A number of my friends have infants, newborn to about 6 months old. So many conversations -- on the phone, across the fence, in email and on AIM -- are about those hazy, crazy newborn days. I sympathize with sleepless nights, offer advice like a nursing pro and debate the merits of schedules.
Truth is, I'm a fraud. I should be an expert. I've got at least 365 nights of sporadic sleep under my belt -- and about 120 of those with a baby tucked between Adam and I in bed or dozing, barely, on my chest. I nursed Emma for 15 months, whipping out my boobs on airplanes and in parking lots, at the park and beach, and shoving them, four times a day, into suction cups, dripping liquid gold into bottles, office door closed while I read blogs that didn't require too much scrolling. And I've spent the last three years structuring my whole life around Emma's schedule -- when we grocery shop and watch TV, what plane tickets I'll buy and birthday parties we can attend. It's the defining force in our world.
So what's the problem?
Promise not to rat me out?
I don't remember much of that first year. I know there was a time when she didn't sleep. A long, long, long time. Weeks were one long blur of tears. I know she hasn't always eaten chicken tikka masala and pad thai. We mixed that precious breastmilk with rice cereal, steamed and pureed zucchini and mashed more bananas than I can count. And we worked damn hard to get that schedule intact. I went to day care every day at lunch to nurse her, and she had to be awake AND hungry while I was there. A schedule was a necessity.
But I don't remember how it all happened, specifically. I can't picture her younger than 2, able to pee in the potty, tell me what hurt, smother me with kisses and spell her name. So all the advice I'm giving? It's that crap everyone told me, all those facts I read in books long ago and the vague idea of how we might've done it. Because truthfully, I don't have a damn clue.