Sunday, September 19, 2010
Comatose Parenting - Redux
Also, he was a smart little baby. The hospital was a twenty-four-hour-a-day atmosphere and all the nurses loved him so he learned to stay up and play with them, as well as a tiny little baby can play. Let me tell you, besides saving his life, the nurses in the NICU and the Continuing Care Nursery really knew how to love a baby. The problem was, he didn't really get the whole Sleep During the Night schtick, much to Husband and my chagrin.
So suddenly there was this tiny, needy, scary looking thing plugged in, really, all over the house to various machines, and he was awake all the time. Husband and I coped as best we could. We set up four-hour shifts of sleeping and caretaking and rotated them so that both of us could be sure we'd get some sleep and our share of middle of the night misery. We'd each hit a breaking point, kind of rotate a breaking point between us, if you will, and, depending on our mental state, our general bug-eyed appearance, the pallor of our skin, and how much of our hair was standing on end, we'd give each other a break.
That's kind of how life feels right now. Not because Bar Mitzvahzilla is in any kind of fragile medical state, which he's not. But because of our wild-eyed frenzy. We assess each other each day. Who's been driving since 6:45 in the morning, and it's now 9 PM? Who has poured herself in a heap on the bed and can't move (that's always me)? Who drove to the high school five separate times in one day because of various football-related pick ups and drop offs? Who can handle the moment, at 9 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when five hundred Jewish parents descend on the JCC all at once to pick up their teenagers from Hebrew High and who will melt down?
So who would have thought that at this late date in parenting we'd get this strange reminder of the earliest days of parenting, and via the same kid - Bar Mitzvahzilla? And that, somehow, we'd remember how to do the same thing all over again. The last one standing, the last one not crying with fatigue - that one goes for the final pick up.
Do you remember those days of bringing home a newborn? Did you have a method to balance the exhausted partners? Any random acts of lovingkindness to those you love lately?