Baby Worn

Michael doesn’t nap. Or he doesn’t nap *much*. Or for very long. Or in any kind of predicable pattern that I can set my day by.

This, along with the whole latching issue, is unfamiliar territory. My girls were easy to breastfeed (“easy” being a relative term; don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that breastfeeding isn’t work and doesn’t take commitment: it is and it does, and it’s totally worth it. I’m still grieving not breastfeeding M, but this is not that post); they also were champion nappers. Two times a day for the first year; usually for an hour or three. It was great.

Michael is not a champion napper. Sometimes he naps for 20 minutes up to five times a day; sometimes he naps for two hours, then three hours in two naps; sometimes he takes a long nap, and then the rest of the day dozes on and off while he’s eating.

I’ve tried wearing him to encourage deeper napping. Michael does not often like this, and he makes his dislike quite well known. Sometimes I have the patience to wait him out — if I wait long enough, and he’s tired enough, he will pass out. Sometimes, not so much. Plus, let’s face it: baby wearing has its limitations. Can’t drive a car wearing a baby; can’t take a shower.

However, to his credit, my baby sleeps at night.

Well, mostly. Around 4 or 5 (or 3) in the morning, M loses his binky (nuk, paci, pacifier, whatever you call it). And he snorts and grunts. And burbles and whines a little. And snuffles. Really loudly.

So I get up, go to his room, find his binky, stick it back in his mouth, and go back to bed. For two minutes. And then again. And then again, and then I get fed up, and take him, his binky, and my sleepy self back to my bed for another hour (maybe) of rest. That’s if my insomnia doesn’t kick in, and I’m lying there with a sleeping infant, a snoring husband, and racing thoughts. So unfair.

I feel terrible when I think things at Michael, like, “I can’t wait until you can sit up.” Or, as I’m feeding him a bottle — after preparing and heating it — “I can’t wait until you’re eating real food.”

Because these things are fast forward in time. And time? She goes fast enough my friends.

Next week I return to work. My baby will only be 11 weeks old.

I love so many of the things of having a baby: the coos and smiles, especially the sleepy ones; the fat thighs and belly; the baby skin. I love Michael’s intensity and his reality. And I hate wishing he were older, even if it would in some ways be easier for me.

Because someday, I’m going to blink, and he’s going to be standing up in his crib waiting for me to get him in the morning. And then he’ll be 10 (and Flora will be 16, God help her father, and Kate will be 14, God help us all). And then I’ll be standing behind a frazzled mother of young children in Target, and I’ll say the thing to her that I have heard a few dozen times: “It goes so fast.”

It does, my friends. It really does. So I hate thinking, “Go faster.” I have to take a deep breath and remember, it’s fast enough.