Thursday, April 05, 2007

Six Weeks? Really?

And the honeymoon is over.

Sleep is a thing of the past. I’m at the point now where I’m actually staying up on purpose. Perhaps the dark circles will cover my face and look like a tan.

It’s really almost comical. The first four weeks lull you into a false sense of security; you bring the baby home and she sleeps. You bustle about, finishing things that didn’t get done before the baby came home.

The first 10 days or so, you stay indoors, marveling at the gorgeousness you’ve created. But no matter how beautiful your child is, you get a little stir crazy. So you dare to take the baby out.

And it turns out to be a great success. Primarily because all she does is eat, sleep, and poop. And you had the common sense to feed her and change her diaper before heading out.

Now you’ve got an attitude about your child. Your child is not just the best looking child, but she’s also the best behaved, which surely puts you in the running for the best parent ever.

Pride comes before the fall.

By week three, the newborn is doing a-m-a-z-i-n-g things – vocal noises, head lifts/bobbles, and the flail of an arm or two. Amazing.

But with new found skills comes new found needs.

By week five, the solid three-hour sleep intervals are punctuated by the occasional fit that can only be satisfied by cuddling. Awake cuddling. But no worry, it’s only occasionally and really, it’s special bonding time.

Suddenly, you find yourself knee-deep in half-hour ‘naps’ between the hours of 9pm and 6am. Your thoughts of perfect parenting awards are supplanted by fears of over coddling and creating a spoiled-rotten monster.

You find yourself catnapping at work; in your catnap nightmares, you’re on trial for terrible parenting skills.

And all you can think is, at least I can sleep in prison.