Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer at the home of the Catholic Librarian

Well, things are in full summer 2011 swing around here. Henry finished school last Tuesday, and Mike began teaching a summer section of Introduction to Philosophy at a local Catholic college, so I'm home with both children for about 3 hours every day. I know all the stay at home moms are snickering at me, and rightly so, since they are on duty by themselves so much more than that, but for me, this is a big change from my regular routine. Happily, the adjustment has been going well.

It's challenging to keep Henry occupied, but so far, so good. We've had a lot going on with my grandfather's passing, lots of family in town, so the visiting helped. We have him signed up for swimming lessons that begin tomorrow. Just a half hour per week for 6 weeks. He expressed an interest in swimming at his new Catholic school next year, and so I thought he's enjoy some formal lessons so he didn't have to rely on an inflated device anymore. He's also going to be doing T-Ball for 45 minutes a week for 6 weeks. Mike is going to field this one, he thought it would be a good introduction for him. I want him to find one thing that he likes, and then we can pursue that more formally for him. We figured this summer was a good time to experiment. I'm going to take him to the public library's story hour for an hour a week (well, Anne and I will) and he has Vacation Bible School in July. All should be well.

Miss Anne is going to be 6 weeks old on Wednesday, and I can hardly believe it. She's starting to smile at us, and she's getting SO much bigger! She's very precious.

Our nights have actually gotten a smidge better. For a number of different reasons, the nights are not slowly sucking the very life out of me like they did the first time around. Anne is starting to go a long stretch of 4 (occasionally 5) hours at a time, and she sleeps very well in her bedside bassinette, meaning that I'm very comfortable between her wakings. I'm still up several times per night, and the evenings are still a big fuss-fest, but all in all, it's going very well.

When she does wake, and I'm startled out of a deep sleep, I always think of the other parents of tiny babies that are going through the same thing as me. I'm sure that for them, the following is also true:

Let's play a game of "A or B?" It's 2 am. You are in dreamland, asleep since your head hit the pillow from sheer exhaustion. Shaken from your dream, you hear something in your bedroom:

(1) A squeaking sound. Is it, (A) your baby, about to work her way up to a full out wail? or (B) a family of refugee mice?

How bad is it that I would much prefer the sound to be (B)? I don't think it's that bad. I know that many parents would agree with me, I see you out there. Just admit it.

(2) A "liquid sound." Is it, (A) your baby, erupting a geyser of spit up? or (B) a babbling brook suddenly running through your bedroom?

The answer is clear in this instance. (B), hands down.

(3) A cranking sound. "Is it (A) your baby, about to make her hungry anger known, or (B) a homicidal maniac in your bedroom revving up a chainsaw?

All right, in this case, I'll go with (A).

The point being that no matter what, night wakings are hard on the parents of young children. If they outgrew it at one week, well, then I think we can all agree that it would be no trouble. But weeks and months of nights without an uninterrupted night of sleep? It's tough stuff. And a side note: anybody that tells you that their baby slept through the night the day they came home from the hospital? Judge that person. God will smite them somehow, for sure.

But I am grateful that I'm faring the nights better this time. It's the little things, you know?

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