Posts tagged ‘Changes’

November 11, 2011

Daylight Savings Time Is My New Nemesis

To be fair, I didn’t have a nemesis before. But I certainly do now.

Monday of this week (the week after “falling back” an hour, due to daylight savings time), I put Jacob down for a nap at about 4:15. He chattered in his crib for a while and finally fell asleep at five o’clock. From what I know about his sleep cycles, I expected him to wake up at about 5:40 for dinner.

Six o’clock rolled around, and nothing, not a peep from him. Okay, I figured, this is going to be a longer nap—an hour and twenty minutes rather than forty minutes.

By quarter to seven, I still hadn’t heard anything from the little guy. I got hungry, and had dinner as quietly as possible. It was weird that he was still sleeping—and I was already starting to dread the five a.m. wake-up I saw on the other side of this thing—but there was no way I was going to wake up a peacefully sleeping baby. At eight o’clock, still nothing. At this point, I was reflecting on how lucky it was that I’d changed him into some comfier pants before his “nap” started. At least he wasn’t spending the whole night in jeans. How teenager-y of him that would have been! But he already eats like a thirteen-year-old, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

Finally at nine o’clock, I heard him cry and went in to see him. John was working late, and neither Jacob nor I really knew what to do. Should he have dinner? Should I just put him back down?  I gave him some water, and rocked him for the duration of one rosary. I put him back down and after a short cry, he seemed to go back to sleep. At ten o’clock, he woke up again. This time I went in with a snack and water, and for the first time ever, really, he sat on my lap, cradled in my arms like you’d expect a baby to be, and we snuggled. It was peaceful and warm, and I would have stayed there longer if I wasn’t worried about the next morning.

Unfortunately, my concern was well-grounded. All week since, naps and nighttime sleep have been kind of wonky. Which means I’ve felt kind of wonky. I delayed this post until Friday, hoping to have some kind of conclusion about how long it takes a baby to adjust to DST. More than a week if the mama remains unwilling to consent to six a.m. wake-ups. I guess I need to revisit the letter I wrote Jacob last March. His memory isn’t all there yet, so I suppose I can’t blame him for forgetting.

But then again, this is life with a baby—just when you think you have a schedule established, something changes that keeps you from showering for longer than you’d like to admit. Thank goodness for husbands who stick around a little longer in the mornings to help make sense of the day. Let’s hope there’s a better resolution to this before spring!

June 1, 2011

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

When I was pregnant, a wise co-worker and fellow mom told me that during the first few months after the Peanut was born, I would feel like I was in a tunnel—a place where there was only baby on the brain all the time, when I wasn’t really sure who I was anymore because of the dramatic change in my life (and the sleep-deprivation, of course).  I saw her a few months ago and told her I had emerged from the tunnel, but now I don’t think I really did.  I recognize that parenting is never stagnant, things are always changing, but then I still felt like I was floundering at times.

 

Now eight months in, I feel like I have a better hold on things, and I think I am finally seeing the light for real.  I’ve nursed and changed diapers in restaurants, at church, on buses, in subway stations and in a subway car itself.  I know how to pack for trips of various lengths and I’m not afraid to take day trips or even travel across the country.  I can play with Jacob and still get things done both around the apartment and for work.  I am excited to start each day and content when I reflect back each evening.

 

This is not to say that things go perfectly every day—or any day, for that matter.  When I make plans, I know I need to be ready to change them the next instant, depending on naps, nursing, or weather.  I still struggle to keep my priorities straight and tackle the tougher things on my plate instead of surfing the web or vegging out in front of Hulu. I know I can’t do everything at once, but I feel more confident that I can do anything if I try.

 

I write this today for new moms, expectant moms, and for myself for when, God willing, the next Peanut comes along.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

 

When I was pregnant and after I gave birth, I was nearly convinced that all the things that were supposed to happen with new moms would not happen to me.  I had no problem believing these things occurred for almost every other mom on the planet, but I knew I would be the exception.  For example:

 

  • I would not be able to figure out how to change a baby in public, especially when there wasn’t a changing table in the bathroom.

 

  • I would not be able to nurse my baby in public, nor would I be able to discreetly nurse without essentially undressing and redressing myself.

 

  • The above two points proved that I would never be able to go out in the world for more than forty-five minutes at a time, for fear I would not be in the comfort of my home when a feeding, changing, or napping need arose.

 

  • I would never be able to wear my pre-pregnancy clothes again, which meant I had a closet full of clothes I couldn’t wear and would need to rebuild a wardrobe from the ground up—for a body I wasn’t comfortable in.

 

  • I would not be able to decipher my baby’s cries.  (I’ve learned that maternal instinct is not necessarily “instinctive”, per se.  I may not have figured Jacob out right off the bat, but I have come to know him very well, and now I trust my gut when it comes to his needs and wants.  That’s what it should be called:  “maternal gut.”)

 

  • I would not be able to keep the baby happy, the house clean, us well-fed, and continue the work I love as a writer and editor.

 

By the grace of God, every single one of these fears has been quashed.  I know I am not perfect, but I know that I am doing the best job I can.  I know that I was given to Jacob and Jacob to me by some greater plan than my own, and I trust that that is the right thing for both of us.  Despite my doubts, despite my fears, I know that I am exactly where—and who—I am supposed to be.  I only hope I can come to that more quickly the next time around!

May 13, 2011

Breaking Free

The other day, Jacob and I went to the park.  I spread out a blanket (that my college roommates might recognize from its first life as a couch slipcover) on the now voluminous grass, and plopped the little man down next to me.  With a few toys, of course.

We hung out for a while, shaking toys, smiling, doing like we do.  After a little while, Jacob decided he needed a little more freedom.  There’s big world out there, and he wanted to see what the rest of Brooklyn had to offer.

There was plenty of room around us so I let him wander for a while, but eventually I had to bring him back to home base.  If I’d let him, I think he would have crawled across the whole park!

Every day I learn more about Jacob.  First I saw how relaxed and easygoing he is.  Then he started to smile and I saw how incredibly joyful he is.  Now that he’s crawling, I am seeing his completely uninhibited (is that a double negative? should it just be “hibited”?) curiosity come into bloom.

Maybe I’ve been spending too much time in the botanical gardens, but it seems to me that watching a baby grow up is like watching the petals of a flower gradually curl out from bud into blossom.  Except better.

In fact, it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

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