The Henry Problem

As you may remember, I’ve been having some trouble with Henry and his sleep patterns, or lack thereof.  So how about a little relevant story?

Last week, I wanted to try some beer in a soup.  You see, it was Ash Wednesday, and I couldn’t use meat broth in my soup, and I had this idea that the rich flavor of a dark beer (which is practically bread) might add some depth and interest to the soup that is lacking when there is no meat broth.  I asked my husband about dark beers, and he made some suggestions which did not actually pan out, but while we were wandering around in the specialty beer department, he pointed to a six-pack of “Not Your Mom’s Root Beer” beer.  “That stuff is really good,” he said.  “It goes down so smooth, and you don’t even know it’s a beer.”  He decided to try the Apple Pie variety.  But not on Wednesday, of course.  It was a fasting day.  We saved it for Thursday.

He was gone on Thursday, but I was curious about it, so I opened a bottle.

Here, I must pause to tell you that I don’t usually imbibe.  It’s not that I have anything against it; it’s just that I never got in the habit and I have no tolerance for alcohol.  Just a few sips makes me feel kind of flushed and fuzzy.

So on Thursday, I only drank a third of a bottle while I cooked dinner.  Later, Henry nursed, of course, as babies will do.  We went about our evening routines, and then he nursed again around 7:30 and went to bed for the night.  He slept like a log.

On Friday, I drank another third of the same bottle and disposed of the rest by offering a taste to various children.  (They’re Catholic.  They sip wine all the time.)  With so many children, it was gone quickly, and I figured I could move on with my life.  Henry continued with his usual nursing routine, which involves a snack either before or after dinner, our bath-chore-story routine, another nursing and bed.  Again, he slept great.

On Saturday, I tried some wine.  Just a little.  Maybe 4oz, but probably less.  It was another wonderfully restful night.

On Sunday, he knocked over my cup (a little, no-handle tea cup that I like) and he spilled the wine.  I was too lazy to go get more.  Henry was cranky all evening (which is when I noticed he hadn’t been lately) and he was up several times during the night, crying and restless.

We went out on Monday and got home late, but I made it a point to have an adult beverage, even though it was past our usual time.  Henry was cheerful all evening, fell asleep easily when the time came, and slept well.

The moral of the story? Henry is a lush!

Actually, I have no idea why this is having any effect on him at all.  My research suggests that very little alcohol gets into the milk, and that it leaves the milk as quickly as it leaves the blood stream.  (I don’t actually know how quickly that is.)  But it is, undeniably, having a positive effect.  Henry is happier in the evenings than I’ve ever seen him, he sleeps well (though not all night), and he even put himself back to sleep one night without my help.

It’s not harmful for him, it’s not hard for me, it’s not expensive or time-consuming to maintain, we don’t need a prescription, and we’re both happy and well-rested.

I wasn’t expecting it, but I’m not going to knock it!

PS: The Apple Pie beer tastes more like apple wine, so if you think you’d like that, well, you probably will.  David does not care for this flavor, though.  More for me and Henry!

4 Comment

  1. I love this story! So glad you seem to have found a solution! No sleep for mama is a big problem, I think!

  2. It is. It’s so hard to be graceful and patient and loving when you aren’t getting anywhere near enough sleep. 🙂

  3. Maybe don’t mention it to the doctor, but hey, it’s all-natural! Like my husband says when he occasionally has a small glass of whiskey before bed “for medicinal purposes!” Back in the day, they put whiskey or brandy right on babies’ gum for teething!

    1. I know it! But we get so squeamish as time goes on.

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