I was planning to dash off a quick post last night to let regular readers of this blog know that I was feeling better, but I ended up using my hour or so of after-dinner computer time to read blogs from my Bookmarks list and noodle with my Fantasy Football lineup. I had planned to write a few lines about how ratphooey's short but pithy remark on my One post had really struck a chord and made me realize that much of my discontent could be traced to my failure to adapt to The New State of Things. How I took a good hard look at Austen from his eye level, relaxed, and let him tell me the news from babyland. (Indeed, much had changed since the last time I had gotten an update.)
I had planned to write about how the prospect of returning to work soon has made me want to cherish my remaining days as a stay-at-home mom, and how when I realized that I was not only not going to have to hold Austen forever, but that I wouldn't be able to hold Austen forever, I started not to mind doing it so much. I was planning to say that the head-butts aren't so day-ruining when I'm not already edgy and angry about the clinginess and the squirming during diaper changes. (We had a talk about that squirminess, and about why Mommy yells sometimes—it's when he doesn't listen that I get mad. Moral of the story, kid: Listen up!)
I was planning to write all this, and then the sleepless night happened. Well, not completely sleepless, but still, enough to make me wonder, at 1:48am, after holding Austen for 40 minutes and failing three times to get him to sleep in his crib, what ever made me think things were better. All the anger and frustration came back in a flood.
Interestingly, though, when I started to lose it, Austen seemed to consider his options and decide that he had it pretty good already being held by Mommy, and maybe he would stop all the kicking and crying. So that's a step forward. That, and the fact that this one crying-at-1am-and-needing-to-be-held night was a total outlier. On Monday night he slept from 7:15pm to 7:15am with only a no-intervention-needed squeak at 10:15. By the time I sat down to write this post (many hours ago—I've got so many items on my to-do list, things keep intervening), I'd already quite recovered. I'm a little sleep-deprived, but otherwise I'm in good humor.
While Austen was taking a two-hour-and-fifteen-minute nap this morning, it occurred to me that last night's trauma might have been connected to a growth spurt in his body, brain, teeth, or all three. I do know that he ate an ENORMOUS quantity of food yesterday, as if he were carbo-loading for a marathon. And after the nap today, he was thoroughly cheerful and especially talkative. (He doesn't say anything recognizable beyond "mama", "dada", and "uh-oh!", but he chatters quite a bit.) There was no 5pm meltdown, and he was relatively pleasant on the car ride to and from the mall (where we dropped off Al for some Christmas shopping) and to the ice rink (where I went to get a skate sharpening). He only grunted loudly and annoyingly for a few minutes (it's this screechy, throaty "UHHHHNHHH!" sound that sometimes makes him cough afterwards), and he stopped when he realized he was really starting to piss me off.
So anyway, things are better, despite the hour-and-a-half of baby wrangling at 1am. I'm starting to adapt. I'm getting what I can done around the house when the babysitter or Al is here, and I'm getting down on the floor and playing with Austen when they're not. I'm losing it less and less, and sucking it up, coping, and enjoying Austen more and more. Oh, and the first birthday party that I was stressing about for the past month went stupefyingly well on Saturday. I'll write about that (and post photos) next time.