Thursday, January 05, 2006

How am I supposed to get anything done with these pleading eyes following me, begging for just a moment more of my time?

I'm going to be honest - I don't fight it anymore. Nothing really gets done during the day.

Sure, there are sporadic moments of cleaning - sweeping cracker crumbs and washing sippy cups, random dishes - getting down on my hands and knees to wipe drooly handprints from the hardwood floors (and some days, I'll even clean myself, if I'm lucky...not today.) In stolen moments, during a nap - or if he can be entertained for a moment or two (or five or ten...) I can shoot off a few emails, read a few pages. Skim some news. Feel like an adult before he tugs on my sleeve.

Of course, I love bouncing him on my hip or watching his eyes follow the pages of the books as I read them to him. And, I love being witness to his daily discoveries and triumphs (nodding as he giggles over what fun that can be had with gravity and peas...holding back a hushed gasp as he catches himself from falling - something learned after months of kissing his bonked and bruised head.) And, I love that he clings to my sleeve when Memere or Uncle try to take him from me. And, that he follows me everywhere, with one hand always nervously lingering within fingertip grasp of my pantlegs. These are the moments I'm taking with me. Forever moments.

And I've even been getting some writing done lately. The only thing I'm really missing is sleep.

I've become a creature of the night.

I am more nocturnal now than when he was crying for me at 1 and 3 and 5 in the AM. Last night, I was up working on various stories and mashing a pile of thoughts together that wound up here, until the early hours of the morning. All to the rhythm of my husbands long sleepy breaths rising from the couch behind me.

But, these are the only hours I have - the hours between The Boss's bedtime and mine. And I will wring them dry - typing and thinking and reading and doing whatever can't be done when my sleeve is getting tugged.

Unfortunately, his bedtime is a fairly consistant 8 O'clock, while mine has been sliding deeper and deeper into the dark. This leaves us on opposite ends of the sleeping-curve when morning comes. Around the time that my husband wakes for work, The Boss is stirring, and I'm pulling blankets to my face, covering my ears, nuzzling my nose into the warm material and holding my breath. Waiting for it.

The dreaded click of our bedroom door as my husband slips out in the morning. It's the shotgun that starts my day.

It's getting harder to drag my heavy limbs from the bed. And my mind is worse. It's still soggy and slow - clogged in dream-murk that won't clear until at least twenty minutes after I've brought The Boss downstairs and set our morning routine in motion.

Come to think of it, my recent nostalgic musings about college-life can probably be attributed, at least in part, to this state of sleep deprivation. It was a way of life for me back then. Molasses mornings following late-late nights. We didn't even get started until after midnight.

Of course, our mornings didn't start at 6:30 with a bright and chirping baby. With a load in his pants. That's always the kicker.

I'm pretty sure that I will never look back on cleaning baby poo - before I've even swept the sleep from my eyes - with warmfuzzymommy nostalgia.

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20 Comments:

Blogger CP said...

Oh Mella, You do make me laugh. It is incredibly hard to be a writer and a mother, when baby drains all the muse from your system. Here I thought my children would be inspirational. Perspirational is what I received instead. But we love love love them, don't we?

Eventually, he will go to college and you will be able to write again...I promise.

CP.
http://certifiableprincess.blogspot.com/

Blogger U235-Radioactive said...

This poetry springs upon me like a stalking cat that has found its prey. The beauty and humanity of this blog entry spreads throughout my soul as might a spoonfull of honey sweeten the pallate of an otherwise starving man.

So beautiful is the child, so etherial is the mother that is touches the softness in an otherwise hardscrapple existance.

So good is it to know that such a thing as love, comfort, and innocence in the world exists, that it sets my soul to rest untroubled by other more weighty things.

Blogger Chris said...

What do you mean? That kid IS poetry!!!

He's up to something.... I'm not sure what it is, exactly, but I'm pretty sure it's going to cost money.

Chris

Blogger szerin said...

You mean the radioactive kid??
:-p

Blogger szerin said...

Dear, the baby is so cute, so cool if i can give The Boss a pinch or two on his cheek..... Hahaha... So c.h.u.b.b.y!!!

Blogger Skye said...

It's awfully hard, isn't it, to cut short the "me" hours after the little people are in bed?! The late nights and dragging mornings are something I'm all too familiar with... and do I have any literary masterpieces to show for it? NO!

And you are right, Mella, about the baby poo... it's been three years now since I've changed a poopy diaper, and not once have I looked back on the diaper-changing experience with fondness! Well, okay... maybe just the teeny-tiny pink newborn-size diapers I used to buy for my first daughter back in the days before diapers all went PC.

Blogger Debbie said...

I must admit... that baby is absolutely gorgeous!

Blogger LJ said...

You manage to pack in some astonishingly good writing for a woman who is sleep-deprived and night-owling it with the keyboard.
Always to a joy to read here.

Blogger GeminiKnit said...

Glad to read that I am not the only one who finds her bedtime later and later only to be greeted with children whose wake up time is getting earlier and earlier. Enjoying your blog!

Blogger ElizaF said...

I get up when my 9 month old daughter gets up for her first feed (about 5am) she is usually out like a light after about 15 mins and the next two glorious hours until the rest of the household (3 and 35) stirs are all mine mine mine ... I've never been so productive in such a small space of time before. I love your blog and will be back. :)

Eliza in London

Blogger JunieRose2005 said...

Mella,

You will have no greater purpose or ever find anything more fulfilling than being a good mom to your little boy!
You seem to be off to a great start! :)

Store the sweet memories! Time passes faster than we realize.

The other things you are meant to be in your life will come!

He's an adorable little boy!...But- of course you know that!


Junie

http://journals.aol.com/juniper5541/JunipersWorld/

Blogger Neo said...

Mella -You poor thing. :) *hug*

I can just see how frustrated it can get when all you want to do is write your thoughts. Then the other priorities jump in the front of the que.

For a person that writes around that type of schedule, you do one hell of a job.

*hugs*

Peace,

- Neo

Blogger Dim Windows said...

I've read important articles about how sleep deprivation (less than 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night) can literally shave years off my lifespan. Frankly, I don't want to live that long. It's a lovely bit of justification. I'll continue to believe I can perform as well as I did in college, even if I can't eat a taco after 9 pm without it affecting my gastrointestinal system for the next two days. And the memories of the daily loaded diapers fade into obscurity beneath the carpet stains that will never let you forget about those bouts of the stomach flu that begin like a projectile and end with a slow seeping down the pant leg and to the soles of the feet to be tracked like muddy footprints across the living room floor.

Blogger Mella said...

cp: So true, so true...but I think I'd like to put off thoughts of college, at least for the timebeing. It hurts my bank account just thinking of it.

u235: Thank you for your lovely comment - it's more poetic than the post itself!

Chris Oh, he's up to something, most all of the time. That's for certain. Luckily at the moment, his largest source of amusement is inexpensive & plentiful: trash (boxes, papers, etc)

szerinMost all of the chub is in his cheeks, yes. Quite pinchable.

Skye You know, The Boss is only one, but I've already looked back on the adorable little newborn diapers he used to wear - that practically fit in my palm - and I do get a little misty eyed.

debbie: Why thank you, I tend to think so myself - biased of course.

LJ Thanks. I only wish I had more interesting adventures to write about here, you know, something beyond diapers and late night toiling over broken manuscripts...Perhaps I just need to go for a walk and do a little looking up.

geminiknit: Thanks for stopping by and commiserating with me!

elizaf: I applaud your ability to produce on the other side of the early morning. Maybe I could try going to sleep earlier and shifting my schedule around that way...of course, my mind would need to cooperate with this, which could prove to be problematic. Not a morning-mind.

Junie: You are so right - the rest of the things I'm hoping on for my life will come in their own time. It's nice to be reminded that my daylight adventures in motherhood are in the forefront, because they are the most important things I can be doing right now.

Neo: Thanks, Neo. I'm ok. Should I be napping now that The Boss is napping, probably...but sleep doesn't seem as important at three in the afternoon as it does at 3 in the morning.

Blogger Mella said...

dimwindows: Oh, I've read that research too. I'm hoping that the rest of my 'clean living' will counteract the effects. The sad thing is, even though this is how I functioned in college, I've never been nearly the night person that my friends (mostly the guys, actually) were. I tend to cranky when I haven't slept. My husband has dubbed this phenomenon: Mean Mella

Blogger dillyweed said...

Mella,
My baby boy is nearly 6 months. He amazes me in so many wonderful and challenging ways each day. And sleep... I miss that SO much. I used to be a daily napper in college until little Dylan was born. That is probably the hardest thing for me: lack of sleep. Your perception of everything else is changed when you are tired.
Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm honored to see you visited! :)

Blogger KristieSue said...

I am a lucky one. I have three little cuties. My oldest daughter crawls in bed with my 12 month old son on mornings when I want to sleep in. She plays with him until he gets hungry and I absolutely have to get out of bed. I've always been a night owl I hate mornings no matter what time I go to bed. You have a sweet baby good luck with catching a little extra shut eye ;)

Blogger david C said...

Hello Mella.

We got a clean bill of health and permission to travel to Australia today from our doctor. Well excited now, we leave sunday. Sorry to hear about the lack of sleep, I guess that is the territory. BTW, there is nothing that says you can't pull the Docs from the closet, you just have to use them responsibly!

All the best....

Blogger Mella said...

drennan: Exactly, the key to college survival was the between-class naps. They say that we're supposed to 'nap when they're napping'...but it doesn't always happen. I'm not ready to sleep after I've had my coffee.

I hope Dylan's feeling better! The Boss was sick a lot last winter - I used to make the bathroom into a sauna for him by running shower with menthol scented stuff...it seemed to help.

Kristisue: Oh, good! I was worried that it'd just get worse when I have more children! Excellent! (And in the meantime, while I'm the only source of entertainment for The Boss, I'll remain incredibly envious of your morning shuteye.)

davidc Wonderful! I hope you have a great/restful/rejuvinating/all around wonderful trip!

PS~I've already pulled the Doc's out of the closet...now I'm wondering if I have anything suitable to wear with them...

Blogger ~Deb said...

Oh wow, what an adorable baby. I would never get anything done with those big cute eyes staring at me. I guess balance in life is necessary----with anything really.

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