All the little things I never understood before about parenting, I am quickly beginning to understand now.
I used to look at parents of babies and wonder how in the world they can keep their head on their shoulders when a baby is crying like it’s the end of the world Answer: you get used to it.
At parties or gatherings of any sort, how do mothers simultaneously socialize, balance a plate of food in one hand, baby on the other arm, and smile? Answer: women are capable of anything.
Reuseable diapers seem like a good idea. Answer: They’re not.
Why do parents keep a million framed pictures of their babies? Isn’t one enough? Answer: You can never have too many pictures of Baby.
How do people wake up in the middle of the night to take care of the endless needs of a child? Answer: Hormones and Love.
I do believe there must be some sort of hormonal explanation for my newfound ability to meet 3 or 4am head-on. Seriously, I was the type of person who could sleep through hurricanes and thunderbolts, loud music and alarm clocks. Give me a chair, bed, reclining anything and I will sleep. On land or on a plane, I even fell asleep while floating in a friend’s backyard pool in highschool.
I used to boast my sleep agility stories like war vet stories. I’ve fallen asleep propped up against a wall in a dentist’s office. In the back of a truck on a bumpy dirt road. On someone’s shoulder in front of a campfire. IN FRONT OF AN AIRLINE CHECK-IN DESK THAT WAS REPEATEDLY CALLING MY NAME.
These instances are all true.
Now, one little meep or beep or squeak or tweek or gurgle or belch or cough or sniff or anything from my little one and my eyes are OPEN, head is rising off the pillow with one eye on the door the other enviously watching my dear spouse snore his life away into his pillow.
Isaiah has changed our lives. He’s brought us unimaginable joy and the wonderful gift of big and small laughs. E.g. Thinking about how he’ll probably be taller than me by the first grade or giggling over his tiny little toe peaking out from one of the sewn holes in a knit blanket.
There’s no further proof of the power of a first baby than the altered sleeping patterns of a night owl like myself.
Nick has a belief that the older one gets, the more prominent the true self becomes. For the most part, I firmly agree with him. However, my “true” self might be put on hold until Isaiah is 18 and away at college. Or my “true” self is permanently changed to reveal a mother who used to need a sledgehammer to the gut to wake up and now wakes at the slightest wind passing through the nursery. My “true” self loved sleep, so much so that I’d sleep through historical moments (the 2000 presidential election result/debacle) or natural disasters (tornado like conditions). Alas, my “true” self has changed. And that’s all due to my son.
Answer: I couldn’t imagine it any other way.