Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mutable Infancy

You forget what it's like, to care for an infant. This happens almost instantaneously, I believe, making it nearly impossible for new parents to have any sort of perspective on their infant's schedule and patterns. It's all about the moment. This is probably how we continue on as a species.

You might remember things, later, in images and chunks. You might remember holding a soft, sweet-smelling baby. You might remember a feeling of camaraderie with your spouse, late nights hanging out together, watching TV and waiting for the baby to fall asleep. You might remember all the wonderful firsts and how fleeting the stages seem in retrospect.

You probably forget that much of the baby holding time was spent walking around, bouncing, trying to soothe a baby whose needs aren't apparent. You might not recall that there were times you didn't want to be holding the baby, no matter how soft and sweet-smelling it might be. You probably forget that that sense of spousal camaraderie grew out of a feeling of enduring shared hardship, that as much fun as late-night television might be, there were occasionally other things you might want to be doing, including sleeping. You probably forget how much you worried over each first, how much you feared each stage would never end, that there was something wrong with your child, that there were delays, medical problems, that the baby wouldn't survive to toddlerhood let alone beyond.

Hindsight is a fickle thing.

"You.Are.Amazing," my friend wrote me when I texted that I had all three children - my 5- and 2-year-olds, her 5-month-old - down for naps at the same time two days in a row. "You are super-mom!" my husband said. "You're ready for number 3!" they concurred.

The last two days have convinced me otherwise. I think I'm not quite ready to give up the little pockets of "me" time I squeeze into my days, the stolen moments to read, to check email, to go the bathroom alone while my girls are playing independently or together. I'm not quite ready to give up my (theoretical) two mornings a week of writing time. I'm just . . . not quite ready.

5 comments:

RobMonroe said...

You ARE an amazing and super mom! You didn't need to be caring for the little guy to prove that. :o)

I can not imagine revisiting the first months - I am choosing to remember the good parts as it is!

Sarahlynn said...

I meant to clarify that my friend's son is not like I've just described. In fact, he's a pretty "easy" baby! He only cries to let you know that he wants to eat and when you put him down, so there are no mysteries. And (unlike Ada and her mama) he doesn't hold a grudge! As soon as you make it clear that you're about to pick him back up, he's generous with the world's hugest grin. Still, holding a baby for hours is . . . different from not holding a baby for hours.

Rob, thank you! (I totally am not, but I have good intentions.) I absolutely get what you're saying about not starting over. But I feel like there's something so valuable about having siblings, too. So the best of both worlds will be if you can move closer so that Abby and my girls can be Sister-Cousins!

Smadraji said...

Nice Posting
Gay

Smadraji said...

Nice Posting
Gay

Sarahlynn said...

Weird spam. But I'll leave it because it looks like a compliment!