Friday, January 14, 2005

Sleepless in southern Maine

Thank gawd it's Friday, that's all I have to say. We're getting a little preview of what life with a newborn might be like this week. Starting Monday night, Jelly has decided that at 3:30 or 4:30, she should get up, pace around the bedroom and bark. Her goal seems to be getting picked up to sleep on our bed; we discovered this Monday night, when in desperation after an hour of barking we put her on the bed to see if it would calm her down. She circled once or twice, then immediately lay down and drifted off to sleep.

Of course, we don't want to train her that the way to get on the bed is to pace and whine and bark in the middle of the night. Tuesday night was the worst: She barked and barked and barked, and even after she wore herself out, neither Darren nor I really went back to sleep. Wednesday night we made use of some advice S. (of the chicken party) had given us: We brought a spray bottle up to the bedroom with us and squirted her every time she barked. Lemme tell you, that's a fun game at 5 a.m. But she did seem to get the picture - she definitely did not like the water in the face.

Last night initially seemed like it was going to be a little better. She woke us at 3:30, and the first round of pacing (with no barking!) didn't seem so bad, just toenails clicking on the floor. She lay down for a while, then got back up, more panicked then ever. She paced and (a new addition) panted, woofed a few times, paced and panted some more. I thought I was going to go insane. She faked us out a few more times - curled up on her bed, only to hop off and pace again, sounding very agitated. I finally decided, as it approached 5:00, that the next time she quieted down I'd bring her to the bed. Which I did, and which immediately satisfied her.

Darren had to get up at 6:15 to be at work by 7. He sounded rather grim. I turned off my alarm and decided to get up whenever I awakened. Which, of course, I did at 7:15, when Jelly started roaming around the bed. Right now she is curled up on the bed next to the computer, snoring away contentedly, and I am perusing the Internets for recipes for shih tzu sausage.

I am at wit's end about what to do. We've got to get some sleep, and we're thinking that tonight we may just put her on the bed from the beginning, so as to avoid the dead-of-night freakout. I feel like this may just be some settling-in behavior, that she's testing us to see what the boundaries are. (I am pretty sure we're failing.) Another theory is that she's chilly, so today I'm going to stop at the swanky pet store and investigate the purchase of a sweater, which is absurd, but if it helps me sleep at night? I'm all for it. Any other ideas? I'd love to hear 'em.

Updated to add: Perhaps the most inconvenient thing about this whole affair is that being awake at this time of night totally throws off the accuracy of my daily temperature taking, at a rather inconvenient (and theoretically important) time of month. We've been joking that neither of the dogs is at all interested in us having a baby. So perhaps Jelly's motives are more sinister than we first thought!