I’ve been mainly butterflies, roses, etc lately; but there is a darker side to baby life. Let me tell you about an experience I first encountered about a week in, just as sleep deprivation was setting in.
In the early days of her life, Burrito slept like a rock for most of every day; literally most hours of the day. From what I understand this is normal, and it was paradise. To watch a sleeping baby is a delight every parent should indulge in. It was a lovely beginning for our familial unit, but even though she wasn’t much of a fuss, when she was, it seemed to line up with the overnight hours; the adult sleep time.
It was a Monday and all was going according to plan; a day filled with baby things, feeding and staring. Scarlett & I were beginning to get a handle on gauging her needs (or so we thought), oh that looks like a hungry face, that’s her poop squirm for sure, etc… What we weren’t very skilled at yet was resting when given the opportunity. No different from new parents everywhere, the favorite activity in the household was watching child sleep and discussing whether or not she was dreaming, and if so; about what? The ‘good old days’, it was decided; life in the womb. This was a delightful time, but one must not forget sleep is vital, and when baby is awake, one generally cannot receive said vitality. On this particular evening, I stayed with Holiday after she awoke, while Scarlett tried for an hour of shut eye. I suppose she’s earned it after bringing life into the world and all.
Sleep deprivation on baby watch is a slippery slope. Tasks that are normally a breeze can turn harried quick. The babies and their magic senses pick up on a downward spiral quick. So after my little Houdini escaped from my 3rd subpar swaddle job in ten minutes, the shrieking picked up. I think she sensed something was up. “What’s happened to my semi competent father and why isn’t he putting my straight jacket on correctly? Why is he suddenly sweating so much? Uh oh, maybe this isn’t my dad. I’m being taken! Quick, I better scream at the top of my lungs and use what little control I have of my limbs to thrash around violently!” I won’t blame her for reacting the way she did, but it certainly didn’t help the situation.
About an hour into the debacle it was decided; one is enough, two is excessive. Holiday, you will be an only child and you have nobody to blame but yourself. But as I dreamed of sending her off to her first day of school, I began to notice something; she was taking her cues from me. Yes, my sweet Burrito may have started this battle, but while I was busy focusing on my lack of sleep, on my frustration, I completely forgot about tending to her needs. I mean, sure, I was holding her and bopping around the room in an attempt to soothe. But my mind was elsewhere. It was as if my negative thoughts and energy were transferring to her, furthering her despair. So ok, hold the phone. If this theory is the real deal and my negative juju transfers to her, it must work with the good vibes too. I have a plan! Calm myself and she will follow. Well as with life, practice makes perfect and at this point my calming skills while in the midst of danger were far from perfect. So we had our ups and downs for the next hour or so (But she saved the projectile vomit for a later date, my thoughtful little angel), but I was much more equipped to handle her assaults. As the dust settled with her finally asleep on my chest I thought well that wasn’t so bad was it? Maybe we could add another baby to the batch later in life. See? Have a baby, and it’ll turn you nutty too.