In recent days, you’ve begun sleeping 7-8 hours straight through the night, and I’ve finally accepted my day effectively ends at 8:30 PM when we start getting you ready for bed and my day starts at 7:00 AM when we wake up to your soft happy coos…seven days a week, which is in sharp contrast to life before when weekdays had different schedules from weekends, and I could freely putz around until midnight. (But now that we’re early risers, we’ve been going out to cafes for coffee and breakfast, which is great because we both prefer the ambiance of a cafe over a restaurant, breakfast is cheaper than dinner, and it’s quieter in mornings than evenings.)
For the past three months, I would just look at you and feel it was all surreal. So I ask myself what could be more real than holding a crying baby in your arms? Or changing a poopy diaper for the umpteenth time? Because there’s nothing surreal about those things. Those are very in-your-face sensory-assaulting activities.
Upon reflecting on how I process change in my life, I’ve reached the conclusion I don’t process change until it has become the new normal. Maybe it’s because I’m a creature of extreme habit (Max Richter is played and plants get watered every Saturday morning, we have a schedule for vacuuming and bathroom cleaning, etc. etc.) that anything new or different needs to be around long enough to force me to break my habits and rituals. There’s inertia with habits and the longer those habits have been around, the harder they are to break. So there’s natural resistance to accepting an earlier bedtime and an earlier start until it has become a regular thing.
It’s only recently when you’ve settled into some sort of discernible sleeping pattern that I could also adjust my habits. Perhaps you yourself were going through so many changes in the first three months that it was not only pure chaos for you, but also for us! I can’t form habits when you wake up at 2am one night and wake up at 4am the next. In this state, I’m just too tired and frazzled to accept or think about anything.
In any case, I know you won’t stay in your current phase forever, but it seems to be long enough for me to have accepted my days as a night owl are over. So perhaps this is the letter where I declare I officially feel like a parent now.