The things you will do as a parent for just a few brief moments of peace (even though “peace” may come with the hum of an appliance in the background) and some SLEEP are so ridiculous and comical all at the same time, as proven by my last post. During our recent trip to visit Scott’s family I had the chance to chat it up with some other new(ish) moms and LOVED hearing all about the things they did to just catch up on a little sleep when their kids were Kendall’s age. It all made me feel just a little more normal… just a little less like a bad mom.
See, the thing is that before you get pregnant or have the baby, you may think things like, “Really. How freaking hard is it to put the kid in their damn crib to sleep. Why the hell would anyone want to co-sleep? Who cares if they cry a little bit. They’ll fall asleep eventually. And how hard is it to get a baby to sleep? I mean, isn’t that like ALL they do? Gah. I will never have those problems when I am a parent.” Ahh…. I am laughing as I type that because I’m pretty sure those were my exact thoughts a year ago.
The truth is, you will do ANYTHING to get your kid to stop crying and go to sleep (like listen to CDs of appliance noises), and NO, it is not that easy to just “tune out” a crying baby, at least not as a mom and not with a newborn. I’m fairly certain that if women were able to just “tune out” their screaming infants, the human race would die off. It is a noise that not only gets under your skin, but it jabs away at you, poking and prodding every inch of you. Your baby’s cries are an all five sensory experience, and not in a day at the spa, listening to the sound of water running through Bamboo reeds kind of way.
Something the pre-mommy me said I would never do was co-sleep, but I admit that once Kendall wakes up for his early morning nursing session (usually around 5 to 7) I just go ahead and lay him in bed to eat. It is so nice to spend the rest of the morning in bed with him, only waking to switch sides and pop the opposite boob in his mouth when he gets fussy. I’m able to nurse him back to sleep and we both manage to doze until at least 9 in the morning. I know I’ll have to break the habit soon, but I’m going to enjoy this while it lasts because from what I hear, it’s next to impossible to keep a toddler in bed until 9.
In the last three months I have become a super stealth ninja of sorts. I can enter and exit a room quieter than a gnat’s fart. I vividly recall rolling out of bed and crawling on my hands and knees in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom when Kendall was about 3 weeks old. I had just got him to go to sleep and didn’t want to even disturb him with my shadow. I know better than to close the door to the bathroom all the way. I make sure it’s merely shut, without latching, so as not to wake him with the click of the knob. I hide under two blankets and shove a pillow over my face when I have to sneeze or cough. I move slowly and steadily each time I have to change position in bed.
My husband, on the other hand, is about as quiet as a freaking tap dancing gorilla. He says he’s trying to be quiet. “Okay honey. Then while you are trying to be quiet, could you also try not to turn the lights on when you enter the room?” I don’t know how many times I have come close to murdering him when he has come into the room with such force that the door hits the wall and reaches for the light switch, only to quickly switch it back off when he sees my death glare. “Oops. Sorry.” He better thank God we don’t sleep in the kitchen next to the knife block.
I have to say that we are both guilty though of the “Oh my God. You’re too freaking quiet. Have you died? Let me put my hand on your face to find out” mistake. It’s just that sometimes Kendall can go from screaming like his limbs are being torn from his torso to a serene silence so quickly that we can’t help but wonder if he’s dead. So what do we do? We shove our hands over his nose and mouth to make sure he’s breathing….. and then he wakes up and it starts all over again.
12 weeks 4 days old