I found these blog scraps just now, started with such good intentions and high hopes, and I thought I’d just throw them up as they are before I attempt an update… it’s incredible how long a mere 10 days can be in a baby’s developmental life, let alone an entire month, but more on that shortly.
Tuesday 13 September:
The Cot Wars continue, with a minor victory after the latest afternoon battle going to yours truly – and don’t I feel inordinately pleased with myself?! Don’t I just! Yep, just hearing the silence in Master J’s room is enough to make me punch the air. I did it! It wasn’t easy, there were a few false starts – indeed, he can now stand up in his cot as of 20 minutes ago, so motivated was he to resist sleep – but I prevailed! I guess in a way it’s healthy, adjusting my ambitions so monumentally. After all, this is what I do now.
Llew’s working from home on Mondays as part of the six-month maternity leave contract he’s taken at work. It’s great, but I’ve already had to adjust my expectations about what that means for my own work. He’s not working a 4-day week and taking Mondays off; he’s working from home. Fantasies of handing over Master J for a few hours of writing time have been thoroughly scotched, and I wonder what I was even thinking. Nonetheless, Llew’s been fantastic – he has been spending an hour or so with Master J every morning, although I still found myself struggling home with an overburdened pram yesterday…
Actually, I’ve come to a few
[A few what? Realisations? I wonder what I was going to say…? Oh well. Gone now.]
Friday 26 August:
Master J is currently grizzling, but he’s in need of a little zizzy so I am hoping he’ll start winding down…
Nope. Not so much.
Okay, I’ve been in, given him a cuddle and put him down again, as per the instructions from Tresillian (those saints). God, two steps forward and a dozen back at the moment… I really hadn’t reckoned on this atmosphere of regression, but there you have it. This whole object permanence/separation anxiety period feels like we’re racing backwards. There’s a missing link somewhere that I’m failing to identify, because sometimes he self-settles without any problems at all, but sometimes he doesn’t, and this is one of those times. It’s unbelievably draining – really taxing – trying to settle a baby who is beside himself and still won’t sleep.
We’ve been going at it for 18 minutes so far… five minutes then cuddle, five minutes then cuddle, and then patting him rather than picking him up on the third visit…I am not following a set procedure, mind you, I just try to judge where he’s at by the crying and what he’s doing in the cot – like if he’s on all fours he’s probably not at the patting stage. But what would I know? I thought I had him, then he woke up and started again as soon as I moved. Hmmm. It’s nearly time for me to go in again… he really manages to wind himself up – oh hang on… he might be doing that textbook thing now where the crying changes into more of a protest… and listen, even trying to interpret these cries is EXHAUSTING. I find myself on tenterhooks – it’s a shortcut to complete derangement, all this perching on the edge of one’s seat thinking, “Is he..? Isn’t he..?” – it’s no wonder I’m going as rapidly grey as Barack Obama.
Is he or isn’t he? Well, now he is. I didn’t go back in, and at the 25-minute mark, we have a sleeping child in the next room. Praise be.
I have to say something about technology here, and about how it makes the isolation of motherhood and managing all this home-bound, repetitive activity so much more bearable. My iPhone allows me to remain (FUCK! He’s crying again! Sleep, little man, please sleep…) connected to the outside world, and even just blogging about this battle of the daytime sleep makes it easier to cope with the fact of it. I mean, I am writing this in real time, which seems to me a more productive response than biting off what’s left of my fingernails.
Okay. He’s really crying again.
Later now. I gave up after an hour’s effort, got him up, and now here we are in the afternoon going through the whole thing again.
So that was yesterday. Not so hot on the settling front.