I don't know how accurate this is, but closely following Leone's arrival within our abode, I began to panic about getting him on a schedule. A feeding schedule, a diaper schedule, a sleeping schedule. For one reason or another, it seemed to be one of the most important things ever. A schedule.
Looking back, I'm fairly confident that one of the primary reasons for said schedules was that I was scared out of my mind and thought the only way I could put those fears to rest would be if I had something I could check off. And a schedule? Shoot. I could handle that. I knew how to be rigid and focused and determined and stubborn. Also? I knew how to check things off.
So. There we were. Schedules in hand, baby boy who seemed determined to do things his way or the highway. Threw me through a loop. A huge, scribble-scrabble loopty-loop. I remember driving for hours, HOURS, to get him to nap at exactly 1 o'clock in the afternoon. And thinking that the timer went off fifteen minutes ago for his bottle and why isn't he hungry? Is he sick? Is something wrong? Does the formula taste like shit? This is exactly why I should pay the million dollars to have breast milk delivered from Denver. If it was breast milk, he would be eating right now. I am failing at this!! My baby is going to hate me, hate us, hate his life!! Wait. Now you're hungry? Oh.
But no. It wasn't over at that point. Because then? Then I would have to figure out if the schedule should change by twenty minutes, or if I should stick with the original plan. And then? Should I wake him up if he sleeps over an hour? And if he doesn't fall asleep until 1:30, does it make sense for us to keep him awake for an extra 30 minutes before nighttime? What if he doesn't nap? Should he go to bed early or will that jack everything up?
Shit. I was tired. Tired with a capital T. Exhausted by my own mind.
Today I rocked my boy to sleep. We rocked and rocked and rocked. He cuddled in, stuffed monsters and frogs and flannel blankets crammed into the places our bodies weren't. At first I worried a bit- will this make it hard for him once school starts up again? What will it be like when I start teaching again and I'm not there to rock him to sleep? Will he be extra sad? Will he not go to sleep? Am I starting one of those American viewed "bad habits"? What if I die? What if I die tonight and I've made him used to rocking to sleep in my arms and then he'll never nap again and he'll be extra, extra sad- and OH GOD- what if I die?! What will happen if I die?!
What is it about me that makes me want to prepare for every step in the future, be it immediate or further on? I know that when it comes to potential grief (through departure from visitors or someone's looming death), I like to begin the sadness way ahead of time. You know, so it won't be so bad once the real occasion is staring me in the face.
And also? It doesn't really help out that much. I'm still sad, I'm still angry, I'm still confused, I'm still whatever the situation calls for, regardless of when I began the process.
So my boy wants to cuddle. He actually wants to cuddle. With me. These are moments- precious, beautiful moments. And to throw them aside because I'm afraid of what might come? Ridiculous. Absolutely stupid.
Like I said, we're doing just fine. Only thing is, I have to get over these humps within my own head. And my boy? He's pretty patient with me. Patient and funny and demanding and pushy and wonderful and delightful and smart and good and handsome. And also? An amazing little cuddle bug when he feels like it.