Dear Moira, month five

Dear Moira*

I have to say – so far, erectile month five kinda sucks. I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing.

This past weekend we moved you into your own room. You must have known something was coming because Friday night – before we even got started – you slept through the night. Like, visit this site 10 hours through the night. As if to say, website “You don’t have to leave guys, I can sleep – I promise!” I think it was because we moved your crib away from the bed and put the side back up and also because I started you on solids. You repeated this wonderful sleep Saturday and Sunday too, this time in your own room. However, I’m not so naive to believe it would last. And it didn’t. The next two nights you woke up at 2 and 3 a.m. respectively and have had crying/complaining/sometimes screaming fests that last for 2 1/2 hours. Nothing seems to settle you (although, nursing does shut you up for a while). This has made you even more tired during the day and even less likely to nap – which I didn’t think possible.

Yesterday was one of the hardest days ever. One of those days that could guarantee your place as an only child if that’s your goal. You cried All Day. So did I. Before you I thought I had done a lot of tough things in my life. I used to search out things that would push me outside of my comfort zone – like mud wrestling during a friend’s theatre show or spending weeks auditioning for graduate theatre programs in the U.K. (back when I thought I wanted to be an actress despite horrible stage fright that would find me vomiting and shaking). Or, more recently, calling people to interview them for an article I was writing. But I can now say without a doubt that listening to you cry in your room is the hardest thing I have ever done. Your Auntie Amanda says I’m one of those “super-feelers”, or something like that. And I suppose it is true. Yesterday, after trying to get you to take numerous naps and listening to you cry I had a complete breakdown and sobbed on your father’s chest. I worry that I am doing something wrong which is preventing you from being able to get to sleep. But really, I’m not sure what else I can be doing and I need to do something to get you to nap. You don’t seem to be able to fall asleep without crying – whether I am holding you or not. And so, for Mummy’s sanity, I have to put you in your crib and let you cry (whilst checking on you a million times) and I am so so sorry baby girl. You won’t let me carry you in the wrap anymore and you wake up with the slightest noise. It’s really frustrating – and, to be honest, sounds just like me. (“The light! The light! Close the curtain, that moon is like daylight in here!” *cue The Mister rolling his eyes*)

This afternoon was proving to be much of the same. You were So Tired and Miserable and nothing I did would keep you happy for longer than 20 minutes. These days I feel as though we can’t go anywhere anymore because you spend so much of your time being tired and needing a nap. But after an hour of listening to you cry I wiped up both of our tears, pulled you into bed with me, nursed you again and tricked you into sleeping. I watched you sleep for a while. I watched how you would open your eyes quickly to see if I was still there and then shut them.

I never knew that the day-to-day stuff of having a child could be heartbreaking on so many levels. These days I feel as if I’m made of glass.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that you still very fragile because you seem like such a little toughie. You fight sleep like a gladiator. You rip your face off my boob and stare it down like it is something you need to conquer. (Luckily this doesn’t hurt… until those top teeth come in I’m sure.) You chew on your knuckles until you look like a prize fighter. Your father and I often call you Manic Moira. I’m hoping that is a nickname you grow out of quickly. These days you laugh and cry at the same time. It’s a little creepy to be honest – but I’m chalking it up to a lack of sleep.

Recently I went with my instincts and started you on solids a month early and it seems to not only help you sleep better at night (sometimes – at least you only want one feeding now instead of 4, 5 or 6) but makes you happy for a little while. I’m not sure if it’s the food or the spoon we got you get your little death-grip hands around and chew manically on. Count yourself lucky if you get my metabolism, it also means you’ll likely always be hungry but you’ll look great in everything.

This evening we went for a walk around the neighbourhood with you in your carrier. We ran into three different people I know who all asked how things were going. I was honest and said things were tough these days, we are having sleep issues and you’ve been really grumpy. This is when you pull out your little bag of tricks; you smile, tuck your head against me and peek out at them under your eyelashes and smile again. No one believes me.

And I laugh because you are so goddamn cute and really, if I don’t laugh I’ll cry.

*I promised myself I wasn’t going to write letters to her in my blog ala Dooce but, you know what, I’m writing letters to her in my head All The Time and rarely have time to actually write them down so I’m doing this.

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