Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I tore myself away from him to write this

My house is a lot dustier than it used to be. There is currently a heap of dirty laundry piled in my closet, and all of the bathroom trash cans need to be emptied.

I can no longer blame all of these things on needing to hold Nate during his naps. We've developed a new system, for the time being. (One thing I've learned in my five months as a mother is the impermanence of any and all situations involving the baby's behavior.) I swaddle him up, lie next to him on my bed, give him the pacifier, place my hand on his chest, and shush him quietly until he falls asleep.

The benefit of this system is that I can sneak off of the bed almost as soon as he falls asleep and gain around 45 minutes of time to do whatever else needs to be done: Feed myself lunch, do the laundry, put on makeup, catch up on TV, and so forth. When I rocked him to sleep, I had no time to do any of these things. If I put him down right away, he'd wake up. If I held him until he was deeply into a sleep cycle before putting him down, a process that took 20 to 25 minutes, I had only another 20 minutes or so to myself before he'd almost inevitably wake up as he transitioned from one sleep cycle into the next. That's how I ended up holding him through naps; I discovered that I could sometimes rock him through the transition, then put him down, and then get an hour or more of naptime out of him.

As he began waking more and more frequently after one sleep cycle, even with my holding him, I decided there had to be a better way. Hence the new method.

Problem is, even though I CAN sneak off of the bed right away, I find time and again that I am drawn to his sleeping side. On some days, I can drift off for a nap right next to him, and there is nothing more delicious than napping with your baby. Other times I just can't tear myself away from staring at the way his lashes fall on his adorably chubby cheeks, from watching the soft rise and fall of his tiny chest, from sniffing his silky head of baby hair.

He is five months old already. Five months! He rolls over so easily now that I can't keep him on his tummy. He sits up holding only onto one of my fingers. He loves to shove anything and everything into his mouth, most especially David's or my hands, noses, chins, or shoulders. He jumps with glee in his Jumperoo. He grins like mad and bounces around when I turn on music for him.

Arwen and Blaise were down to visit for several days last week, and Blaise is walking. He's climbing stairs. He has learned the sign for "please" and uses it upon request. He's a toddler! (An adorable one, of course.) And all of these behaviors are mere months away for Nate. Before I know it, he won't be the little guy who demands that I hold him all the time, who wants nothing more than to have me smile at him and kiss him over and over. He'll be crawling, then walking, away from me, more interested in discovering the world than in patting my face with his tiny hands.

And so my coffee table is dusty. My bathtub is filmy. My duvet cover needs laundering. Maybe I'll take care of these things soon, but maybe not. I'm too busy drinking in the peaceful, sleepy moments with my beautiful little guy.


Miriel said...

I love this post. I love it because it's beautifully written and also because it makes me think of the conversations we had while I was staying with you about what is most important, and you have managed to capture in six or seven paragraphs the answer that we kept circling around: love. Love is most important.

Little Nate is a very very blessed little guy to have the parents that he has.

Stacey said...

so true so true. nothing is permanent with these little guys. i remember aidan needing to be held to fall asleep, and my mom telling me to enjoy rather than concern myself with it. she was right! i miss those days as he is now mr. independent! ps-i type sans punctuation as i am nursing mr. k.
hugs to you, love the blog!

Dr. Maureen said...

Isn't it crazy to look at Blaise and Nate together and realize that in about three years - maybe four - they'll be the *same age*?

Arwen said...

Awww, Lauren. I totally teared up at the end. Kiss sweet Nate for me and tell him I miss him and can't wait to see him again in a couple months!

PrinceOfTheWest said...

I've told this anecdote a couple other places, but it bears repeating. Once my father came home from work to find the vacuum cleaner lying in the middle of the living room floor while my mother sat on the couch, reading to a couple of her children. She hastily rose and apologized profusely for not finishing her housework before my dad got home. My dad told her that in ten years, it wouldn't matter a whit when the floor got vacuumed, but it would matter a lot that she'd read to her children.

Wiz said...

I saw you comment on Emily's blog. You echoed what I said! My husband and i are in the position to buy our one year old whatever he asks for. I am afraid that in the beginning, he will ask for something little, and I wont think anything of it because its cheap and I want him to have it, but I guess we will just have to work on making sure we teach our son that no means no and that he can't have everything. How to do clue. I guess we will figure it out :)

Robyn Smith said...

Beautiful!! I'm so glad you are getting to enjoy your little one. So many families don't appreciate how short the baby time is.