Tuesday night is rehearsal night, which means I'm on my own for the evening rush. In general it goes much better than it did three months ago, which is to say that Tuesday evenings no longer end in tears and hopelessness for me. Always a plus. My plan was to bathe, feed, and rock Silas while Asher finished dinner and played. By the time Silas was clean and dressed, he was tired and hungry. I put him in his seat, infant cereal in hand, before I glanced at Asher, and noticed his face was streaked with red. Strange - he had nothing red for dinner. I put the cereal down (to the baby's dismay) to investigate. Welts were forming everywhere applesauce had touched Asher's face, hands, and stomach. Do you know how many times he's had applesauce? I really couldn't even guess. At least twice a week since he was six months old, and that's a conservative estimate. But tonight, for whatever reason, it caused an allergic reaction.
When I was pregnant, I used to worry about things like, which baby do you get out of the car first? What if they are both crying? How do you decide who to tend to first? I didn't realize safety is always the deciding factor. Safety always trumps tears. A hungry baby, no matter how desperate he may sound, is safer than a swelling toddler. I threw Asher in the bathtub and scrubbed off the applesauce. No wheezing, no cough. No swelling lips or tongue. Okay, he's probably fine. But how much Benadryl do I give him, again? And why in the world didn't I write that down the last time the doctor told me?
Georgia's Mom and I have been known to use a Lifeline and phone a friend when frustration (or panic, or sleep deprivation) has parted ways with logic. It was she who told me to give him less Benadryl first, and if it didn't work, give a little more. Yes. Good plan. The lesser amount worked, and soon enough his face began to look normal again.
By now Silas was MAD. The window of opportunity for cereal was gone, so I rocked him while he ate his bottle. Asher, meanwhile, was feeling the combined effects of too little sleep and Benadryl. While it would cause me to fall asleep on the spot, it caused Asher to make every effort to climb the walls. Every time his brother would start to doze off, he would throw his blocks. Or try to climb the armoire. Or throw a Christmas gift. By the time Silas finished his bottle, his brother was out of control. I had to put Silas to bed awake (which he is not used to doing) in order to take care of Asher. Brushed, West Wing-ed, and tucked in, Asher finally quieted. Finally.
Silas was not asleep, but not fully awake. On the cry-it-out spectrum, I am a moderate conservative. I'm not afraid of a few tears, but I have never had any success (emotionally or otherwise) with a baby crying himself to sleep. So I stood beside Silas's bed, resting my head on the rails and patting his back until he, too, was quiet. Finally.
Not my best night, not my worst, but at least it was done. I stepped over the carrots and blocks in the living room floor to sit down and ... heard Silas crying. It's probably because he's so tired, I thought. He'll go back to sleep. But he instead he got louder, until I went to check on him.
He was stuck.
Seriously stuck. He was in one of those positions they illustrate with dolls on tv to warn of the possibility of death to a baby, stuck. His shoulder was wedged between the mattress and the rails, and he was breathing into the bumper pad. Stuck. And crying. As soon as I picked him, he took one deep, shuddering breath, and fell completely asleep on my shoulder. He was snoring before I ever left his room, but I rocked him anyway, because I needed to. I needed to hear him breathe for a little while. I needed to breathe with him.
Now everyone is quiet. Two near misses, one frantic phone call, and one dose of Benadryl later. And I just thought I was tired this afternoon.