There’s this weird circular diagram in one of my parenting books that shows a 24 hour cycle of newborns. It has periods of wakefulness, sleeping, eating, and crying. I don’t remember Elliot being a very loud or fussy baby so I wrote this off as bunk. Well, Isaac is so totally NOT Elliot and he does indeed have periods of flat out crying. Typically this happens right around 5-7 PM, which is prime time to annoy the every living hell out of me. Ash is a big help but sometimes he’s doing things at that time. Like yesterday.
He and Kevin went to Lowes and then came home to cut some wood for more add-ons to our rock wall. So I had the baby and Elliot and had to make E’s dinner. Sometimes, Isaac will fall asleep at the most opportune time but not yesterday. No, I had to make ravioli with him in the sling, which did nothing – NOTHING – for his state of mind. He just CRIED. Ash offered to hold the baby but I knew this was something I had to try to figure out. But there was honestly nothing to be done. Not feeding or changing or holding or music or soft voices or any of that other junk. FINALLY, I couldn’t take it and I cried. And I held him and rocked and after endless minutes of insane screaming, he fell asleep. And he stayed asleep through dinner and until midnight. So about 4 hours. I’m thinking he was just tired but couldn’t find sleep.
Ash knew I was getting really fed up and kindly went to pick up Outback take-out. It was just what I needed: someone to cook for ME. Someone to do something nurturing for ME. I spend all day feeding and changing and tending to the little one that – although I love him – I get pretty worn down. It sounds super selfish but I’ve been able to have my own free time since Elliot learned to sleep all night at 6 months. Though I knew it was coming, I wasn’t ready to give up so much of me. I hardly have time to read or write. What little free time I do find myself faced with is either spent napping in hopes it’s enough, cleaning, or taking care of Elliot and Ash. It’s not the hardest thing I ever had to do – no, that was definitely the first 6 weeks of Elliot’s life – but it’s difficult.
Since I brought him home, we’ve had a pattern to our morning. I take Elliot to school and Isaac sleeps in his carseat until I get home. While I do internet stuff, he usually sleeps; a good hour or two. Today? Nope. Fussy like yesterday. People keep saying it’s probably colic but I have read all about it and I seriously don’t think so. I JUST got him to sleep and you know what I did? I turned him so he’s on his front, head to the side. I KNOW this is not what you’re “supposed” to do but by God, he’s SLEEPING. And besides, I have a baby monitor. I can see and hear him.
SO, I am grateful for parenting techniques that defy the “rules”. I am struggling to make this work. I want him to be a calm happy baby. I don’t want to feel as frustrated and angry as I did with him yesterday. But every day is a new challenge and a new chance to make things better.