Last night, my son was having a rough go of things. He refused to sleep and it was getting later and later. Part of the problem is that we are in a different place from home, and his routine has been thrown off. His bedtime is generally 7:30pm-ish in New York, but due to the time difference and amount of exciting activity present here, my child refuses to sleep.
Not only does he refuse to sleep, but he also will not leave my side. For pete’s sake he won’t even allow me to use the bathroom. Each time I leave the room he wails: “Mama!” Can you say “separation anxiety?”
Yesterday evening was no exception. He was wailing and saying “Mama!” Every time I got up to leave him even for a mere moment. So I walked into the living room and exclaimed to my extended family:
“Can somebody please help me because I am going to kill myself!”
I am going to pause the story here to clarify some cultural details. I was raised in a reformed Jewish household. I believe the Jewish culture to be inherently dramatic. I can personally attest to this dramatic behavior and have seen it in my household as well as the households of my fellow Jews.
I feel a sense of dramatic comradery when I enter a Filipino household. My boyfriend’s family understands my dramatic nature because, just like the Jews, the Filipinos also are delightfully full of drama. So in other words I need not worry about saying outrageous things in front of them because they are just as wacky as I am.
Back to the story:
So my son is screaming and not sleeping, I am loosing my mind and I beg my Filipino relatives for help. One of the other wonderful things about the Filipino culture is that this culture loves children, and they somehow always know what to do in a moment of baby crisis.
My practically-mother-in-law and aunt-in-law scooped up my son, put on his pants, jacket and shoes, buckled him into his car seat and drove around for an hour until he fell asleep. They returned with a sleeping toddler, placed him in his crib and quietly shut the bedroom door.
I must have thanked them for hours afterward. G-d bless the Filipinas!