Friday, September 18, 2009

Freedom from, freedom to.

Is it shamefull I miss my freedom? I think it is. Here, I have this wonderful, perfect little person, and I find myself thinking about my days in Montreal when I could just step out the door with no preparation other than checking that I had my keys and wallet. Not that I was particularly happy then. Oh, quite the contrary. I practically sought out reasons to be miserable, and I had a few legitimate ones too. Of course, I've never laughed and cried more in the last four months than I have in my entire life, I think.

Freedom is one of those gestaltist things that you can only see and remember by comparison. My freedom now is less than what it was. Probably for the better. I didn't use it well. I didn't respect it. Now, my little guy as my gatekeeper, I am forced to treasure every moment of quiet, every second of sleep, every sunset and sunrise. I notice every puff of dust, to sheild his face, every sudden noise, to cover his ears. Every time it is too cold or hot, I touch his skin to check his temperature.

Today were Ender's fourth round of shots. He is a brave little guy for the prick of the needle, letting out a single shout of surprise and usually fine by the time we get back in the waiting room to book the next appointment. It gets bad afterwards, once the vaccine takes hold and his little body begins to fight the (weakened) viruses that have (purposefully) invaded. He'll take longer naps today, waking with a wail and then falling back asleep again. His cheeks will flame bright red with a mild fever. He and I are now old pros at all of this. The trepidation of 'what if' doesn't come into the equation anymore. I am armed with infant tylenol and a mommy-smelly blanket and other wonders of modern parenthood, but also with cuddles, breastmilk and love. He reciprocates with the occasional drowsy smile to let me know I'm doing all the right things.

Sleep has not improved, but I've settled into a routine of no longer caring that I only got so many hours in a night. It helps to not count. I used to count because the health nurse told me that if I was getting under 6 a night, it put me at risk of depression and reduced amounts of breastmilk. Now I've stopped counting the hours, which I found needlessly stressed me. I get enough that a cup of coffee wakes me in the morning and a foot or backrub from my husband in the evening keeps me going so that I can tidy up toys, onesies and tiny socks into neat piles and empty and refill the dishwasher. My supply for nursing is well established...I won't have to worry about it declining until I go back to work or school. That is, if I do.

I guess the loss of my freedom is something I should mourn as well as celebrate. I have so much more to fill my mind and heart nowadays. And that is more important than being able to leave the house for a pint. Though a beer would be pretty great right about now!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

remembering sleep, or lack thereof

I can't decide whether I should keep on trying different things to get the baby to sleep in his crib, or just accept that he'll only sleep with me.


I feel the need to document this so that I can look back on it one day, remembering how frustrated I was, and feel that things have improved.

Nicole out.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Final Thoughts

Oh, my poor neglected blog. I certainly hope you don't go the way of the Dodo, like my other blogs. I just haven't had the time to give you the attention you deserve.


Lately, you see, I haven't been getting a lot of sleep. It would appear that the honeymoon period of sleepiness on the part of Ender is completely over, and I find myself so sleep deprived that simply keeping my eyes open is the worst kind of chore, let alone having to get dressed and go out and be seen. That said, things are starting to improve. Whereas before he would scream as soon as he was set in the crib, now he will sleep there for 3-5 hours, and then insist on sleeping in bed with Mike and I.

Not that I mind.

Cosleeping, in my opinion, is a great concept. When Ender was first born, and sleeping in a bassinet next to the bed, I would wake up searching the sheets for him. I had a natural inclination that he should be there with me. I didn't, because I was afraid of this tiny person that couldn't even roll or protest being in bed with me. Now that he can roll, open his eyes and scream when he's mad, it's not so scary. It's also really nice to have a tiny person to cuddle with. Dr. Sears had a quote that clinched the deal for me: "Nighttime is a scary time for little people." D'awww. Motherhood has made my heartstrings so easily plucked. I'm not sure I even had any before.

It all would be perfect if we had a king and not a double. Mike and I are cuddlers, and never minded tiny sleeping space. For the first year or so of our relationship, we slept in a single together. And if you've seen us, we're not small people. We managed, though. A double is nice because neither person can roll away. Lots of cuddling.

For three people? Not so much. I find myself not moving for long periods of time, cradling and protecting my baby from the less maternal and concious flailing arms of his father. Still, I get SO much more sleep. The baby seems happier in the morning, and it really fits with my vision of Attachment Parenting.

A disclaimer about Attachment Parenting: Most of the stuff I read about it makes me feel like a bad mom and terribly lazy. My vision of AP is following my intuition. There's nothing wrong with my baby sleeping in a crib as long as he's happy being there. Once he stopped being happy there, I reacted, rather than forcing him to stay somewhere that made him scared and upset. This works for me. It works different for every mom and every baby! This is a hard won lesson of mine.


I've also registered for a physiology course at U of T. An odd choice, I know. I just remember how much I liked science in highschool, and I haven't really done anything science-ey in a while. It's once a week and also my only missing prerequisite for an RN program. Not that I really want to be an RN, but it is an odd quirk of my personality when I find I am not qualified for any university program that I have the vaguest interest in, I insist on filling in the gap. This is my excuse for my diverse employment history, also.

I've compiled most of my resources for my 2010 application for law school. Frankly, I don't think I'll get in, but I figure I'll just keep trying and trying every year until eventually I get admitted. I'm taking an LSAT course before I do the test, which will hopefully up my grade. It's a pity if they don't admit me, since I'd be a damn fine lawyer. Everyone says that, I know. But I like to think that after working in a law firm and having two lawyer in-laws, it comes from a fairly informed place.

I also don't want to leave my baby, unless it's to do something that has long term benefits for everyone involved. School is, in my opinion, a lot more valuable at this point in my life than some dead end job.


The house is in need of repairs. It's always something, isn't it? Mike went upstairs to the terrace to smoke and the doorknob snapped off right in his hand. We were talking recently, and we realised we rarely have time to just sit about anymore. There's always a long list of 'to do's'. As people with a natural (or unnatural) inclination towards laziness, we are both hesitant to set aside time for eachother. It's a slippery slope. We seem to vaccilate between doing everything that needs to be done, or completely ignoring it all. I think for now we just need to accept this frenetic pace of our lives, knowing it won't be forever.


Final thoughts. That reminds me of my grandfather, who was a minister. I'm not sure why, I think that was how he ended his type written sermons. Perhaps not. There were so many of them, made into booklets out of coloured paper with old fashioned clip art on the cover. I remember my grandparent's office. Complete with computer, printer, photocopier, and a rainbow of coloured paper. The burnt and chemical smell of toner was in the air, mingling with tobacco, a print of a man with words spewing out of his mouth hung on the wall. It is, come to think of it, the only print I remember from my grandparent's house. Aside from a rubbing of two old christian gravestones (that were in the pinkishly-hued guestroom my mother and I always stayed in), of which I have found a close approximation, and now hangs over my sofa.

The guestroom was just down the hall from the bathroom, which was stocked with children's toothpaste that glittered blue and tasted of bubblegum and came out of a star-shaped extruder. These were the wonders of American consumerism that were not available in Canada at the time. The floors of this house protested loudly as I crept from the bed I shared with my mother to steal fingerfuls of toothpaste.

I miss my grandfather lately. He was such a magnanimous force of my childhood. I recall him speaking so infrequently that when he did, we were all hushed to silence. When he noticed me, I felt remarkably special, as he motioned to a large jar of candy of which we both silently partook. The things he loved, toy trains, minature houses with pantries stocked with tiny cans, and junk food (ad infinitum, and of specific description), created such a pefect world of whimsy. Combine that with my grandmother's love of her grandchildren and Victorian anachronism, it was a children's heaven.

Thos are my final thoughts. Now, off to make lunch!