It's a bit crazy making for a control freak like me, to have a baby that is so defiantly opposed to routine and scheduling!
This morning we are having a rare, dare-I-say-it successful nap, and I have a moment to fold laundry, hop on the computer, breathe. Many days he won't nap unless he's in my arms, and then he doesn't nap very well. Yesterday was one of those days, lots of piecemeal naps that added up to shoddy rest and a very cranky little guy.
And why, why, why are new parents so obsessed with sleep? I swear, I feel like an opium junkie, chasing the dragon of a few precious hours of uninterrupted sleep. My planning for the day and night seriously revolves around whether or not I may get some sleep in there. I would go to bed every night at 7 if I could, but that would likely mean I haven't eaten or showered or responded to emails or gone to the bathroom or folded laundry or done dishes...and two nights each week I work until 9. Those nights are so hard, I can barely keep my eyes open but still don't get into bed until close to 11. Oof.
Speaking of 11. E responded to an email link I apparently had sent him, of some dandelion wall stencils that apparently I loved. He claims we even had a conversation about them. I have absolutely NO RECOLLECTION of sending him the link. Of ever seeing the stencils. But there is an email, sent by me, with the link, and a time stamp of 11:30 pm on a Wednesday night. No. Recollection. Whatsoever. Sleep deprivation is a bitch, yo, and I can only wonder what else I've been sending in the wee hours of the night/morning. Yikes.
Owen continues to amaze and delight us with his smiles and giggles - he is a charmer, that's for certain. When he's in a good mood, there is nothing to stop him from bringing joy to everyone that crosses his path. Every day he surprises me with something new - a coo, a rollover, a grab for a toy, an easy transition to napping or bedtime...I love watching him grow and change - I cannot believe he's already been here with us for four months.
However, when he's upset, there is also nothing stopping him...it breaks my heart. He clearly has difficulty regulating and has little or no ability yet to self-soothe, it is agonizing to hear/watch him cry. Yesterday he just did not want to be in the car seat running errands with us, and he cried and cried and screamed and cried. He was fiercely tired, but couldn't get himself to sleep, it was agonizing and heartbreaking. He would doze off for a second or two then awake screaming again.
Last night I caught myself thinking that Otis wouldn't have been this challenging. Partly because I was more flexible to begin with back then, because I wouldn't have been held back by the fear and worry around doing any and everything, and also because I have it in my mind that he would have just been an easier baby. This line of thinking does NOTHING to serve any of us, and it makes me sad that I keep going there mentally. But Otis lives only in my idealized memories of what was going to be, not in the reality of bringing him home. So in that idealized memory, I am the mommy who can walk two dogs all by herself with a happy baby in the Ergo carrier while she drinks her latte (god I miss coffee and milk) and then leaves him with papa and a bottle while she goes to yoga class. (Ugh, that sounds a little obnoxious, actually...) And I will never know if that would have been my reality with Otis or not. My idealized memories persist, and I ache for them - because I miss Otis, because mothering Owen is so vastly different that what I expected - but it doesn't serve me to sit in the "what could have been."
Similarly, sitting in the "this isn't what I expected, this should be different" does nothing to serve me or Owen. I love him so incredibly completely with every cell and fiber in my body, and spending my time comparing my reality to what I thought it would be like or what I thought it should be like or even what other mamas are experiencing with their babes is detrimental on all fronts. It's so tough to not get caught in the comparisons, but in those moments when I find I've broken free from them is when I feel the most joy, the most comfort, the most satisfaction and peace in mothering this little guy. He is truly amazing, I can't say that enough.