Thursday, March 24, 2011

Oh You Fancy, Huh?

HR slept a lot better last night, and I went to bed not long after he did for good measure so everything's looking rosier today, even on the work front. I have a long entry about infant sleep adventures I keep writing and revising, and I'm pretty sure at this point it will never be published because it's more helpful as self-therapy. As in most things, writing about it helps me work through setbacks and frustrations, so it's best kept just for me, for now at least. Maybe I'll write a book someday about my mothering experience, if only to reassure panicky first-timers. I stressed so much about everything at one time or another, and in retrospect it was for nothing. HR nursed more often than any baby anyone had ever seen and I thought he'd never outgrow that, but he did. He couldn't stay asleep without being swaddled for months longer than it takes most babies, but he outgrew that too. Somehow these little squirts have always found a way to grow and thrive without adhering to any kind of textbook or anecdotal timeline, and though most rational people understand this, sometimes lovingly well-meaning parents (fine, I) easily lose sight of this in the quest to do the best thing for our kids. And it helps we overthinkers (I know there are more like me out there) to know that pretty much everything is normal, everything is OK, and even if nobody you know has a kid like yours, it doesn't matter. Your kid is your kid and as long as you love him and meet his needs, he's going to be just fine. I still struggle to retain this mindset, but it really does make a difference when you start having confidence in your choices and don't let yourself get beaten down with all the "shoulds" and what-have-you. Also: see Babies if you haven't.

What I will say in terms of snoozing is that I think overall we're doing just dandy, the evidence being, as Mike often reminds me, that I can't imagine a happier baby. He gets enough rest somehow, even if he doesn't sleep a consistent 12-hour stretch at night. Bedtime is a lovely, close time based on ritual and relaxation and snuggling, and he goes to sleep without a problem, so that's great. The catch is that, the only other constant is unpredictability. You never know when he's going to sleep for a nine-hour stretch or be up every two hours. Every night's a roll of the dice. And I just need to adjust my mindset to handle that, to let it go and let things be what they are. So thanks, dear baby, for ever keeping us on our toes, and for teaching me every day about living for the moment.

That's more than enough said about that, I think. Now, if I had to choose between the two all-time great hoofers, I'd pick Gene Kelly over Fred Astaire every time. This would be obvious if you've known me for five minutes. But Astaire is very close to perfection, effortless grace in old-man pants. He just kills this number from Holiday Inn. Trust me, this is the only part of that movie that you need to see (unless you're a fan of washing your eyes after a good old fashioned racist musical number).

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