Sleep. It somehow comes to define so much of the first year with a baby. Will the baby sleep? Will I sleep? Why won’t the baby ever sleep? Will I ever sleep again? Am I currently awake or just having a really annoying dream?
Jacob was (and sometimes still is) a horrible sleeper. As a baby, he needed an incredible amount of walking, bouncing, rocking, and soothing before we could even attempt to gingerly lay him down in his crib. And then the real fun began– trying to navigate the minefield of creaky boards in our nearly 100 year old house on the way out of his room. (Ah, memories.) Thing was, even if we made it out safely, it was virtually assured that Jacob would wake up again two hours later. And shriek at the top of his lungs. (“WHAT KIND OF MISERABLE PARENTS WOULD LEAVE ME HERE IN THIS WOODEN CAGE- with an adorable animal mobile- ALONE!?!”) The SUPER fun part of it all was that whatever trick we used to get him to sleep one week would inevitably expire and we would have to start from scratch figuring it out again the next week.
When my son, Jacob, was born four years ago, I started keeping a journal. I carefully chronicled the metamorphosis that our family went through as Jacob grew and my husband and I evolved into our new role as parents. Maybe ‘evolved’ isn’t quite the right word. Before we had Jacob, Dan and I were calm, relatively thoughtful, acceptably hygienic people. Within a few months of starting our parenting gig, we became the sort of people who would look at a stain on our clothing as we ran, haggard, out the front door and wonder whether it was one of our child’s bodily fluids. After about a year, my journal entries trailed off. Fast forward a few more years to the birth of our daughter, Emma. When Emma was born, I had hoped to start writing again. But didn’t. I blinked a few times (did a lot of laundry) and now she is one year old. So, I am starting a blog. I may not be able to fix the Middle East, cool our warming planet or find the antidote to having that nauseatingly saccharine Barney song stuck in your head. (Parents, you know what I’m talking about. You find yourself singing it sometimes. And a little part of you dies.) If I can’t leave the world a better place for my children, at least I can leave them a (slightly mortifying?) record of their first several trips around the sun.