At it again

After today’s morning nap, I went in to get Hayden and I actually screamed:

I wasn’t afraid for his life; I was just surprised and scared to see his face up there instead of down on the mattress!

He took the time to customize his crib:

I am displeased. That crib was expensive! Oh woodworkin’ Dad, how shalt we fix this?

We’re having a bit of a rough time these days. Naps are good, but nights are horrendous. Last night, which was only slightly worse than typical lately, he nursed at 7 (bedtime), 9:15, 10:30, 12ish, 1ish, 2, 4ish, and 6. Thankfully, he was complacent in bed until after 8 AM. Growth spurt? Torture? An effort to ensure that he’s an only child?

I hate that I obsess over whether or not we’ll have more children based on my problems. It’s almost always when the going gets rough that I think about it—and it’s usually “How could I do this again? And with a toddler running around?” (Sometimes it’s the good times that trigger the same thoughts: “How could I give a new little baby this much attention with Hayden running around as a toddler?” “How could I keep a little baby from killing itself and eating all the electrical cords in the house while keeping Hayden-the-toddler from the same fate?”)

But to be honest, I don’t know how I do it now, either. Last night I made Ryan tell me “You can do this” about 10 times before we fell asleep.

I realized a few weeks ago that I’d always regarded families of “only” three children with a certain stigma, partially because I come from a family of four children. (Four daughters, to be precise. Hooray girls!) Now I have gained a deep respect for anyone who makes it through this childrearing phase even once. Time can only tell how many times I can do it.

Yesterday’s paper had an excellent Carolyn Hax column. I don’t know if she has children, but she is so right in these thoughts on parenting:

There are transcendent moments, yes, absolutely — but it’s such a disservice to minimize what those moments need to transcend: exhaustion, fear, self-doubt, more exhaustion, loneliness, inconsolable screaming, boredom and poop.

If new parents live in the moment, usually it’s not to savor it but to keep themselves from seeing exactly how many moments they have to get through before it gets easier. Getting awakened from a deep sleep is a lot easier to face than the prospect of 800 awakenings from the next 365 sleeps.

We had a transcendent moment before his afternoon nap. I held him and nursed him as he fell asleep, my little innocent angel. I was moved almost to tears. I needed that moment. It recharged my spirit. Too often, I feel as though Hayden has broken my spirit. I’m not even going to talk about our (utterly unsuccessful) attempts to get him to sleep through the night.

He’s waking up from his nap now. I’d better go get him before he pulls himself to his feet again. Note to Ryan: we need to lower that crib tonight!

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