procrastination (usually) or parties (much more rarely) had me up watching the small hours tick by.

I had much more energy in my youth. And back then, I knew it was temporary. I'd finish the paper or programming project as the sun came up, or we'd all trudge home giddy and shivering to our dorm rooms. Either way, I knew I could sleep in and recuperate the next day. Now, when I see four a.m., I'm pacing a small, stuffy room with a screaming baby in my arms and I know the next day will start all too early.

When the newborn le Petit refused to sleep a large chunk of the night, my husband accused him of "faisant la java." La java is a popular dance from the beginning of the last century, and faire la java is an old-fashioned way to say having fun or throwing a party. It was weak, sleep-deprived parental irony, but it stuck.

Le Petit turned into a decent sleeper sometime after he turned two months old. I was spoiled by quick wake ups, no more than one a night, and frequently enjoyed almost painless bedtimes. It wasn't perfect, and there was the more than occasional off night, but I considered myself lucky.

Now the little guy is teething. The two bottom teeth we got back in November were just a warm up. The ones up top are the Real Deal. Last night, after an hour-long bedtime circus and an early evening wake up at nine-thirty, he was wide awake and mostly screaming from two-thirty to four.

When I tried to nurse him to calm him down, he squirmed and fussed and wouldn't stay at the breast; when I gave up on nursing and paced about the room, he howled. I was nearly reduced to tears myself. At four o'clock, he finally gave in to exhaustion and I crawled off to bed myself. When he woke up at seven-thirty, I felt utterly defeated.

And with all these new teeth so painfully won, the little guy will eat nothing but prune applesauce. It hardly seems worth the trouble.

If you, dear readers wherever you are, are awake at four o'clock Paris time, think of me and if you like, join in the java and leave me an encouraging comment.

1 comment:

Mom in France said...

Sorry to hear Le Petit is suffering with teething!

Boo isn't really a difficult teether, but still it's not a walk in the park either. Our nounou recommended the homeopathic Camilia which is formulated for teething and helps soothe them (it is NOT a pain killer like Doliprane). I can say from my experience it really works! Unlike other medications it's harmless so you could give it a whirl and if it doesn't work you can just not give it.