It’s only taken 6 months, but I’ve finally arrived at the conclusion that there will never be any consistency again. It’s gone…gone with my Pretty Little Liar TV binges and designer handbags. Each day is different, and some days change by the hour. What my son decides to do sets in motion a pattern of events that can completely derail everything from the next 2 hours to the rest of the day. You see, I had a very silly notion in my head that after the chaos of the newborn stage we would settle into some sort of schedule or at least a routine. But that never happened. And just when I think we’ve gotten a bit of consistency, everything changes. My darn kid has to grow and do things like teeth, eat solids, roll over, crawl…calling them “developmental milestones” is a way to sugarcoat the fact that any bit of regularity that you are clinging too has gone down the drain with last nights half eaten green bean puree.
After six months of tracking our son’s sleeping and eating in the hopes of finding some sort of pattern, I finally said to my husband last night, “I think we can stop.” At this point, it has simply become a reminder of our disorder. Most seasoned parents probably laugh at this – of course, I should have known how nuts it is with a kid, right? Oh, and if you think you’re going to have more than one…just wait. It was a long fall from the picture in my head to the reality of having an infant. My infant. My sweet Roland Fox.
I am envious of my friends who have babies that have at least some sort of schedule. Even though my son goes to sleep around the same time each night, his wake time is anywhere from 6am – 8am. His naps can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. And of course, when we have the time he sleeps for 25 minutes and when we have something to do he sleeps for 2 hours. Murphy’s Law should be changed to Roland’s Law. As a human who loves to have a plan, who couldn’t wait to get a calendar each shool year and write out my schedule, who gets a little too excited when I cross something off a to-do list, the unpredictability used to be maddening.
But of course, like all parents do, I’ve adjusted. And my son and his free bird way of life have taught me a few things along the way. I’ve learned the value of a minute and become much more efficient. Before I would think an hour was not enough time, now I think about how much I can get done in 10 minutes. It’s so much time! I’ve learned to say “no” – that there is only so much we can pack into a day. Whether we have to miss an event or maybe the dishwasher doesn’t get emptied until tomorrow, it’s OK. Our sanity and our time together are more important. I’ve learned to slow down and just enjoy. When my kid takes a long nap and we miss our baby-wearing Barre class, well, that just means we find something else to do together. I’ve actually learned to enjoy that every day is a little bit different. He’s taught me to take life as it comes, and ease up if things don’t go as planned. That living by the seat of your blown-out diaper pants can be more fun that sticking to the schedule. And that when you actually get something done during the day, crossing it off that to-do list is that much sweeter.