I stood in the dark house in the early part of the night swaying back and forth and intermittently bouncing and patting.
“Shhh, shhh ” I whispered “it’s okay”
But it didn’t feel okay. Today was anything but okay. I’m holding back tears as I comfort my baby in the dark of the house, fearful he would wake up the toddler and what that could lead to. I begged my baby to relax his tense body. I wondered what was wrong and why he was so unsettled.
Are all babies this fussy or just the ones I make? How am I supposed to help him?
The day started off amazing. I had accomplished more than 3 hours of sleep through the night, I pulled the baby and the toddler into bed before the sun was up and we all snuggled our way into the morning; it felt like a photo or a movie. It felt wonderful.
The day devolved slowly and by the time dinner was ordered (because it really was that kind of day), every member of my family was burnt out on emotions. The toddler literally pulled the curtains off the wall, the baby forgot how to digest and expel, us parents struggled with knowing how to help and lead the toddler as well as support each other, on top of accomplishing the necessary tasks for a successful bedtime routine which is imperative for the overnight shift (mine). It was a mess, a teary, angry, exasperated, emotional mess.
There’s got to be a better way right?! We are two intelligent people, why is this so hard?
But the house is quiet now except for the frustrated cries of an infant and the whispered pleading of his mother, me.
His skin is soft and warm and I wish my cuddles brought him comfort because I know they would for me. I reflect on the day and the tiny moments that I want to take away, the life preservers in a day of drowning.
- Those morning cuddles will be hard to top.
- Discovering that whale puzzle with my toddler and watching him figure out the pieces and how to maneuver their intricacies.
- Tummy time with the baby and watching him work to focus his eyes on the dangling toy above
- The moment when my toddler agreed to hold the baby for the second time ever and delegating my husband to oversee the process . I managed to drink in the moments of those three boys sitting on the futon in the rainy grey light of our front window on a gloomy day.
Soon my baby’s body stiffens in my arms and he is able to release his bowels. I clean him up and we can now lay down and try to sleep . He hasn’t woken the toddler, he is still squirming but at least now I know he is a bit more comfortable.
I am laying in bed now too, exhausted but unable to sleep. Did I forget to lock the back door? Which laundry did I leave in the washer? I’m going to have to go pick up my prescription tomorrow. I wonder if I’ll have time to shower tomorrow….
Now it’s time to quiet my brain before the kids wake and we start all over again. Tomorrow will be better though, all we need is the rain to go away and to get a bit more rest.
‘Shhh, shhhh brain. It’ll be okay, just get some rest.’
I lay in the dark, the dim light of the monitor illuminates my night stand. Okay sleep, I’m ready. Where are you?