Tuesday, September 21, 2010

17w 2d parents

he's still tanner than me

baby has more style than both his parents put together

When the routine is broken, in a way that separates me from the baby, I am a scattered, emotional, confused WRECK. There's no logic to it. Nothing is wrong with the baby. Nothing is wrong with me. But I. Am. Screaming.

Since the end of my brief maternity leave, I've been a willing slave to an unvarying schedule. The exact timing is dependent on Fletcher, of course.

In the morning, I wake him up by 5:45 a.m., unless he chooses an earlier time, as is usually the case. Today, for instance, he woke at 3:00 and 5:00. After the second feeding, I stayed in the nursery, dozing on the spare bed there until about 6:10 when we continued as usual to a diaper change and the next step of our morning... hanging out in the bathroom. Fletcher has his own thick blanket to lay on, a receiving blanket to tug and chew on, and even a rattle now to reach for after rolling to his stomach.

After the bathroom portion of our morning, we head downstairs where he sits in his feeding chair with (another) receiving blanket and Freddie the Firefly, a favorite toy. I assemble the clean bottles and pump parts from the day before, in between play sessions. Then there's another diaper change and another feeding, this time with the lights off to coax him to sleep.

The morning routine is about two hours, and then I head to work.

I arrive home during my lunch hour from about 1:00-1:40 and spend the time feeding him and exchanging smiles with him and sometimes giving Andy a chance to catch a nap because he's probably running on four-to-six hours of patchy sleep. Leaving during my lunch hour is harder than leaving in the morning, probably because Fletcher is wide awake and he sees me walking out that door.

Then from 6:00-7:00 p.m., I get one precious and tiny hour to be a family with my husband and son. Often, that hour is used up with eating, dishes, and feeding Fletcher. But it is the most significant hour of my day. After Andy leaves for work, Fletcher and I have two hours (during which he eats often and possibly takes a nap) before we begin our bedtime routine -- the occasional bath/outfit change, putting on lotion where he needs it, diaper change, getting myself ready for bed, and finally the last feeding of the day around 9:30.

This is my whole life.

And on a day like today where I can't go home on my lunch hour? I. Am. SCREAMING. And I don't really understand why.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how I perceived parents before I became one, especially my own. There's a lot that can't be explained to you until you become one. There may have been a time when, somewhere in the background of my thoughts, I wondered why parents in general don't give a little space, let go a little bit.

Now? I am never letting go. I still may wonder why, but the compulsion to hold tight to my son until the end of time is overwhelming... and I have to accept that I'm standing one step higher on the ladder toward becoming my parents. That doesn't have to be a bad thing, right?

P.S. -- The broken day is made easier when you have an awesome husband who emails you photos to soothe your sore heart. Especially photos like this one, that show what baby and daddy are up to this afternoon:

little surfer, little one, made my heart come all undone

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