Oh Internets, I have contracted the poison ivy.(I'll give you a minute for the full suckiness of that sentence to sink in).
So feel sorry for me, internets, for I am one giant ball of itch. And by my count, I still have roughly 9 days to go.
I may not survive.
So yeah. This motherhood thing is kinda like being in a cult. I used to think it was a little obnoxious the way parents would go on and on and on about their children, but I totally get it now. They can't help it. I see the whole world through baby-tinted glasses. My life (right now at least) revolves around this little person. A tiny, demanding, wonderful little person. And right now, I'm okay with that. I'm totally drinking the koolaid.
Little Bit: I'm hungry!
Me: I just fed you! In fact, you still have milk on your chin!
LB: Oh yeah. Well then, what do you want to do?
Me: I have an idea! Why don't we take a nap? Wouldn't that be fun?
LB: Eh. I already napped for five whole minutes fourteen hours ago. Why would I want to do it again?
Me: Well, how about you sit quietly while I nap?
LB: Sounds boring. How long did you want to do this?
Me: Three hours?
LB: No way! How about ten minutes?
Me: How about two and a half hours?
LB: A half hour, with an option for a ten minute cry in the middle in which I will be absolutely inconsolable.
Me: An hour, and no inconsolable cry.
LB: No deal. I need the cry. The cry is non-negotiable.
Me: Fine. How about forty-five minutes, with a three minute cry?
LB: Right in the middle of your REM sleep?
Me: (sigh) Okay.
LB: Throw in a twenty-five minute nurse and a full wardrobe change after my diaper leaks and we'll have a deal.
LB: Sweet. Do your nap thing then. The clock is ticking.I feel like maybe I got the short end of the stick on this one, but I don't care. Little Bit is better at this negotiation thing than I am.
Anyway, like I said, we're home, and we're adjusting, and it's been...okay. She's sweet and adorable and I can't imagine life without her. She is priceless and perfect and I cannot describe my love for her. On the other hand, she's slowly driving us insane through sleep deprivation torture. You know the new parent stereotype about being exhausted and wearing a bathrobe with baby spit-up on it for three days in a row? Not an exaggeration, my friend. Oh, I thought I could handle it. I was cocky. I told myself that I'd pulled all-nighters before and been fine. So I'd be a little tired. What's so hard about that? But she wears me down. Steadily, methodically, night after night. Interrogators working in questionable forms of "information extraction" would be proud. I would gladly confess to anything if I could just get two uninterrupted hours of sleep.
(By the way, you know that phrase, "Sleep when the baby sleeps"? Well meaning people take one look at my new Night of the Living Dead look that I'm sporting and dispense that little jewel of advice. And it sounds smart. But you know what? It doesn't work. Because Baby Girl likes to nap mid-feed and mid-poopie and with a tummy full of air, and just because she fell asleep doesn't mean your job is through, for if you leave any of that undone the full furies of baby Hades will rain down upon your head when she wakes up and realizes you were slacking instead of wiping baby poo off of her delicate rear end while she dozed. And did I mention that she only sleeps for an hour at a time? So after feeding and burping and rocking and changing diapers, you throw yourself into bed knowing that you have exactly 14 minutes left before she wakes up and the cycle starts again).
But she is worth it. And there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Eventually, I know that she will sleep through the night. (Or at least for a couple of hours). Luckily. Tony and my Mom have been fabulous. Literal life-savers. Because they aren't getting any more sleep than I am, but they're happy to take her at 3am when she wants you to know that the wipes are not warmed to her usual standard.
In the mean time, we take it moment by moment, clinging to those random times when she smiles or makes eye contact or, blessed salvation, actually does sleep in that beautiful angelic way that only babies can. And it's those moments that remind you that there are things that are even more precious than sleep.
*Lest you think that I am sitting here wasting precious sleep time blogging while whining about not getting enough rest, know that Baby Girl is right here snuggled in the crook of my left arm while I type all of this one-handed with my right. In addition to ruler of my days, she has also taken on the role of editor.