Let me just start by saying that Mama is tired. And kinda cranky. Yesterday on Fire Monkey’s five month birthday I spent 4 hours at the doctor’s office for Science Guy to get an endoscopy and had to hand express into a (sterile) urine sample cup to keep my boobs from exploding. (This, friends who are physicians or manage medical practices, is why you don’t schedule seven patients simultaneously when there is ONE DOCTOR IN THE ENTIRE PRACTICE. Mother grizzly bears have nothing on nursing moms being kept away from their babies.)
We have also gone back to waking up 2-3 times a night, which as you can imagine is not fun. I am fully aware that many babies do this from birth until age 12 but I got spoiled when Fire Monkey started sleeping through the night and anyway, waking up 2-3 times a night is no fun for anyone. I kind of wish I had known that 3 months was going to be the pinnacle of Fire Monkey’s sleep habits…not that I would have been able to do much different but maybe the sleep regression wouldn’t have felt quite so awful had I known it was coming. Or maybe not.
And to top it all off, I got scolded last week by the pediatrician for Fire Monkey’s plateaued weight gain. I was tempted to ask if she had met my husband who is also probably 65th percentile height and 12th percentile weight, but I dutifully held my tongue and pounded oatmeal for a week until I started firehosing Fire Monkey again. (Now I just alternate oatmeal with cereal and things seem to have stabilized.) I even dragged us to the lactation consultant’s office this week and did a weighed feeding to prove that I was capable of stuffing him with at least 3 ounces despite him being terribly distracted by all the pretty girl babies parading through the weigh station. Coincidentally, Fire Monkey seems to have decided the buffet is open all night again so that I end up so hungry at night that I dream about raisin bran.
Oh. And he has learned a new trick: grabbing. Mostly my face and hair.
Oh. And we suspect he may be teething or pre-teething.
Oh. And Science Guy has been sick in some capacity for the last two months. And is trying to write his dissertation in the next month. And is looking for a job that may or may not be hundreds of miles away from any family or friends.
Mama. Is. Tired.
It is tempting on days/weeks/months like this to wish things would fast forward. Maybe a year, when Fire Monkey will be eating something other than me and scooting around the house on his own. (Er, maybe not…for all the difficulties of the infant stage, I do really appreciate the ease of immobilization.) Maybe six months, when the dissertation will (hopefully) be done and we will be in or moving toward the next stage. Even just a week to pass this growth spurt or tooth debut or whatever the hell is happening.
It is also tempting to look back and wish things could go back to the way they were when Fire Monkey could sleep through a rock concert, as long as the concert was less than two hours long or played between the hours of 10:30pm and 8:30am. (We did not actually attempt to bring him to a rock concert, by the way, this is just hyperbole.) Or back before this mysterious ailment hit Science Guy and we could take family Pokemon walks around the park. Or back to when leaving the house didn’t involve enough planning and packing for the invasion of a small country. Or…even back to when we were just a party of two. (I hope my child doesn’t smite me with spit-up for saying this.)
But there’s no going forward, and there’s no going back. (He took 36 hours to come out, YA NOT GOING BACK IN, SON, YA HEAR?) There’s only right now, and right now won’t last forever. The exhaustion and stress of this watershed time will not last forever, but neither will Fire Monkey ever be this little again. Last week the pediatrician also said it might be time to start introducing solids soon and as much as it would be nice not to whip my nae-naes out every 2 hours, a large part of me thought, “Oh, not yet, please.” Partly because I don’t really want to deal with solids poo yet, but mostly because that little box of rice cereal in the cabinet just means we are inexorably marching (crawling? wriggling?) away from babyhood.
Today, we start rice cereal. (Not literally. Mama needs a few more shreds of normalcy before trying any new adventures this week.) Next thing you know, he’ll be eating a box of cereal out of my Kitchenaid mixer bowl. Today, I woke up at 2am to feed him. Next thing you know, I’ll be waiting up at 2am for him to get home (so I can ground him, if he happens to still be in high school.) Today, I contemplate another day at home with my big and little guys and kind of wish I could walk out the door and just…keep…walking. Next you thing you know, we’ll be dropping Fire Monkey off at daycare or preschool…then kindergarten…and then college or his first apartment.
So Mama is tired, but I’ll still take all the morning cuddles I can get before he’s too cool to hug his Mama anymore. We’ll make all the silly faces and goofy noises until he doesn’t think they’re funny anymore. When he stretches his arms out to grab my lips and glasses, I’ll nibble his fingers and snuggle him harder, because it won’t be like this for long.
Tired and wonderful,