Here’s why I love my husband so much. During this experiment in child weaning and parental torture, he’s the one getting up at all hours to soothe the miserable baby. And yet, at the crack of dawn when Aidan wakes for real, he still insists on getting up with him so I can sleep in. He doesn’t do it so that I can get more sleep. He does it so he can have that nice morning play and bonding time with boo. And that’s nice, too.
We’re six nights in and it’s going okay. After the tormented first night, the crying decreased dramatically. The second night, I got up to go to the bathroom when Harlan went into his room at 2:14. When I came back, it was 2:17 and all was silent. He generally still wakes twice a night, but for the last two nights it was only once in the night and then at 5am—and he wouldn’t go back to sleep. So, that’s actually, uh, what’s the opposite of improvement? Crap? For me, it was going along great—barely waking up as Harlan went in to soothe, an extra nap in the morning as Harlan took him upfront for breakfast and quality father-son time—but now I’m bleary-eyed all over again. He wakes up at 5, Harlan soothes him, he quiets for a minute and then cries continuously until I go in and nurse him. I’ve been trying to wait until 6, since that’s when he traditionally wakes up, but my fear is that 5:00 is his new wake-up time. I think he’s hungry. So, we haven’t attained the mythical Sleeping Through the Night and cries pierce our sleep a good hour before we’re used to, but at least he’s only getting up once a night—briefly—and he doesn’t expect milk. So I guess that’s progress?
The bad news (besides getting up at 5am) is I still have no life. Harlan shot Mad Men this week and Lindsay only came one day and I’ve been so tired, I try to nap when boo does, so between that and starting to pack and the chaos of swimming lessons and minimal help with boo before Harlan’s return, basically I haven’t sat down to write in so long I barely remember what it feels like. I’m doing it now, I suppose, but it feels foreign and uninspired. I keep deleting old text messages between paragraphs.
And yet I keep thinking there are things I should write about.
I should write about my lack of a life and the way writing feeds me and I feel depleted without it and right now despite my beautiful son, I feel like an empty vessel with nothing of my own that is about to move to a brand new town and I’m scared shitless that I am empty and boring and have nothing to offer, so how the hell will I make friends and fill myself up?
I should write about the new fears that have entered my life, like when Aidan choked on a hot chunk of turkey chili the other day and I held him in my arms, terrified and fragile, and my eyes filled with tears as I realized how vulnerable he is to everything and how it’s my job to keep him safe and and how vulnerable I am now that I have a child that I love more than my own life, and here he is at an age when he falls down and bumps his head all the time because he is physically incapable of stopping himself from climbing everything, and when we go for walks he fixates on every passing car and I worry he’ll dart into the street and sometimes the whole world just seems designed as a threat to my sweet baby.
I should write about my frustration, as he becomes increasingly willful and throws temper tantrums and gets into everything and bites me—hard—every time he is tired or needy or mad at me, which seems to be all the time and sometimes I react with anger and grab him hard and hate that I give into that impulse and let him see anything but gentleness and understanding in me and hope I will never snap and pray I could never harm him.
I should write about the horrible, irrational thoughts that have begun to seize my brain again (or maybe they never let go?): that I will die in an accident and boo will be home crying, “mama, mama” into the void, or that a driver, texting or chatting or fiddling with the radio, will not see us and barrel into my baby on our street, or that a burglar will break into our house and be startled at boo standing staring at him from his crib, his big eyes so innocent, he shoots.
I should write about how sometimes, like when I’m laying in bed thinking about, say, the fact that we’re going to Boston two weeks before Harlan’s job begins and wondering what in hell I will do with that expanse of days, the unimaginable reality of this move weighs upon me like a naked, 400-pound woman sitting on me who’s asleep and won’t budge even as I squirm and shout and beg her to remove her folds of flesh from mine.
All of those things deserve blog entries of their own, but God knows when I’ll have the chance to sit down and write again, so I guess that should do it.
Here are some recent photos of the little guy I love with as much intensity as ever, even though he exasperates me.