March 22, 2006
Looking Back at Peter's Sixth Week
It's our sixth week together, and we've got something of a daily rhythm. It's not a precise schedule, but I'll take it.
Tom wakes me with a good-bye kiss. Before heading to work, he stands over the cradle, watching Peter say good morning with his smiles, gooh's and gah's. Unable to resist this cheerful wake-up call, I pull the baby in bed with me to nurse. Sunrise has never been so divine.
Afterward we head to the nursery (i.e., laundry closet turned Bunnykins) where I change Peter on the dryer. As a baby-clothes aficionado, choosing his outfit is one of my favorite events of the day.
Now to the living room couch, where I place Peter in the corner, and we smile. We smile and we goo and we gah and we smile some more. I walk back and forth between Peter and the kitchen and bring back my cheese toast and apple, then smile and goo and gah some more while I eat. All this activity wears the little man out, and into the bouncy seat he goes for a catnap while I shower.
The rest of the morning varies. Either he naps in the car as I run errands around town, or he naps in his stroller as I run errands in the nearby village on foot.
Mommy time! Unlike the short, scattered naps of the morning, with much nursing in between, Peter takes a solid 3-4 hour nap in the afternoon. This is when I get things done, from house chores to personal pleasures like reading.
It's also when I watch Days of our Lives. I swore that when I was a stay-at-home mom I woudn't watch it more than once a week, yet another principle I've thrown out the window. I'm one step away from sweatsuits and bon bons. To make myself feel less guilty, I'll often do something productive like ironing while I watch.
By the end of Peter's nap, I am re-invigorated and miss my little boy. I rush eagerly to nurse him when he wakes.
Evening-- the Witching Hour
Good thing Peter's nap renews me so much, or I don't know how I'd get through the next few hours.
After his first feeding, Peter is pleasant. We play the smiling game. Soon, though, begin bursts of fussiness. "I don't just want to be held, Mama," he says with his choppy squeals. "I want to be walked around or rocked or have you hold the pacifier in my mouth." This is when it would be nice if he'd let me wear him in the sling, something I try every day in hopes that he'll decide he likes it. (Update: I later learned our pouch was way too small for him and me both.)
At least Peter can be consoled. He responds to soothing methods for as long as we continue them. In fact, he'll even smile between bouts of fussing. Every now and then, he is willing to sit in the bouncy seat for thirty minutes listening to lullabies.
When Tom walks in the door, he eagerly takes the baby, much to my relief. While daddy and baby play, I prepare supper, glad for some time to myself. We're still enjoying meals from friends, so really all I have to do is pop something in the oven.
Supper can be exasperating, since Peter's not wild about his bouncy seat. Tom and I take turns replacing his pacifier, sometimes several times in one minute. It can take a long time to eat this way.
Then Tom and I take turns soothing the baby as we watch television or read. A couple hours more of alternating between frustration, laughter, and relief according to Peter's fussing, smiles, and catnaps.
Now that Peter goes to sleep within half an hour of being laid down, I don't dread the night.
His cradle is pulled up to my side of the bed. He doesn't actually sleep in it, though. He sleeps in his car seat which is inside of the cradle. He's decided nothing beats a car seat for sleeping, which works out well for us both since that puts us on the same level. I can pick him up for feedings without having to lean down or get out of bed.
With him so easily brought into bed for feedings, nursing him in the middle of the night isn't so bad. He wakes up twice, and I breasfeed him lying down. Both of us doze through it. I put him back in the cradle/carseat, and he's usually back to sleep in minutes, if not instantly. The whole thing is so uneventful that I'm refreshed in the morning and don't have to nap when he does.
When the sun comes up, we do it all over again.