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Archive for the ‘Sleep’ Category

WOODLAND HILLS, CA – At approximately 11:35 AM this morning, four-month-old Nathan [last name withheld] abandoned his dream of staying awake for the rest of his life. Although the young man had been awake since 4:00 AM and still somehow resisted the urge to take his usual morning nap, he was finally tricked to sleep when his father, Scott [last name withheld], purposely overfed him.

“Jesus,” Nathan’s father told the paper. “I thought I was going to have to get the Benedryl.”

As of publication time, the young man was still konked and could not be reached for comment. Who’s a tough guy now?

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Over at PopMatters, Timothy Gabriele explores the similarities between ambient music and what babies hear in the womb. Of particular interest are his thoughts on the auditory development of his 6-month-old daughter:

. . . parents and caregivers responsible for the sound development of the infant have a big responsibility, even if they don’t know they’re taking on this task. The human’s first audio memories are stored in the limbic system, responsible for generating emotional responses, located adjacent to the auditory cortex in the temporal lobe. Any remembered sound therefore should automatically trigger an emotional response, however small, meaning that the parent’s provided sonic environment also has an impact on emotional development in the child (it’s thought that this is why music from adolescence, when emotion is at its most vibrant, generally triggers the strongest emotional response from its listeners).

I played Nate most of the songs referenced in Gabriele’s article and here are his two favorites:

The second one (Arp’s Pastoral Symphony) especially amazes him. When the bass kicks in around the 25 second mark, Nate’s eyes get real big, like something incredible is about to happen, and he studies my face for what that something might be. It would not be an exaggeration to say that music is becoming my version of breastfeeding. When Nate’s fussy or wants a change of pace, I usually pick up the ukulele or the guitar or the keyboard or some random percussive instrument (he’s got shakers, tambourines, bongos, etc.) and play Nate a tune. It’s like giving him Prozac in the key of C.

To the outside observer, it may appear that I am pulling an Earl Woods and that I desperately want my son to grow up to be a musician.

Could be. But I’ll settle for him just growing up to feel.

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Truth be told, we had sort of a rough weekend. Remember those 8 hours of sleep I was getting? Now it’s more like 5. And they’re broken up into oh-so-refreshing 1 ½ hour stints.

Like his Daddy, little man Nate seems to be a night owl. He won’t konk out until around 2 AM. Starting at around, say, 9-ish, we trot out the usual suspects: rocking him, putting him in his swing, singing him lullabies, playing guitar for him, the 5 S’s, the 6 T’s, the 7 F’s, the 8 U’s, feeding him, checking his diaper, burping him, changing his outfit, standing on our heads making funny faces, etc., but he consumes these activities as if they were entertainment, not sedatives.

And I don’t know who’s in more pain when he’s screaming: me or him. Last night I was reminded of those charts they have in emergency rooms. You know, the Wong-Baker pain scales with the faces . . .

. . . well, here’s my slightly altered version, niche marketed for the first-time parent crowd. Now, in the comfort of your own home, you can trace your own parenting progression. Have fun:

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Technically, I got 8 hours of sleep last night. You can check my math:

9 pm – 11 pm = 2
12:30 am – 2:30 am = 2
4:00 am – 6:00 am = 2
8:30 am – 10:30 am = 2

2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 8, right? So why do I feel like one of the ten million zombies I’ve decapitated in Left 4 Dead? And, oh by the way, you know how in those games there’s always some complicated backstory about how the undead apocalypse came about? Like, say, a witch doctor started it? Or a mad scientist tried to re-animate a corpse? Or a virus wiped out humanity?

Well, how about they’re all first-time parents?

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