Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Baby Jet-Lag

Before I forget the horrible-ness that was baby jet-lag, I want to write it down!  Our girls aren’t really babies, but I of course will always think of them as my babies, so that’s why I’m titling it that for now.  Andy flew in with the girls on a Thursday and by Tuesday all was right with their time again, but it was a really long 5 days for us all.  We found some really helpful hints on this blog about what to do, and I’m going to explain how we got through it our way.  These are the things that helped us get through. 
During the daylight hours we tried to make sure the girls (ages 1 & 3) got as much fresh air, sunlight, and exercise as possible. 

That first day was a bit hectic getting from the airport to the place to pick up the key to the temporary apartment where we were going to be staying for 2 weeks.  That was of course after we had to wander the entire Tegel airport looking for the place to report Mayzie’s lost luggage and give them our address (that I didn’t know at the time) for where they could bring us the bag when it finally did arrive here in Berlin.  They had arrived in Berlin at 8am, and by the time we got into the apartment with all of our things, it was already noon.  We scrambled up some take-out lunch, everyone took a 2 hour nap, and then we set out to find a playground for the girls and coffee for their parents.  Yes, though I was already well established on German time, I still like to have my afternoon coffee to keep a little pep in my step.  After an afternoon of play and grocery shopping, we put the girls to bed at their usual time that evening with little objection. 

That first night, and the next 4 nights in general were a blur for me.  Andy was pretty well passed out for the night, and was in no jet-lagged mood to try to help me with the girls.  He HAD just come from being essentially a single-dad staying at his parents’ house for 2 weeks, so I wanted to give him as much slack and help as possible.  Did I mention that I was NOT jet-lagged?  The girls both woke up around 11pm, and were ravenous.  I fed them some snacks and then thought they would just go back to sleep with full bellies.  Little did I know, the insane jet-lagged baby syndrome had set in at that point, and my babies were wide awake and ready to play for the next 5 hours! 

The first night I fought it trying to get them both to lay back down, rocking them to get them to sleep, and singing lullabies until I wondered if I really could buy them some mockingbirds to get them to just lay down and go back to sleep. I admit that my sleepy brain is not always the nicest or most rational mommy in the world!  The girls were also in our bed and climbing on top of their poor poor father who just wanted to finally be able to sleep without a toddler on top or next to him for once in several weeks. 

The next night I was prepared.  I had snacks all ready for them to just pull out and I was armed with some kid movies already ready to just hit play on the laptop.  I let them crawl on me while eating their snacks and watching Curious George cause all types of mischief while their dad finally got to catch up on some much needed sleep (not only because of the jet-lag).

The night time snack/play/movie escapades got shorter over the next few days, until finally we had weaned them off of them completely.  5 days later, we were finally back all on the same time!  This was NOT easy at all, and most assuredly not for the violently grumpy, such as my step-dad who will take a swing at you if you wake him from a deep sleep in a completely involuntary way.  This is also probably not the best way to accomplish getting the kids over the jet-lag, but this was what I could live with at the time in my non-jet-lagged state of sleepiness.  I can’t imagine how horrible that would have been if we only were coming for a short 1 week vacation!  Best of all: We don’t have to deal with this again until next year when we fly home.  L 


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