A colleague of mine, bless her, said she couldn’t imagine my being mean. It’s not to say I’m any kind of saint, but hell ya, I can be mean. Or at least, my mind can be mean. I can lay awake at 2am while my precious baby yells at a bone-shattering, heart-valve clenching octave and have dark thoughts. Apparently that’s normal, says the friendly dad I met on route to work today. His two children cried for 6 months straight when they were babies and he said, “You want to kill them or give them away, but so long as you don’t kill them or give them away, it doesn't make you a bad parent to want to sometimes.” It’s hard to complain when we've waited so long for our little guy. I will though, at least on this blog and in my mind at 2am. From what I understand about torture, like at Guantanamo Bay, intentional sleep deprivation is a key practice. A is additionally being kicked and pinched, not to mention depleted of her energy and vitamins though her milk. There is no getting around the fact that our sacred, dependent charge is also our jailer. I know he’s not happy about it either, like we’re all stuck in some crazy 60’s psychology prof’s idea of a good time.
I am normally not into swearing, but I am taking comfort in a certain “children’s” story of late called “Go the F**k to Sleep" (check out the audio book version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI6RrDveqm8). It hits the nail on the head about parental insecurities, frustrations and helplessness about sleep. Thank you Adam Mansbach for writing it. Thank you to all those parents who've gone before us, walking the deeply worn path on the rug of nighttime soothing. I will no doubt return to that Zen, Buddha-Mama place eventually, or at least occasionally. For now, the truth is that I hate the crying at night, the soft moans that mean the imminent increase to a crescendo of sound. My life-long heart palpitations issue has quadrupled since he was born, like the combination of intense love and nerve-jangling stress have knocked my internal rhythms off course. Our external ones are obviously shot, especially A’s, but it’s interesting to watch the body’s reaction and it’s not so subtle cues to dis-ease. I knew I’d have trouble with the absence of quiet in the house, but I did not anticipate what it would feel like to be so rattled. Love hurts.