Funny thing about being a parent: despite knowing it’s going to be a huge challenge, before your child is born you spend lots of time agreeing with your spouse on what rules you’ll be parenting under. It all seems so logical and orderly when you’ve still got a fetus instead of a child. We agreed that we’ll share discipline roles, our daughter won’t have earrings until she can take care of them herself, and so on. The big, big, big rule though was our children will sleep in their own beds. We knew that the occasional night terror or illness would necessitate a brief suspension of this rule. But we were adamant about wanting our kids to feel comfortable in their bed rather than needing to come sleep with mom and dad in order to relax.
This of course means that M. has slept with her parents the last two nights. We seem to be getting the feeding thing down. We visited with a lactation consultant yesterday (Who knew there was such a thing?!?! I think I’ve found my next career!) and she gave S. the big thumbs up on technique. She also weighed M. and she’s already surpassed her birth weight (6 lbs, 11 oz after leaving the hospital at 5 lbs. 11 oz.) so we know the girl is getting enough to eat. Unlike the shrieking from earlier in the week, though, the last two nights she just will not calm down and relax in her bed. S. rocks her for 45 minutes, puts her down, and five minutes later she’s unwrapped herself and is crying. I walked downstairs yesterday morning to find my girls curled up on the couch. S. opened an eye and said, “We’re violating rule #1 in a big way.”
Advise for the other new and prospective parents out there: you may think you’re smart and can enter parenthood with an easy to follow plan. You’re wrong. Your child has nothing to do but sit around and think of ways to drive you crazy. It took our girl a week to get what she wants. You may not care about the whole family bed thing, but I guarantee there’s something you feel strongly about that you’ll be caving on as soon as you have to put up with an hour of crying at 3:00 AM. And yes, I can hear the laughter from my Northern California reader.