Why having a baby means having a 5pm curfew

It seems like our boy has given us a 5pm curfew. My sister invited us to her house for an early dinner — 5pm. All was smooth sailing in the beginning: the drive was peaceful, I fed him once we got there, and he had his 1 to 1.5 hours of smiling, boisterous awake time.

Then he started yawning.

I was able to rock him to sleep in my arms, but whenever someone would talk, or open a cupboard, or otherwise make a normal noise, he would startle and open his eyes. When it seemed like his eyes had been closed for a while, I tried setting him down on the couch, and he instantly woke up. He didn’t cry, and for a while there, we were patting his back, hoping he would put himself to sleep as he sometimes does in his crib.

But no, he stayed awake, even after his dad rocked him in a dark room. There were just too many startling noises to keep him asleep. So we went home. And it wasn’t fun: he cried the WHOLE way home (a whopping 17 mile drive) and by the time we picked him up from his car seat, he was drenched in sweat from crying.

It feels lonesome or pointless to go to a social gathering and be stuck alone either breastfeeding him (me) or rocking him to sleep (me or his dad). I can’t even imagine taking him anywhere that’s not someone’s house, like a restaurant. I think for now it’s probably best that he stays at home, or we limit our events to during the day. At least he won’t be as cranky as he would be late in the evening — you know, any time after 5pm.

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