Daddy Radar

For the past two weeks, Jacob’s sleep schedule has been . . . trying. He’s been getting up earlier and taking shorter naps. Less sleep for Jacob means less sleep for Mommy, and that, my friends, is not a pretty thing.


Unable to accept that this “phase” could be a new shift in our reality, I tried to figure out what in the world could make our little boy yell, “Ma! . . . Mama!” hours before the sun rose, without any intention of falling back asleep.


Being a mother has turned me into a detective, and I quickly identified two possible culprits: the first, Jacob’s incisors, all of which are coming in, one of which has partially burst; the second, John’s late work schedule and weekend trip to Chicago and Indiana.


My evidence for the first was that Jacob had had his hand in his mouth much more often than usual. Sometimes he’d pull it out and the skin would be red from munching. A dose of Tylenol in an attempt to elongate a nap proved unsuccessful. Plus, his cries never sounded like ones of pain. This hypothesis proved nothing but inconclusive, so I moved on to suspect number two.


The pinnacle (or nadir, depending on how you’re looking at it) of Jacob’s sleep troubles came one Wednesday when he napped for exactly one hour. One hour. That is not enough. A nap is normally eighty minutes, sometimes two hours. One hour was simply unacceptable, but once the little man wakes up, there are no second chances.



Luckily, this was the day that John was coming home extra early so I could go to a book signing (remember the allergy book? The author invited me to her Brooklyn paperback release signing in the comments!). I realized that day that Jacob was probably getting up so early because he wanted to see John before he went to work. Once he hears John moving in the morning, as quiet as he is, Jacob begs to see him.


By New York finance standards, John doesn’t work crazy hours. But his schedule also doesn’t coincide with that of our toddler as often as we’d like.


As the week went on, Jacob talked about Daddy more and more during the day. He’d point out the window where he sees Daddy come home. He’d say his name in the middle of the day.


Eventually, I considered my second hypothesis proven. Jacob slept a little later the morning after John spent the evening alone with him. While it breaks my heart that he misses him so much, I also can’t blame him. John is one heck of a daddy, and it’s no wonder that Jacob’s developed a very sensitive Daddy radar to be with him every chance he gets.


It would still be nice if he’d wait until six-thirty, though.

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