Archive for April, 2007

Two New Barnovids

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007




Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

According to some of my friends, the last blog was damn near a cry for help. In a way, it’s fortunate that those who know me pretty closely know not to take this blog too terribly seriously, that if I was actually crying for help I’d probably, y’know, use the phone or something. On the other hand, I was actually a lot unhappier than the blog shows for the three or four days before the blog was written, so I do suffer from the Boy Who Cries Suck syndrome. While it’s nice to know that I’m not gonna send loved ones into a panic, it is a shame that I’m such a drama queen that I can’t cry out without a fair amount of private snickering.

I can tell you that the night after I wrote that blog, the baby went down at 8 something and at 3:15, I woke up Jordana in a panic, asking her is she’d fed him. She hadn’t, he had slept the entire time.

What had changed? You kinda have to keep asking yourself that question with a baby. When the right set of stimuli have produced the right outcome, you have in front of you only the outcome and it’s really difficult to go back through and try to figure out what bit of parenting is responsible for the successes.

(This is also true of any creative endeavor. When you’ve written a great song or produced a great play, you try to make sure the follow the same set of principles you followed that one good time, and even eliminate some stuff you think didn’t work. You almost always eliminate something that *did* work, and keep some of the crap that actually was working against you. Life is Frustrating.)

It’s taken me a couple of days, but I think I know what worked the other day to make it possible for Barnaby to sleep so well. Like all things, it was a combination.

When I wrote that last blog, I had enough emotional fortitude to look back on the days I had just had… but I hadn’t yet had a decent night’s sleep. I know that when we put Barnaby down that night, we were flush with confidence and a sense of well-being, and this had to rub off on Barnaby. Jordana and I laughed at stuff and joked about the upcoming disaster of a night and fell asleep talking in our bed.

Three things had happened.

One, we got on the same page in terms of sleep training. We’re gonna follow the Ferber method, which is not really, as you may have heard, about letting the baby cry it out. Yes, there is some crying. But, honestly, there’s already crying. Babies cry. I mean, everyone cries, the difference is, adults have the english language, qwerty keyboards and high speed internet to broadcast their bitchings, babies just cry.

Jordana read the book cover to cover and marked important passages for me to read, since I’m retarded and if I read the book cover to cover I would basically just get lost. I read the 11% of the book she marked up for me, then asked her questions about it that I would have known if I had actually absorbed the 11% of the book she marked for me, she explained and we got on the same page.

I should say, we’re not sleep training yet. We just put Barnaby down with the knowledge that in a month or so, we know what we’re both doing. People have said, “read the Ferber book and your baby will sleep so much better”. Well, we read it and he did. Weird.

The second thing is that Jordana and I have had two deadlines hanging over our heads. We wanted to get this writing gig, but to get it we had to work with the editors at the magazine and we had to work fast… but there was no template. We had to invent a whole hip and funny way of looking at a specific pop culture phenomenon, we had to do it on a deadline and all we could do was write something, send it in and wait for the editor to say, “This isn’t it yet” and try again.

Also, we wanted to enter a song in for possible use at the end of American Idol this season. We had the right ideas, we had the tunes and the lyrical constructs… but there are a lot of quarter notes to enter. Fortunately, I’m really goddam fast at Finale and I pumped out the song as fast as I could. Jordana wrote lyrics for it as fast as she could, and we were still re-writing the bastard at 6 o’clock at night the day the song was supposed to be submitted.

By the time we put Barnaby down that night, we had the writing gig and we had the song done and submitted. Neither of these things will change our lives, but both of them are work. There is something so debilitating about a lack of achievement, and something so exhilarating about *finishing a job*, that we were just so much more at peace when we put Barno down.

The third thing was simply that my mom was back. She went to LA and was expecting to be home by Sunday or Monday, and when that got pushed back into the week, I went into a decline. I know that other people raise children with less help than we have, I know I’m a weak-ass punk for needing the people in my life that I need… but my mom just evens everything out.

It isn’t just that she’s here to take the baby for half an hour when I need to take a shower. It’s that her being here, just talking to us about our day and making jokes and drinking in the baby, is so calming to us. When we put the baby down, we *know* that if he doesn’t sleep at all from 8 pm to 6 am, we can give him to my mom at 6 am and at least get two hours of sleep. We also know that she wants to watch Keith Olbermann with us and talk shit about Gonzalez, that she wants to watch American Idol and celebrate the funny looking girl with the great voice.

She’s just here to spread a little maternal butter on our scones of anxiety.

So, I think Barno read all of that. Plus, he’s a day older, and every day older he gets is one more day that he has his shit together even better.

This weekend… I don’t know if I can describe it. We went to the zoo with our friends Dan and Alia and their little girl Lyra. We had dinner with two couples that we adore more than anything. Then last night, we had about thirteen or fourteen friends over to our house because every other bar in Queens was full and we all sat in our back yard and drank beer and made bad jokes. Today, right now, Jordana sleeps next to me (I’m typing as quietly as I can) and Barnaby’s asleep in his room, and my mom is upstairs writing a cantata for seven bassoons or something.

I told my shrink that the days are starting to switch, that now, it feels like I’m looking at a 4 to 1 ratio of good to bad, and he told me I was really lucky. Most people don’t get that when they’re raising kids.

I don’t know, but I really, really feel lucky. I feel love and loved, and after the last few months, this is just such a good day.

Late to this

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Barnaby is BORING

Saturday, April 7th, 2007