Giving up Diet Coke has had a strange impact on my life. I get sleepy earlier and sleep more deeply, even if I’m being rooted at all night long by some little Piglet. I’ve stopped needing naps during the day, which so far hasn’t resulted in more productivity, but I can dream. The only problem is that I haven’t yet adjusted my nights to anticipate going to bed a scant half-hour after my eldest (and sometimes as Mason is putting the finishing touches on the “rock and spank” routine he uses to put the baby to bed, so I’m a lighterweight than my baby). There are nights I don’t see him at all after he’s gone out to teach his night class, and we have to be happy with a few mumbled exchanges in the sleepy mornings. And some days she won’t take long naps either, so we get a long cranky day of cycling through tears and happiness, singing and rocking instead of fun stuff. Still, it’s a good stage and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere but in it.
Maggie herself usually goes to bed around 8, and wakes up some time in the night. If I’m lucky, it’s like this morning, when she woke up around 5:40. It doesn’t feel lucky, what with the painful engorgement and the cold wet t-shirt and the waiting in desperation for her to finish one side so that I can switch her and relieve the pressure. But then she’ll drift off again, and if it’s time to wake up I can leave her in the bed for a short extension on her night while I chase Blake through his morning routine. If she’s not asleep, Blake usually crawls into bed with us for a few minutes to snuggle before his day starts. Once we get out of that bed, we don’t stop moving.
I’ve been trying to cook real food like eggs so that Blake & I don’t eat just cereal and bottom out halfway through the morning, so we do that while Maggie either sleeps upstairs or looks on from my lap. Some mornings she lets me get dressed and Blake & I brush our teeth together while she kicks on the bathroom floor. Today she screamed unless she was in arms, so I did everything one-handed and slower. Somewhere in all of that, I change her night diaper and into her clothes for the day (although if we’re running late, she only gets a fresh diaper and goes out in her pj’s). I’m using the next size of clothes we were given, and having fun with her little outfits.
If she’s been up too early, she sometimes falls asleep just as we’re getting ready to go to school, so I send Blake on with my dad and stay home. When she’s awake, she gets bundled, protesting, into a huge green snowsuit and hauled to school. My dad usually comes late, so we often hear the last bell as we’re still across the yard, and I race Blake to the door. We used to let him say goodbye to us at the edge of the field, and watch him plod unhurriedly. To hell with that. Now the best part of my walk is that final sprint across the frozen field, yelling at Blake that if I beat him, I get to go to school in his place.
When we get home, Maggie is usually asleep, having given up complaining at the early hour and cold weather. If I can get her in bed without waking her up, we’re sometimes good for most of the morning. If not, we hang out until she goes to sleep. For the rest of the day, she naps in her room while I pursue solo projects, or she plays in her crib while I fold laundry and talk to her and we both listen to the radio. She nurses frequently, sometimes out of hunger and sometimes out of a need for closeness. She takes three or four naps a day, not counting her big nap at night. She still hates riding in the car at night and she still likes me best, so I’ve put off dance lessons again until she gets a little better at evenings.
We sing songs every day, the litany of favourites we learned at Baby Time where we still go every Tuesday. At first, the songs meant nothing to her; now she will stop crying to hear me sing “Twinkle Twinkle,” and if she’s not crying to begin with she’ll break out one of her big baby grins & giggles when I start singing about the little green frog. It’s pretty awesome to behold.