Precious Moments

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This picture is how I want to remember Lil G’s infancy. I look at this picture and already want to cry from nostalgia, and I’m still in the thick of sore nipples and sleepless nights and too many crying spells (me). This moment, though. This is precious.

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Just which 1,000 words for that picture?

A picture’s worth a thousand words, but do those words reflect the actual moment, the moment in my head, the moment right before or the moment right after?

The photo above is of a sleeping Potamus, on my chest, and might make the warm and fuzzy feeling go off. The words used might be: calm, quiet, sleep, rest, nap, love, maternal or something of the like. In fact, I’d ask…what words would YOU attribute to the picture above?

 

Because the thousand words that really describe the picture are:

Potamus was up at 5am because of that fucking daylight savings time off and probably growing or teething because damnit he still doesn’t have any teeth.

It’s the result of a long day of work for mama and play for baby, despite the plea by mama to grandma that “he really needs to nap well today, he’s been up at 5am.”

And that warning/plea went unheaded and sweet bouncing grandson sent home to collapse in an exhausted heap on mama’s chest for two hours at the time we eat dinner and thus mama is left with a baby up two or more hours past bedtime…alone. Though those are the words that will happen after this photo is taken.

The grumbly grumbly stream-of-consciousness in mama’s head as she sits with sleeping babe and fumes about Boof’s attendance at a local soccer match that will go well into the evening and the thought “why can’t he get his mom to get our kid to take a nap?”

The beer + animal crackers for dinner (for mama) and the goldfish crackers and yogurt for dinner for Potamus, because after waking from a dinnertime nap the whole world is turned upside down.

The thirty minutes of hare krishna/hare rama chanting to get Potamus to calm his crying down, only to have him wide awake full of bouncy energy until 9:15pm, and the feeling of bags growing exponentially under my already tired eyes.

The words would describe an exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep, least not from sleep full of fitful dreams of worry about students and the state of the world and weather I’ve caused complete world fucked-upness by my continual indulgence in dairy. Can I even say I’m sort of dairy free if I’ve been eating pizza and tortellini and pizza (did I mention pizza already) like it’s going out of style.

 

No. That picture doesn’t conjure up any of those words.

 

But, I think, when I shut my eyes for that briefest of brief moments, I did feel rest and love and maternal.

Montessori Floor Bed Update

Potamus has been sleeping in his floor bed for approximately two weeks. This means that mama monk-monk has been sleeping in Potamus’ floor bed for approximately 1.5 weeks. There are better nights than others, like two nights ago where he slept for 5 hours in a row there (but this was AFTER a 2 hour struggle of crying and moping around carrying his tambourine and banging it on the floor). Last night was rough, to say the least, with an almost 3 hour crying/whining jag from 3-5:45am. Sigh. Sometimes I end up sleeping next to him for blocks of time, and other times I’m able to creep away unnoticed and curl up in our luxurious king-size memory foam heaven. Because, lemme tell ya, a twin mattress from your parents’ old bunk bed, placed on hardwood floor, is…less than comfy.

But these moments, where he’s in dreamland by himself, or curled up next to me, seem SO worth it (the next day, because in the moment where he’s thrashing around crying, I do tend to want to pull my hair out).

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Sleeping Babies

Sigh. My sweet little baby is growing up so fast, and while I am nostalgic about it, I am also happy that I have been sticking to my beliefs about all things sleep related. Since Potamus was born we have done a modified bed-share/co-sleep arrangement, based on all of our needs and wishes at night. During the day, Potamus was held or carried in a sling or ergo pack while napping. My goal was to have him learn and really believe that sleep was a safe experience to enter and exit, that Mama and Daddy would be there when he drifted off and would be there when he woke up. I’ve ignored the somewhat flak I recieved about ‘spoiling’ my baby and that if he gets used to being held for naps that he would ALWAYS have to be held for naps. I mostly ignored these well-meaning advices, as I was certain inside my gut that Potamus would not be going to college still napping in my arms (as he’s projected to be 6’5, that might be challenging even if he WANTED to be held. Ha!)

The past week or so, Potamus has been spending most of the night in his co-sleeper, but yesterday I thought I would try putting him down for a nap in our bed. There he was, tired,, nursing himself to sleep and I gave him his snuggly blanket and once he was asleep, I crept away. 2 plus hours later he woke up quietly and was smiley when I went to check on him. I relished the sweet time he was sleeping by himself (i was hosting some ladies over for afternoon treats and makeovers), but it struck me how quickly he has gone from needing to be re-assured to sleep and how he is now slowly becoming Mr. Independent. The safety we have fostered is, in my belief, part of the reason why.

So I tried this morning, a new experiment, where he was allowed to “play” quietly in the co-sleeper at 4:30 this morning since he was awake and I didn’t really want to get up (and Boof certainly wasn’t wanting to hang out, either)…and then around 5:15 I hear him quiet down, and I open my eyes and there he is…he rolled onto his side, facing away from us, holding his lovey and was out like a light. He put himself back to sleep. No crying it out traumatized battle for us. Just sweet peaceful sleep.