Loving What I Can, Being Honest About the Rest

Fresco has a cold and makes the most wretched snorfling noises when he sleeps. I am letting him doze on my shoulder today because I know he’ll sleep better upright. Problem is, he’s 35 lbs of love on my left shoulder and my right hand is all I’ve got for typing.

So, because I can do it one-handed, I am copy/pasting this email I never sent because it was so whiny. I sent it to myself instead. I wrote it in June, 2008.

Fresco is 8 weeks + 3 days old. Trombone is 2 weeks away from turning 2. I am 34. Right? Let me think a second. Yes. 34.

Finally at home, full time, with two children, this week. Saint Aardvark was home for the first 4 weeks. Then his parents were here for 2 weeks. They left last Wednesday around this time. And We have Been Sick Forever. We had some evil hacking illness. Then Trombone immediately got something else from the playground. He gave that to me and Fresco and SA is down for the count today. It’s been 3 weeks now for me blowing my nose. Tromone is getting better, though. He is almost all better. Fresco seems to be kicking it pretty quick because he’s breastfeeding, I guess. SA will likely recover within 5 days or so. Sure would like all things to be equal so that I could say, All things being equal, I suck at this job and I hate it.

The SAHM gig is fucking rough.

But you know what, even having had 35 minutes to drink coffee and read in peace and quiet makes me feel more likely to be able to tackle the day. Fresco is in a phase right now where he sleeps really well at night, night includes up till about 8 am, but needs attention all day for naps. Trombone seems to sleep until 7:30 – 7:45 if nothing wakes him (ie: the shower at 6:45 or SA clumping down the stairs at 7 on his way to work). I tried getting up early one day last week, to think and write and stuff and it just made the kids get up earlier too. What also helps is having a journal where I was dreadfully, horribly honest, with precious few of those “count my blessings” disclaimers. Opening it up and reading the entries where I was brutally honest about Trombone and how my days felt, when he was a baby, I do feel like the world will right itself eventually.

For the longest time, for example, I was all “I want a bedtime routine!” and that came, it just took till he was about a year old and could really participate in it. But now, yes, we do a bath, we do some stories, he gets into his bed himself (not a crib anymore) and takes a few (sometimes 20) books with him and that’s the last we hear of him for 12 hours. It was not always thus and it will take months again with #2 to get to that place, plus it will be further evolved because we’ll probably want to consolidate their bedtime routines at some point so that we’re not doing everything twice in a two-hour period when that’s all the time we have together and alone.

It is a sad, sorry fact that you can’t go back. When I had Trombone around I regretted not appreciating the alone time I had when I was pregnant. People tell you to appreciate it. You don’t. You spend all your time thinking about labour, thinking about babies, thinking about the future. You should be appreciating the moment.

With the end of my pregnancy this time, I had one lovely friend with two kids tell me to stop fixating on my labour and my upcoming birth, to appreciate this time with Trombone as an only child, to truly drink him in and boy was that advice spot on. We did as much and had as much fun as we could in that month together. And even though I was looking forward to not being pregnant anymore, I also knew the road ahead would be very hard.

Not how hard though. I had no idea how hard, how non-stop, how draining it would be. Something is always touching me. Someone is always awake. It’s 2 to 1 most days and the 2 are not sentient. To carve out even 35 minutes of time alone, not including bathroom breaks, is beyond challenging, well into mensa-level difficult. Start running again? Write more? HAR!

I’m told it gets easier. And since everything else I’ve been told has come true, I am going to believe this, move towards it like a moth to a possibly huge flame that might engulf me but which I am going to trust is only a light bulb. My friends wouldn’t lie to me. I must take it slow, one minute, one precious hour at a time, building weeks and months and loving what I can of it and being honest about the rest.

Happy Wednesday.

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