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It's a few minutes before ten in the morning as I start to write this. Last night, I slept badly, and when the kid woke around six, an hour before our 'this is an acceptable wake-up time' time, my shoulders felt like they'd been pulled out of their sockets from funny sleep positions. So I nursed the kid for awhile, then tagged [personal profile] monad. You're it, honey.

He asked, as he usually does, how long I needed. "I dunno," I said. "Half an hour, maybe?" Half an hour sleeping without a baby next to me, where I can sprawl and roll around and stretch and snooze, is usually enough to undo the worst of a poor night's sleep of damage.

So [personal profile] monad took the kid, and I went back to sleep.

Our usual routine - and by usual, I mean there is almost never more than twenty minutes or so of variation - is like so: I get up with the kid once he's awake after seven, we go have breakfast, we play together or he plays while I clean up around the apartment, and then we lay down for naptime right around ten. Barring developmental interruptions and such, he sleeps anywhere from forty-five minutes to two hours, and then we get up, have lunch, play some more, have snack. If it was a short first nap, we're down for a second at two; if a long first nap, we push the second by half an hour to an hour. It's much more common for him to sleep short for the first and long for the second, so two is almost always naptime, for an hour or two. The best days, he gets a solid three hours of naps during the day. After second nap we're up for the evening; I start thinking about dinner seriously, reviewing to make sure any extensive prep is done. [personal profile] monad gets home around five-thirty, I cook, we eat, there's a little family leisure time, then we (he) start(s) bathtime routine at seven-twenty. I'm up for ten or fifteen minutes right before eight to nurse, then he takes the kid for book and bed at eight, after which we have adult time for a few hours (usually until eleven-thirty).

I just woke up at nine-forty-five. Had [personal profile] monad taken the kid that whole time? Fed him breakfast, played with him?

I snuck out to the living room, and when I did I saw them in the guest room (that will one day belong to the kid). They were (and are) asleep in the recliner in there, the kid on daddy's chest, happily snoozing under a blanket.

I got to sleep almost an extra three hours, and my guys got what they needed, too.

Some days, I feel very alone in this parenting thing. It is an artifact of our culture, I think, to view each nuclear family as a separate, self-contained and self-sufficient. Having a kid, especially in a new city, can be isolating to the point of loneliness so big the word seems wrong.

But some days, I am so overwhelmed by the love and support that man has for me. I forget to ask for enough for myself. And some days, he gives it to me, anyway.


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January 2012

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