So I had a revelation, and here it is: Jane is a precious, time-sensitive commodity who is almost always happy, so who cares if she doesn’t sleep?
And everyone said, duh.
This is just another way of saying what I’ve been telling myself (and being told by others) all along: they’re only this little once, so just try to enjoy them.
But you see, no one comes to tell you this at your house at 4 am when the baby has been screaming for over an hour. In fact, I dare someone to.
Back to the epiphany. I might have had this thought because she occasionally sleeps through the night now, and it’s easier to think rationally and optimistically when you’re getting sleep. But perhaps the deeper revelation was that I live in a world of ideas & theories where I’m not basing how to handle my baby so much on my experience and knowledge of Jane, but on a forecast of how my actions today will affect the next 2-5 years of my life. In searching for solutions, I inadvertently memorized quotations from The Baby Whisperer, Baby Wise, Ferber, mothers, mothers-in-law, you name it. And of course they don’t all say the same thing, so there’s ample guilt connected with any approach, if you’re one for guilt (I am).
One day, she got up “early” from her nap (again), and I knew she was not going to go back to sleep. I thought, I could let her cry for X amount of minutes, but I’d be doing that because I’m afraid she won’t take a good nap when she’s two. So why don’t we just live in the moment for once? Stop quoting all these stupid quotes to yourself and just think about how she is going to be perfectly happy until bedtime, and we’ll have fun playing together before Simon gets up. She’s a baby, and being (or having) a baby is such a short time period in your life, so why waste it angsting over future nap scenarios? Sometimes it’s hard to even remember Simon being a baby, and that was only a couple years ago. People long for babies, they look forward to having one, and when it’s over, they want to hang around other people’s babies because it’s such a short, special time. YOU HAVE A BABY! I told myself. SO GO ENJOY YOUR BABY! (If you don’t enjoy her enough you might be crazy enough to have another one!)
Duh, duh, duh. I know, I’m dense.
And, I continued, whether I get her up now has almost nothing, and maybe has absolutely nothing, to do with what she’s going to be doing a year from now. It’s clearly not a free-for-all around here, as we can tell from my extreme uptightness and over-thinking of everything.
It was helpful to realize/remember about myself that I’m a theories kind of girl, and theories have their place, but so does just relating to people as people and not referring to every nap or night as “data.” Aside from not actually being scientific, this is just plain weird.
Jane is 8 months today, crawling, eating Cheerios, blabbering, and dangerously cute. So watch out! Who knows what obvious truths I might blog about next.