Well, I’m back.
Can you believe it’s been over four months? I swear, I blinked, letting up for a what felt like just a moment, and suddenly it feels as if half a lifetime’s worth of moments have flashed by. I never meant to take such a long hiatus from chronicling, but it’s a testament to how easy it is to get distracted by “life is happening right now!” moments. Looking back over the last few months it’s almost hard to believe the number of milestones we’ve crossed. Since pictures are indeed worth thousands of words, here’s the novella in a few short images. A few highlights that come to mind:
and of course generally harassing her sleep deprived parents
Also experienced but not pictured: child proofing, speed crawling & gobbling everything on the floor, sleep training, misery, sleeping through the night for a brief time (what a tease!) Teeth. More teeth. Molars. In fact, reminiscing only leaves me with hazy memories that play out like minuets. It’s hard to remember what it was like to hold a fragile three pound preemie, especially comparing her to the vivacious and loquacious baby she is today.
Beyond all of the baby stuff that’s been happening, I’ve also been on a personal wellness campaign that involved some extremely restrictive eating regimens, intense exercise, attempts to get to bed at reasonable hours, and some personal accountability. That’s been relatively successful, I’d say. The bedtime thing is a bit of a moving target, especially when combined with managing a 1 year old’s sleep schedule. Which leads me to the main topic of this entry, of course.
So what’s new? Well, there’s too much that’s happened in four months to cram into a single entry so I’ll just launch in to where we left off most recently. It’s no surprise that it’s sleep related. So let’s take a little trip back in time..about 5 months ago. We were conversing with some other new-parent friends about sleeping arrangements. Bemoaning the thought of co-sleeping, and also sharing harrowing tales of banshee wailing amidst sleep training attempts. Oh, and the fact that our second hand drop-side crib was wobbly (and thus a potential baby-killer). Somewhere in the midst of all this, a discussion about floor beds surfaced. Our friends, one of whom is trained as a Montessori teacher, extolled the virtues of the floor bed. Freedom. Creativity. Independence. Exploration. Smart babies. Well, I was hooked right there. Smarter babies? Sold.
See example below:
So we embarked on a mission to build our floor bed. We researched options. Asked friends. We settled on the original crib mattress plus these bumper pillows with elastic straps called “Snug Tuck” pillows. Custom made. Not cheap. ($140 for the two). This seemed to work really well for a while. But as I’ve quickly learned, nothing is static in this world, and certainly nothing baby-related. I must always remember that control is an illusion. A couple of weeks ago, things started to change. The aforementioned freedom and independence that I was so excited for the baby to experience? Well, what it really meant was, freedom and independence to scream bloody murder from 2-5am night after night, crawling out of said floor bed and into the middle of the room. Even I couldn’t really sleep through it, though my wife would disagree. On some nights, Jackie and I would wake up, look at each other miserably, eyes all twitchy and bloodshot, and lament our helplessness. The worst part of all of this, the child was inconsolable, no shushing, singing, rocking, walking, etc could seem to calm her down.
All of this is bad enough, but it culminated on Saturday night with the baby waking up as usual, and Jackie turned all of her frustration, helplessness, and anger upon me. “It’s YOUR fault! YOU wanted the floor bed! YOU sleep through this while I suffer, and I’m SICK of it.” And so forth. I tried to defend myself, decrying “I’m on your team! I never said NO crib whatsoever.” Needless to say, I was guilted into skulking off into Vivienne’s room at 4 something AM with a flimsy blanket to attempt to sleep on the floor and keep the kid calm. I remember at certain points of the night pulling her in and clutching her to my chest so she wouldn’t crawl around the room and scream. After much struggling we both passed out for an hour or two and I woke up with a tweaked neck. The child? Happy as can be. You’d never know she was a demon by night. Meanwhile, we continued to drag through the day…
…and then we bought a crib. (AKA Baby jail!)
All is right in the universe.