Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Hills are Alive with Bittersweet Music

It's pretty amazing how much of a difference it makes in your life, when, on that fateful night, completely unexpectedly, the baby sleeps all the way through.

Maren has slept through the night before. In fact, for almost a month she did it every night. Then she stopped. It became the ritual to get up every morning at 4 a.m. to try to pacify her with a bottle and the rocking chair. On some nights, she would refuse to return to sleep and I would end up watching TV with her in my arms at 5 a.m. Do you know what's on at 5 a.m? Freakin' nothin, that's what.

But for the past two nights, she has returned to her complete night of rest mode. It's pretty amazing. She takes her final bottle at 11 and then sleeps blissfully until the rest of the house is stirring at about 6:45. That's nearly 8 hours people!!

Right now, we're still getting up every morning at 4 for a paci-check. This is when we pop her paci back in (preferably as the "hand of God" where all she sees is the hand descending from the heavens) and then pray as we crawl back into bed that there will only be one paci-check that night.

It's habit to get up now, but the fact that the paci is sending her back to dreamland means (hopefully) that it won't last much longer.

Now the only problem is that 11:00 bottle. What I wouldn't give for a 10:00 bottle. It'll come, though. It's only a matter of time before I can count on 10 hour nights. Then it's only mere months until she is sleeping on Brynna's schedule and I have 2 kid-free hours every night when everyone is tucked in and I can watch grown-up TV and read and crochet without tiny hands getting tangled in the yarn.

Of course, then I'll probably be sad that my tiny baby is snuggled up in my arms every night.

That's the problem with parenthood. There is always this focus on the next thing: sleeping through the night, talking, walking, dressing themselves, going to school, driving, college, marriage. But as soon as you (or rather your incredibly well-raised young-uns) reach that milestone, you are filled with pride and joy and sadness because there is no going back. Brynna will never again call me "mum-mum" or look precious while in the middle of a spaghetti incident that puts Guns N Roses to shame. She will never again take stumbly, unsure steps (at least until she's old enough to get drunk, but I am sooooo not thinking about that). She'll never again giggle while someone claps for her heroic efforts at rolling over. All that is gone and I'll never get it back.
Maren will never again take her first bite of cereal or scare the crap out of us by sleeping through the night. And soon, she'll be Brynna's age and I'll be thrilled to have two girls in school, dressing themselves and feeding themselves and bathing themselves. But I'll also want to cry every time she tells me she can do it herself and beat myself up for not spending more time enjoying it when she couldn't do it herself.
I can't even begin to think how much worse it'll be with Brynna by then. She will be reading to herself and won't even need me for bedtime stories. I think when she tells me she'll just read to herself, it will be the saddest day of my entire life. And believe me, I will make her tell me. I won't stop following her into that room gripping Junie B. Jones, or Ramona Quimby or Laura Ingalls-Wilder until she stops me at the door.
I wonder if it's better as a grandparent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's totally different because you don't get to see all these wonderful little things. Wanna know why? The parents REFUSE to take videos to share with the grandmother!!!!

Brynna and Maren's NeeNee