Monday, May 11, 2009

Baby Blessing, Mothers Day, and 3:30am Arguments

            Mothers Day has come and gone. I tried my darndest to do all I could to make Michelle happy. I think I did okay. I bought her a nice dress a few weeks ago, which she wore. I wrote her a nice little card. I took responsibility for the baby more than usual.
            But last night was crazy. Michelle had a hard time falling asleep, and then the baby woke up at 3am. I was cranky. Michelle was feeding the baby and I said, “You’re not going to do that very long, are you?” We did agree that we’d wean her from night-time feeding.
            Michelle silently relented and put the baby back in the crib. But when the baby started to cry again, Michelle said, “Forget it. I’m exhausted. I need to sleep. I’m feeding her to sleep.”
            Okay. No discussion. I get it. But I was upset that Michelle hasn’t been following the sleeping and weaning program that we agreed upon. I said to her, “I have no pity for you. You’ve brought this on yourself. This isn’t what we agreed. We agreed to wean her.”
            “Fine!” Michelle responded, baby in her arms as she breast-fed. “I’ll sleep in the guest room and you deal with her at night.”
            I paused. “Okay. If that’s what you want. But I don’t think it’s a good parenting decision on your part.”
            There was silence for a moment. The baby quieted and Michelle put her back in the crib. Then Michelle said, “I don’t feel understood.”
            Through the haze of my crankiness I realized how ridiculous it was to argue at 3:30am. After a moment of silence, I pulled her in and held her tight, then began massaging her back tenderly. After a couple minutes she had melted and we’d both calmed. We said a few kind words to each other, and it wasn’t long before we were kissing and making love. And I couldn’t help but think that, although this baby was giving us a rude interruption to our sleep, the whole episode sure had a happy ending!
            The crazy thing is, that wasn’t even the highlight of the day. Yesterday was the big day when we brought Celia to the front of our church for a blessing and dedication. The whole church community gathered around and said words of blessing and prayer. I felt utterly privileged to be Celia’s parent in that moment. How amazing it is that we have the honor and responsibility of caring for an eternal soul. It’s mind-boggling.
            Celia was beautiful in her little dress, and she behaved wonderfully. When the pastor said something about her character, she suddenly started babbling, “Da-Da-Da-Da-Da!” and the whole church laughed. Yep, she’s a great little charmer. Full of smiles and spunk. You’ve gotta love her.
            Now my parents are gone, and I already miss them. They’re a great support to all of us. My mom would take the baby in the early hours, which meant I could get more sleep. Although I felt really bad for her when we went out one afternoon. We were gone two hours and Celia completely broke down, wailing uncontrollably. Poor Mom. She seemed so exhausted when we walked in the door. I couldn’t believe how awful Celia’s crying sounded when we walked in. And then she quieted right away when we started talking to her.
            We really need to teach her to be with other adults besides me and Michelle. There’s the proof. I mean, that was my mom, and she still had trouble.
            Today I’m pooped. Not enough sleep, in addition to that explosion of emotions last night. I wish I could get a nap in, but I have no idea when. I’m not sure how parents ever really catch up on sleep. Maybe that’s a misnomer; we never really “catch up” but one day we look back and realize that somewhere along the way we became more rested.
            I look forward to that day.

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