Monday, November 3, 2008

Is he breathing?

“Did you hear any sounds of breathing last time you went upstairs?” I just asked my husband.

“No,” he said. “But I didn’t really check.”

River is almost 11 months old and I still worry he could suddenly expire. Especially at times like this, when he sleeps an unusually long time.

I had trouble getting him to take a nap today, though he was evidently tired. After 1.3 bottles and breastfeeding and 45 minutes of play time in between attempts, I finally got him down and he slept a whole three hours. Later in the afternoon, it was again clear he was tired. He has a new sign in which he puts his head face down upon his arms on the floor and cries. This attempt only took one bottle and no extra steps and he’s now been asleep over four hours. It’s 8:50 p.m., or 9:50 p.m. pre-daylight savings time. That means, if I wanted to go the whole evening without breastfeeding and if we wanted to risk what we’d find in his pants should we wait until morning, he would probably sleep through the night. That, or wake up at 2 a.m. or so for dinner.

I wonder if the time change has an effect. I always notice the time change (hating the dark, as I do now and loving the light in the spring as though a veil has been lifted from my eyes). But I’m learning that it’s a whole different thing for kids, who operate on internal clocks that don’t necessarily correlate, at least right away, to the time everyone else says it is.

Or maybe it’s teething. River’s been handling the teething pretty well. No major incidents other than some occasionally fussiness that we treated with a little Tylenol. But this morning, when he was lying across my lap, I thought I saw something white in the top gums. I pulled back his lip and saw four, yes FOUR, teeth halfway in. How can he have all four top center teeth come in at once? And how did they get so far with no one noticing them? I feel bad now, both for him getting that far without us noticing or sympathizing with him. And for the fact that he’s going to look a bit funny with four upper teeth and two lowers.

In any case, he’s asleep and I should just relax and enjoy the evening. Instead, I worry whether or not he’s still breathing, even though I knew there is little basis in my fears. I worry what kind of shitbomb can explode in 15 hours. I worry about the fact that breastfeeding is slowly and surely tapering off as River seems to be losing patience for it in favor of examining his world and pointing at it with index fingers extended from both fists. Missing a feeding tonight will only hasten that process. So, I will enjoy the quiet for now. But before I go to bed, I’ll probably awaken him for a diaper change, a feeding and an assurance for me that he’s OK. Hoping that afterwards, he’ll return to sleep.

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