Nights and Days

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E. is sleeping through the night. I didn’t want to call it out too soon, but we are two weeks deep into near-consistent 7PM until 7AM baby snore action. I am committed to celebrating the good stuff and this is really, really lovely stuff. Especially because E. started out her life waking up about every 15 minutes. I’m serious. For months, our nights were literally terrifying. Guantanamo Bay torture tactics, but with more snuggling and a lot softer linens.

In other news, E. broke 14 pounds today. We’d been hovering right around there and today she’s over a baker’s dozen. It’s not world peace or anything, but maybe we will avoid the feeding tube after all.

And because parenting is basically a highly meaningful game of Whack-A-Mole- thankfully, in our house, without the actual whacking, A.’s sleep has hit rock bottom. Cedar was out and he’s doing this new thing where he screams at bedtime which wakes his sister so then she screams and then he screams because I’m tending to her and then, a new twist: he started crying so hard that he throws up. So I was trying to keep him from going all Ozzy Osbourne and I told him I would stay in his room until he fell asleep. Three hours later, it becomes all too clear that this was a mistake. It was one of those moments where you find yourself doing what you said you would Absolutely Never Do before you became a parent. I was trying not to move or breathe too loud. It’s all so humbling.

There are times when I feel trapped. Because of E.’s feeding issues and need for a quiet, private eating space we basically need a 1;1 ratio of adults to children in our house at all times. This generally comes down to four people and looks just like this: Cedar and I caring for A. and E.

I love love love little E. and more than loving her I actually really like her. I like her giddy, easy smile, when she curls up and falls asleep on my chest with her binky smacking against her mouth, how she cups my face in her hands when we’ve been away from each other for a while. And A. is remarkable with his near-photographic memory. Joy pours out of him as easy as breathing.  The kid can really have a conversation, about G-d, about cars (don’t get him started about cars), even about his feelings.

I love these kids in a mind-blowing way like I’m on some sort of drug (probably oxytocin) and yet, of course, I need my own thing, too. I want to go out dancing like I used to do with Molly and Vanny, wearing some shiny little outfit that took me 30 minutes to put together. I want to be a regular volunteer somewhere where I am not known as someone’s mom. Somewhere that helps people outside of our little family. I want sit around on a Sunday eating a frittata, reading the New York Times uninterrupted, all the way through while listening to Dave Brubeck. I want to write at the same time every day because that’s the time that I like, not because that’s when someones napping or I’m staying up after bedtime even though my thoughts are all swirled around like a thin, melted milkshake by that hour.

I know about being grateful. How much it matters, how it can change your brain and other weird and amazing science-y things like that. And I am. And yet, since having this baby, if I’m honest with you, half the time I’m grateful and the other half of the time I’m thinking about how I’d like it to be easier.

 

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