First Blog of 2011! (Oh my…2011…really?)

Well here we are, January 2nd already! It’s still hard for me to believe that 2010 is a closed book (and such an amazingly wonderful one at that), but it will go down in my book as being one of the best years of my blessed life. At this time of the morning, I really ought to be getting ready for church, but Jonathan and I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night and slept in to make up for it. Russ just started the move from his bassinet to his pack-n-play (in preparation for the big move to his crib in his own room…*sniffle*). I must admit, I know some people count the days until their kids move into their crib/room at night and even skip the bassinet-by-the-bed stage entirely and start their babies in the crib the very first night home from the hospital. But for me and Jonathan, having Russ in our room has been so easy. Too easy, we’re starting to think – yesterday was a tough day mentally and emotionally for all three of us because we tried to nap Russ in his crib.
Now to be clear, Russ has napped in the darn thing several times before, so it really should NOT have been the tooth-gnashing session that it was. It’s not such an issue for Russ to sleep in a crib, a pack n’ play, a bassinet, you name it. The issue for Russ – one that troubles me and Jonathan more than if it were just about the place he slept – is solitude. Russ seems to have taken after me and he doesn’t particularly enjoy sleeping in a room alone. I have this problem, too – I absolutely despise when Jonathan travels for work. I’m lucky in that, now that I’m a stay-at-home mom, I can go stay with my mom & dad while Jonathan is out of town. But oh, I sure do hate sleeping in the house alone.

But anyhow, we tried for about an hour to get Russ to fall asleep in his crib – letting him cry (and scream and kick and cry some more) for a few minutes and going in every 5 minutes or so to look over the side of the crib, calmly stroke his tummy, and put his pacifier back in his mouth or reset the mobile we just installed to “help” (HA!) with this very venture. After an hour, we just decided that the poor little guy had been through enough for one day and took him out. For the rest of the day, he was clingy and cranky and just generally let us know how scarred he was from the whole experience. We felt horrible. And I know this is “why” some holier-than-thou parents will lord it over you that this is the reason one should put the baby in the crib from Day 1, but it just isn’t practical when you’re breastfeeding a newborn and are up at all hours of the night. Now that Russ is down to one feeding per night though, it is time. And I know that, but it is very anxiety provoking for me to have to make this change and know that Russ is never going to be my little baby in the bassinet once he transitions completely to his crib. But whether I drag my feet or not, time will march on, so I’m trying to just go with it!

I wish I could rewire my brain so I didn’t see everything as such a milestone! Sure does make it a lot more involved of a process, this whole thing about having a rapidly growing and changing infant! Ugh! But I love it, I really do. When Russ was getting so cranky and upset yesterday after the hour-long scream-a-thon in his crib, Jonathan got kind of miffed with it and was like “SHEESH kid! We just can’t make you happy, can we?!” And though it was a perfectly normal reaction and he only raised his voice a little, I got all emotional because I felt bad for Russ. He just wanted to be held and cuddled, and he’s still only three months old, even if it does feel like we’ve had him forever. I guess Jonathan wasn’t expecting me to get so weepy about the fact that he was just a little irritated with all the crying and yelling from Russ…

“What’s wrong, baby?”(Upon seeing me rapidly deteriorating into my “ugly cry” face)

“It’s…it’s just…it’s just that he’s so little! And he’ll only be little for a short time! And he’s going to be a little boy sooner than you realize and when he’s 3 or 4, we’ll have to work so much harder to keep him in line, and then he’ll be 13 or 14 and we’ll have to really stay on him to keep him in line, and this is the ONLY TIME WE’LL EVER GET TO CUDDLE HIM LIKE THIS, because once he grows up he won’t like us anymore but right now we’re his favorite people and so we just need to cuddle him while we can because he’s going to grow up so soon and then we’ll never get to cuddle him agaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaain!!!”

Yes, that was one sentence. And yes, I can assault the English language a little for creativity’s sake, just ask E.E. Cummings. Except I’m pretty sure Cummings maintained a little sanity for the sake of his craft, whereas this is just a blog about what a pathetic sap I am. It’s simply nowhere near as glamorous.

Thankfully though, Russ is back to his happy, squealing, laughing self this morning – despite having two zombies for parents. And just having him back to his happy self makes me feel a little bit better for the wear n’ tear. Funny how stuff like that changes. Feeling good about myself used to hinge on whether a certain number on the scale showed up. Now it just hinges on the corners of my little boy’s perfect lips being turned up, opening into a wide and toothless grin. Gotta love that.

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