Because of (title), instead of writing a fun, happy post about how great the beach was or all the cool stuff Dane’s done over the last month, or even a wistful post about how much I miss my family in Texas and queso and readily available tin wall art and Talavera pottery, etc., etc., here’s a post I started a few weeks ago. It sort of reflects how things are going today.
Also, tangentially, I hate adverbs. I had a T.A. once who called them sketchy, which is about the only thing on which he and I agreed. But when I get overtired and stressy and sort of maudlin, I go adverb crazy. Thus, this post, all adverby and whatnot.
Over the last month-ish, putting Dane to bed has gone one of two ways: so easy that I’m downstairs with my valet serving me a margarita in twenty minutes flat (ha!) or an hour and a half of crazy love/cataclysmic crying on my lap. He’s at a stage where there’s not much room between happy, totally awake and not at all ready for bed, which means it takes an hour of nursing, rocking, playing and eventually holding him tightly to my chest while he cries to get him to sleep, and slap-happy-punch-drunk overtired, in which case he falls asleep nursing after five minutes and gives me the finger if I try to wake him up to drink more milk (The figurative finger, of course.
His daddy’s my bad influence hasn’t rubbed off on him that much just yet.). I’m trying to avoid letting him get overtired but it’s a fine line to walk, and while I’m certain there’s a happy medium where if I examine him closely in the hour before bed I could find the optimal 35 seconds in which he’s in the exact perfect ready-for-sleep state, let’s face it: I’m not that skilled of a mommy. Despite my best efforts.
And to be clear, the nights that take longer don’t bother me (well, don’t bother me THAT much). Because I no longer hold him or rock him at naptime (we had a rough road there, so if I let him sleep on me at all he decides his crib is a playpen when he lays down), I enjoy the extra time at night. He lays on my tummy and gurgles and plays with his toes and waves at the alarm clock and his backpack and the curtains and the ceiling and, except for the few minutes in which he’s hysterically crying before he goes to sleep, is a pretty happy little man.
So (long story longer) a few weeks ago, I had a rare night in which I pretended to have a life and planned to meet some friends for dinner, wearing three inch heels and jewelry not safe for chewing. Knowing how karma and I are on SUCH good terms, we planned to meet an hour after Dane’s bedtime, which I was certain would be plenty of time; angelbaby was TIRED that day. So I’m all yeah, I got this, and I get him all tubbied and upstairs in his jammies and turn out the lights and turn on that magical creation called the sleep giraffe and sure enough, he seems calm and like he’s on the train to sleepyville, and then all of the sudden, BAM, off he pops. And he’s all smiling up at me and giggling and grabbing my nose and I think, okay, we’re still cool because I’ve built in an hour of cushion time, right? We should be fine, right? But the problem is, now I’m thinking about how I really would like to wear eyeliner AND concealer and maybe even straighten my hair and what the hell shoes am I going to wear and so instead of taking my time and enjoying those moments with him, I got the brilliant idea of trying to speed up the process and after letting him play for, say, 3.025 seconds I had him all cuddled up on my chest trying to rock him into submission. Dane’s response?
In typical Overcash fashion: OH, HELL NO, MOMMY.
And that is why, an hour and a half later, sweaty, deaf, make-up-smeared, scratched, hair-pulled and frizzy, headbutted, I finally managed to extricate myself from the room with our sweet, sleeping angelbaby in his crib. And the worst part is, the only fault was mine. He was tired and ready for bed, and all he needed was a little patience on my part and instead I tried to smush his head into my shoulder as though it was lathered with baby Valium and force him to sleep. And, of course, I spent the rest of the night obsessing over my bad mommyness (which, coupled with the obsessing over being an hour late, made me SO popular), and in the end I might as well have stayed home in my sad, worn out jammies eating fruit floes and watching the audition shows for So You Think You Can Dance (which, don’t get me wrong, isn’t a bad night for me. But still. I was wearing HEELS, people.).
I have a point here, long winded though it may be. In what seems like a very short amount of time, Dane will be starting preschool and then real school, and not only will I not get to rock him at night, I won’t get much time (or rocking) with him at all. I know he’s only nine months old, but oh, how those nine months have flown, and every moment I waste with him – hurrying to get somewhere or on the phone or doing something around the house – feels like I’ve thrown away something invaluable. Even the regularly-scheduled growing up stings. Lately, I’ve been laying him down at night after nursing while he’s still awake. I’d like to say this is because I’ve glommed on to some doctor-approved sleep philosophy, but it’s really because after a few minutes of rocking he starts wiggling and craning his head and in general acting dissatisfied until I lay him down in his crib, at which point he grabs Puppy and snuggles his head down and generally goes right to sleep. And I should be STOKED, right? But I’m not. I’m sorry, and I’m sorry for everyone out there who has the opposite problem (check back on baby #2 and we’ll see how it’s going then), but I’m just not ready yet. Which, friends, has thus far been the story of my mommylife.
I do, however, feel a little better now. And Dane has decided to nap after all, so perhaps this day is looking up. KARMA, LOOK AWAY. 🙂