Friday, December 31, 2010

Working on the night moves

So we are sleep training Abbott this week. It has been very stressful for the entire family. We'd never let Abbott cry for more than 3 minutes in his entire life, and the first night he cried for about two hours. Jeffrey and I just sat out in the living room, staring at each other and our countdown clocks while we heard it through the walls and blasting from the monitor's speaker. I had the TV on for a distraction, but couldn't have sound because of Abbott's assault on my senses.

I was resistant to this type of sleep training for a long time. It seemed very unnatural, going against all of my instincts. But I finally decided that we weren't going to go live in a Namibian cave in the way we are physiologically intended, in close contact all day, sleeping side by side by the light of a fire. I don't really have many transferable skills anyway. So, sleep training it was. And Abbott's 4 1/2 months now, and both my and Jeffrey's FMLA have run out. He is going to have to go into someone else's care, and that person is not going to be holding him to sleep. And if someone's going to have to be a hard-ass with him, I'd rather it be me or Jeffrey than some poor new person in his life. And with this long weekend, we can give him extra love during the day to make up for less contact at night and during naps.

It's basically the first time we have ever had to be hard-asses with him. And I know that it's just the first of like an infinite number of times, pretty much for the rest of our lives. It's our jobs to set boundaries, and his job to butt his head up against them. It's what we signed on for. In a way, I wish it hadn't happened so soon. But I am so grateful for that 4 1/2 months that we were able to just enjoy him, every minute.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What lies beneath

I heard "Cat's in the Cradle" while I was driving home the other day. And, as is my way, my brain started editing the lyrics. You know, at the end of the song when his son blows him off because "my new job's a hassle and the kids have the flu"? He says his boy was just like him. But my purely semantic brain can't help but think, well, no he's not. He's taking care of his sick kids. He's not just like you.

So I tucked that little tidbit away with the other lyrical flubs that make feel so clever: "You're So Vain" really *is* about him, "this ever-changing world in which we live in," from "Live and Let Die" makes me cringe, et cetera. I even came home and wrote a little blog post about it. But something about it bothered me, and I didn't post it.

A couple days later, I heard the song again. And I realized why I didn't post it: while accurate, it was not the truth. Here's the truth: I am scared to death of raising a "Cat's in the Cradle" baby. And in a week, I have to send him off to daycare. It's simply our financial reality. But it just isn't something you ever think of when you're envisioning having kids.