There are a bunch of good pics on my camera which I haven’t downloaded because they include a couple that aren’t so good–of some baby animals the kids found in the woodpile that looked a whole lot like newborn rats. I’m too squeamish to look at them.
So today’s post will be unillustrated. Next time.
I’m deep in the throes of sleep deprivation, and it feels so prolonged, so never-ending, that I’m feeling semi-defeated by it. Last night, I was cleaning up puke (another story, not so long; it wasn’t mine, it was a child’s), off and on till 1am, every hour or so till the source was declared completely empty, when finally I slept. Then was woken every hour till sometime after 3 when I managed to string two full hours of sleep together, then it was back to the broken stuff–in and out of bed, answering multiple calls. I’m a firm believer that to feel really well-rested, you need three consecutive uninterrupted hours of sleep. This has become so rare as to feel like a meaningless prescriptive. CJ still nurses twice a night, or more, and Fooey is often up once to use the bathroom, and last night … well, when the puking started I really thought I might suffer a nervous breakdown. This is the fourth time since December that someone (usually a solid family majority) has gotten “the barfing thing.” Look, I know that life with six people in one house is complicated. I accept this. Life generally is complicated. Bodies are vulnerable and imperfect. I get all of that. But I feel suddenly sapped of my ability to appreciate the fun. There is fun, right? Everything feels so damn serious. I’d like to appreciate, for example, getting dressed up and dancing. I’d like to rest, to let my mind slow down, to read a book all the way through, to stand still in the sunshine, to sit down.
To go and whine no more.
He’s sprouted his first tooth! Given our other children’s record with cavities, we decided to waste no time. The bristles probably felt good on those gums. Fooey is this evening’s photographer.
In other news, Kevin’s acquired a cane. Next, he’s getting a top hat and tap shoes and a monocle.
Sorry. My brain is getting mushy from prolonged sleep deprivation. Today I lost the car keys three times in the span of five minutes, just by putting them down different places while thinking about something else. I had to use a spare set to pick the kids up from school. But we were delivered a supper which I’m going to stretch into two: veggie lasagne. With garlic buns tonight. How about with salad and bread tomorrow night? Thanks, neighbour chefs, small and tall.
The viral thing that’s plagued our two youngest seems to be abating. And CJ has officially learned how to fall off to sleep all by himself. This is an unexpected side effect of the broken knee: we no longer had time to rock, sing, walk, or otherwise coddle the lad off to sleep; turns out he didn’t need all that fussing around anyway.
This is me trying to capture a particular expression that’s been haunting my face recently; not a good one: a pair of verticle frown lines pressed between my eyebrows as I worry about something or other, not even realizing I’m worrying or frowning. Sometimes accompanied by muttering, too.
An Obama dream this morning: President Obama and his chief of staff come into the room, and President Obama sits on a plushy sofa, relaxed, humourous, but clearly exhausted. An aide holds a cellphone to his ear and he has a brief conversation. He tells us that he’s just been kidnapped and released, but that it wasn’t very serious. I say, “President Obama, are you sure you’re getting enough sleep? There are so many people counting on you, and you really need to get your sleep.” He admits he probably isn’t. I’m worried. He shrinks to baby-size, and I put him into a stroller and go to pick up the other children and their many many friends for a giant playdate.
Wake up. Say to Kevin, “Oh, I was having such a great dream.” It’s early morning, CJ is in bed nursing, and he’s feverish. As I describe the dream to Kevin, he starts to laugh: “If you’re dreaming about sleep WHILE you’re sleeping, maybe you need more sleep.”
Oh, yes I do. Can I have a dose of the kind called Beauty, please?
Son CJ will be a year on March 29. He can now enter a room, say, the kitchen, and open all cupboard doors not rubber-banded shut and empty them in a matter of seconds. Last night, while I did dishes, he layered the floor with baking trays and muffin tins, which made a most satisfying crash as they landed. He then got stuck head-first in the corner cupboard. Then he practiced opening and closing the heavy kitchen drawers and attempting to heave-ho the largest of the pasta pots. Nothing delights him more than to march about hoisting high an implement at least three times his height: brooms, hockey sticks, et cetera. He also loves to toot on a plastic recorder or bang a drum, and will stop mid-stride at the sound of a good dance beat to bop up and down. I’ve also just realized he is talking to us using actual words–“da do” for thank you, “na-na” for nurse and/or mama, head shake for “no,” “ma” for more, et cetera. He waves bye-bye, and last night climbed the stairs in the dark (guess he’s put aside his fear of heights) and ran into big brother Albus’s room to wave an enthusiastic and loving goodnight.
There are more photographs on the parallel photo blog, but above are a few. He’s been running to the front door to wave hello and goodbye, or to watch his big siblings playing outside in the cold. And two mornings ago, I let him eat (destroy) a muffin all by himself.
He still nurses several times a night, but he just fell alseep by himself for the First Time Ever. Naptime, and I laid him down, tucked him in, came down and read stories to Fooey. We kept listening for the enthusiastic screams of protest, but they never came. A little fussing, and then silence. He was fast asleep. My goal is to be able to kiss him goodnight and leave the room. I know it’s possible, because Albus was falling asleep contentedly by eight or nine months; though the girls were much later. Apple-Apple was twenty-six months, and Fooey was about twenty months. In fact, I couldn’t get Apple-Apple to sleep without pushing her in the stroller. After she was weaned, Kevin did bedtime, and when he was travelling for work, I would have to call a friend or grandma to sit in our quiet house, Albus fast asleep, while I pushed Apple-Apple round and round the block.
Ah memories. Can you tell I’m trying to distract myself from worrying about another subject entirely?
Update on The Knee: it’s shattered, according to x-rays, which explains why the swelling never subsided. My sweetheart is at the hospital as I type this, waiting to be assessed by an orthopedic surgeon. He hasn’t eaten all day in anticipation of possble surgery, and was looking a little wan. And in pain. He’s very stoical, however, and fundamentally optimistic, and I know he’ll be doing all that he can, and probably more than he should, as soon as the surgery’s over. But darn, I hate waiting, and not really knowing. Good thing the kids are having friends over after school, and I’ll be more than occupied from 3pm on with the purposeful basics: school pickup, snacks, cooking, supper, cleanup, bathtime, bed.
Time for a cup of tea.
Well, that was short-lived. CJ spent at least half the night in our bed. I’m not sure whether this was because I was too tired to move him out, or because everytime I did move him out he seemed to reappear again. I went to bed at the same time he did last night. 9:30. I’m pretty sure Apple-Apple was still awake (she has these torturous prolonged bedtimes, seemingly endless cries for water bottle or kleenex or jammies are too itchy or she’s too hot or too cold or she just can’t fall asleep.) Lucky for us all, once asleep she’s as sound as they come.
In any case, I was grouchy. Bed seemed the best option. The serenity following our holiday, which I’d optimistically planned to keep, uh, forever, has dissipated ever so fractionally amidst the hairiness of schedule, of having to be somewhere at a particular time. Mostly, it’s dragging children to events in which they have no stake that’s hardest. Fooey and CJ bundled up and tossed in the stroller to take the big kids to school. I’d complain too. CJ woken out of a nap and dragged along to Fooey’s music class, where for entertainment he has his mother, a banana, and an empty hallway. Et cetera. No matter how organized, how much time I’ve left, there comes a moment when I’m shouting, “Put on your snowpants, now!” and then regretting it instantly (Fooey hates shouting). Or worse, “We’re leaving without you!” Never true, and rarely motivating, as the kid has no interest in coming anyway. But I’ve been doing some deep breathing and back-tracking and attempting to focus on the larger picture: does it matter if we’re five minutes late for Fooey’s music class? Or for anything? I don’t want to become cavalier about responsibility, just realize that rushing accomplishes little except to put everyone in a lousy mood.
It’s interesting how my mood really affects the mood of the household.
It’s also interesting, if unrelated, that our family ate an entire loaf of homemade bread for breakfast yesterday morning–and CJ and I ate oatmeal instead. That’s slightly alarming when contemplating future appetites, and my own plans to bake all of our bread from scratch. Because I’d gone to bed early last night, I woke up early and started a fresh batch of bread. My life revolves around food.
So far, so good, in the eating out of our stores experiment. I’m planning to do a regular Sunday update and round-up on food.
Apparently CJ did wake and squawk briefly several times last night; Kevin said these episodes lasted mere moments, but because he was in another room, and we’re running two humidifiers now (so much for cutting down on energy consumption), I didn’t hear the babe and instantly leap to grab him up and feed him back to sleep. He is now 20 pounds, 6 ounces. Weighed today. I’m noting that here because I seem incapable of noting it anywhere else.
I’m only a tiny bit torn about moving him out of our room. Mostly I’m looking forward to reading before bed (while lying in bed), and to resting more consistently, ie. more than an hour or so consecutively. And I’ll still get to bring him into bed for snuggly night feedings, just fewer and further between. It always seems to come to “it’s time.” This may be the case for every transition. Something just tells me when it’s time.
To speak of a more fundamental transition, I’m finding myself in this New Year thinking often about life beyond primarily childcare. Researching possibilities. Feeling excitement, even impatience.
Kevin stayed home Monday morning so I could write, and he reflected afterward how these moments will never come again. You either decide to spend this time with your growing children, or you don’t, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t spend this same time with them later. They will be grown. You can’t sit on the kitchen floor while CJ practices standing and taking a step, and Fooey gobbles handfuls of peanuts perched on a stool, talking utterly non-stop. Sometimes it feels too slow, too boring, too quiet. Sometimes it feels like you need some positive feedback, some notice, some worldly recognition. That feels vain to admit, but there must be something in human nature that craves recognition, recompense, for work done. But this isn’t regular work. You might even argue that it’s not work. It’s living, life. It’s experience. It’s definitive.
And I’m trusting that I’ll know when it’s time to shift my focus, that I’ll know when my time has come to get up off the floor. Maybe it will be when CJ can run away from me, or when Fooey has her nose buried in a book, or when Apple-Apple can cook supper, or Albus can walk to school by himself. I’m just guessing. I never know it’s time … till I know.
Page 10 of 12« First«...89101112»