I am incredibly envious at the absolute ease in which my son falls asleep.
Now, if you are an avid S.A.H.D.ness reader, you know that this was not always the case.
However, now, you can pretty much set your watch to his nap times and he is healthily sleeping through the night. Even if it’s not to the duration that the “Early Shift” (ie Allison) would prefer. Both Allison and I have come to realize, more so than any other point in our lives, that there truly is a huge psychological difference between 5:30am and 6:00am. I have no real education in theoretical physics, but I’m nearly certain that there is something publishable involving time dilation and wormholes in that single half hour of either sleep or consciousness.
Sleep and myself have never really gotten along. It got to the point that it sort of became my “thing”. Along with all the other “things” (George the pot smoker, George the guy who bums cigarettes like crazy, George the beer snob, George the beer drinker, George the shitty beer drinker, and finally George the alcoholic) that I’ve put out to pasture I am more than ready to abandon the self-identifying characteristics of being “George, the guy who doesn’t need much sleep”. I mean, seriously, the next person who says “Ah, I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is getting a bottle of Xanax tosses at them. No! No! I want to sleep while I’m alive. Hell, I don’t even wanna be dead when I’m dead. I’m working on that one.
So, beyond my own longing for the simple peaceful sleep that so many infants seem to enjoy? I suppose it’s my belief that there is no complete mystery behind what’s going on in a baby’s head. Some people look at their child and say: “I can’t imagine what he must be thinking.” or “I wish I could see what he’s dreaming”. My favorite, at which I always let out a barely audible chuckle, is: “I bet there is more going on behind those eyes than any of us could possibly imagine.” Romantic? Yes. It’s hard to not romanticize your own child, but I do find it to be entirely unrealistic.
Ya know what’s going on in a baby’s head most of the time? It’s very simple. They are frustrated. They are amazingly frustrated that all they want to do is eat and we are stupidly waving a squeeky ball in front of their nose. They are frustrated that they woke up a half hour earlier than they wanted to, but you just HAD to pick em up outta the crib because you wanted to take a series of “Look how sleepy he is” iPhone pics. They are FRUSTRATED because they want the exact same things that we all want but they lack the innate ability to just tell us. They want their bellies to be full when they are hungry. They want to be warmed when they are cold and cooled when they are hot. They dream about the same meandering nonsense that all of us dream about so that their brains can just take a break because life is hard. And it’s especially hard for them.
So, we get overly romantic about them. We idealize their thoughts, their expressions and the endless possibilities that we see laid out before them. So what? In the 9 months that I’ve known Jack I have met a lot of other parents. I’ve seen that there are far worse things that you can do to your child than dream for them.
As hard as it is, let’s just not get carried away.