Apparently, happily ever after doesn’t involve a whole lot of sleep.
It’s been several years since we took part in the dawn patrol. Like many difficult times (exam week, giving birth and potty training come to mind) the true feeling of the experience quickly fades. It becomes a collection of “me too” and “I remember when” anecdotes you can whip out at parties to impress people with your fortitude and earthy wisdom (or maybe that’s just me). There remains the vague sense that it was miserable and hard, but the sting has passed.
Then you find yourself there again… and Hokey Dinah, it sucks!
Between the hours of 2:00 and 5:00 am, our little man needs to be held. He is not screaming. He is not inconsolable. As long as he is safely snuggled in my arms, he is relatively content. But woe on all our heads if we try to put him down, or bring him to bed, or fall asleep on the couch, or attempt to lean in a non-nurturing-sneaking-a-nap way (they know, they always know).
So, I rock him and pat his back and walk around and rub his forehead and he rubs my face and holds my hand and pulls the glasses off my face and snuggles close and eventually nods off JUST as the sun peeks over the horizon and the question arises: go back to bed? or stick it out for the day?
So yesterday, Glen asks me, “do you really mean what you’ve written on your blog?” Because it seems that there’s a whole lot in there about the blissful experience of cuddling the new kid.
Sneaky Bum, when he puts it that way, it’s pretty much everything I’ve been begging for. And come to think of it, it IS kind of wonderful.
And somehow it was easier last night, because I remembered to enjoy it. And somewhere along the way I lost my expectation of sleep (unless it is Glen’s turn, of course). And I knew I would fit a nap in today, because the age-old “sleep when the baby sleeps” is a classic for a reason.
Of course, the relentless busyness, general aura of neediness in the home and all-around emotional upheaval of this MASSIVE life change probably has just as much to do with to the exhaustion as our little night owl. He’s waking up in a relatively new place with new people each night. Of course he needs some comfort. He’s been such a trooper so far. Of course we will give him the comfort he needs.
So here’s me: tired, so very, very tired. But very, very happy just the same. And totally stoked that I finally have something to contribute when the “my baby was so colicky he never slept” conversation crops up (because Mommyhood is 9 parts unconditional love and 1 part bragging/one-up-manship).