Thursday, April 29, 2010

For Now

Friends and strangers often ask me about Emeline's schedule. "Is she sleeping through the night? How often does she nap? How often does she eat?" In response I normally scrunch up one side of my face while my mind pitches through the fog that was yesterday or last week, grappling for a pattern, and I reply: "She's doing ____."

Or I should say, I used to reply: "She's doing ____," with certainty.

I've wised up to the idea that there is no certainty when it comes to a baby's schedule. If I say anything regarding her schedule with a modicum of certainty, I can only be certain it will not happen the next day.

Here's a case in point.  At four months old, Eme slept through the night. And I'm not talking about the medical definition of a piddling 5-6 hours. She was sleeping a solid 12 hours at a time. Eight 0'clock at night to eight in the morning. It was wonderful! There was joy. There were complete thoughts. I was even getting up to swim in the morning! I was motivated to get up at 6am and swim! Brazenly, I began to speak about these marathon sleep sessions. Then she got sick, then we moved, then she began teething. Trifecta of doom. No more long sleep sessions. No more swimming.

To add insult to injury, I can't use "statements of certainty" to my advantage. If we have a horrible week of her getting up every two hours or so during the night and I say so--forcibly, with certainty, and clearly while in the ear shot of my sweet baby--most likely we'd have another trying night, or two, or three.

There's your absolute: You can never be absolutely sure about her schedule. So I've been employing the phrase for now.

"Is she sleeping through the night?"
Yep. For now.

"Does she like rice cereal?"
Yes. She seems to like it for now.
And it's working out. Expectations have been reigned in; outlooks are reasonable.

As it turns out, I have found this to be a handy principle for life. It is my tendency when I set out to do something to count the cost and commit to it as if I need to do it every day for the rest of my life. I've always been a tad bit serious. In my defense, this is important to do when it comes to things like marriage and motherhood, etc., etc. But in less important things, sometimes I just need to chill out. In fact, I balked at starting this blog because in my mind it had to be all or nothing: If I'm going to blog, then I will blog the rest of my life so help me God.

My daughter has helped me realize that I can say I'm doing ____ today with the understanding that tomorrow could be different. That's okay. It's no big deal. 

I'm going to blog for now

It's actually kind of liberating.

6 comments:

  1. This, as they say, resonates with me.

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  2. Exactly. The one piece of unsolicited advice I give new parents is: if s/he is doing some cute mannerism today, capture it on video or take a picture, because it might only last today and then s/he moves on to something else. "Remember when she used to make little O's with her mouth?" Yeah.

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  3. A very good reminder. This applies, no matter what age. The questions/statements may be different, but "for now" is always a good policy and causes much less stress and worry! I hope she is back to sleeping longer stretches for now!

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  4. "If I'm going to blog, then I will blog the rest of my life so help me God."
    I laughed out loud because it captured so much about you, and myself, and our family.

    I can't stop laughing.

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  5. Mon! Cliff and I still laugh OUT LOUD when we recall a passionate email that we once received on January first from a friend of ours vowing to write weekly emails (indefinitely) to update friends and family on his family's happenings. He planned to include baby pictures and clever narratives. We never heard from him again.

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  6. Now I'm laughing out loud! And a bit surprised that I've never said something like that! :)

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