Thursday, March 10, 2011

Notes From A House Frau XV

We just got back from Restorative Yoga and the RRBB is conked out and successfully transferred to his bassinet. The photo for this post was the how the baby looked before we headed out to an Oscar party. Yes, he was yawning this much even before the show started. We left the house at 5 PM. He lasted approximately 3 hours with a nap in between, and then we came home. I really enjoyed being social for those few hours. I miss being social. Yet another discovery about myself that I've made since spending so much time at home -- I always imagined myself a homebody (I think I've talked about this before) and now that I've got a whole year off, the last place I seem to want to be is tucked away in our beautiful house.

The weather isn't helping. You can walk in the snow -- walking in the rain with a baby just isn't fun, you can't carry an umbrella and push the stroller, the baby is stuck under cover, and it's sort of completely miserable. So, this week was spent feeling a little sad, lonely and isolated. The prednisone getting to my brain in bits, and I actually sobbed one day. Sobbed. It's all to be expected, and it passes. Today (it's Saturday now) we went for a nice long walk, and I feel better. The baby has started teething and in a week or so he gets to start solid food. They grow up so fast, don't they?

Some days, I feel bad that I'm sitting here on the computer while the baby plays, either in his chair or on his activity mat. I know it's good for him, but I feel guilty, feel like I am depriving him of some parental stimulation, already letting him down and he's not even 5 months old yet. And then I feel like I'm a crazy multi-tasker, doing one hit of Where is the Green Sheep or Mr. Clumsy or Lost and Found, then writing a sentence when he's in the chair. Popping my head over the mat and making a funny face while he talks to his baby-friend the octopus or turtle. Then, I write another sentence or two. I read like a maniac while he's breastfeeding, sometimes, I'm concentrating so hard on the book I don't even notice he's fallen back asleep and there goes the sleep training -- I should have popped him back into his bassinet 15 minutes ago.

And then I start thinking that I'm too hard on myself, having too many expectations, and spending far too much time worrying about all the things that went wrong with my own childhood (which is few; we had a very happy childhood). The one thing that I am so concerned about, his sleeping, is primarily because I've been such an awful sleeper my entire life. I remembering being young, under five at least, and my mother sending me off for a nap in the afternoon. We were living with my grandparents then, in High Park, and the house was full of dark wood -- rich, expansive -- and all I did when I closed my eyes was imagine things. My brain wouldn't stop wondering how my body worked, what was the point of being here, where did things go -- strange things for a small child to work out, so philosophical. Ha! But I never slept. And as I got older, it only got worse. When I was in grade school, I started daydreaming in bed when I should have been sleeping, keeping myself awake by imagining I was Wonder Woman or some other crazy fantasy. Again, I never slept. And even older still, in university, taking the meds for the disease for the first time, I think I spent all of my second year of university awake -- a combination of a small bed, a tall boyfriend, and so much stress. Lots going on at home, very little money, lots of schoolwork, and that ruined me for years.

Finally, after much, much work and my own sleep training, years later I started getting some rest. But it took years of reprogramming myself, and still, every few days I'll have a night where sleep just eludes me. I think that's why I imagined the sleepless nights with the RRBB would be no problem, but now, including the many last weeks of pregnancy, I count not sleeping through the night a single time in over eight months. I feel like I'm back in second year university. Going through days in a fog, unable to create full sentences, and feeling so lonely. It's true that sometimes, you find a great sentence at 3AM but by the time you've got a moment to put it in context of a story, or whatever else you're working on, your mind is too fraught and frustrated that the work suffers anyway.

Thankfully, the RRBB has had two nights in the last week where he has slept for a solid six hours in a row. The first time it happened, I was awake the entire time. The second time, last night, I managed to sleep too, not the whole time, but at least a good portion of it. He still hasn't slept through the night but I'm imagining, as his mother's son, it'll be a while before that happens. And my main lesson for this week is to try and stop worrying about it. Fresh air, a little exercise, an adventure or two, and we'll all feel a bit better this week, not so sad, lonely and isolated.

Come on spring.

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