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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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I'm sitting on a leather loveseat in the window alcove of a first floor of a Chicago 3-flat. Last November, [personal profile] monad got word from one of the companies he interviewed at during the summer after the layoff. They hadn't had anything for him at the time, but he was on their 'We Like You And Have Not Yet Hired You' list; would he like a job? He spoke with me, then said yes. More money, lower expenses, closer to family. (The lower expenses thing didn't actually wind up being true, but whatever. More on that in a second.)

His yes was conditional on starting after our son was born. So we planned to move around the end of April, six-ish weeks after he was due to be born.

Our son's due date came and went - he was born a week late. We still had him at home, still entirely unmedicated, but I had some bleeding and the kid had pneumonia; we were in the hospital (two days for me, ten total for him, which means ten total for the two of us). That was a really hellish week - it felt like our son's health was a moving target and we were constantly told he couldn't go home that day, the next, that week. But the infection cleared and we got to take him home, and then we got to move, just a bit more quickly than planned.

So now we've been in Chicago for about eight months. We have a lovely two-bedroom apartment in a delightful (and delightfully queer) neighborhood; it's the sort of place you can settle in and nest for the winter, which is good, because I fail at winter. We've made some friends; we joined a nerdy parenting group, which happened to have about 80% overlap with a local poly group, and so now almost all of our (local) friends are poly. Bizarrely, they all seem to be doing poly in a way that doesn't skeeve us out ("Oh, you're poly? I'm free this weekend if you wanna fuck."). I'm used to having mega-bifurcated identity stuff going on because I'm poly in one circle of friends and whatever occupation (currently: mom) in another and a crafter or a scientist or whatever in another, and never the twixt shall meet.

Our son is nine and a half months old; he is the Biggest Ever (99.9th percentile since birth), over eleven pounds at birth, thirty at six months, and thirty-three now. He went from what my dear friend [personal profile] kadrin called a "bag of needs" once to smiling at things that pleased him, to napping and sleeping relatively predictably, from exclusively breastfed to eating damn near anything we'll give him (exception: turnips), from a baby paperweight to sitting to scooching to pulling up and now, cruising from my knee around furniture and on again. His favorites include mommy, mommy's boobs, Apple devices and/or daddy, grandma, strawberries, baths, people who make dopey faces at him, things that are not toys and that we would not like to have slobber on, toys we don't mind having slobber on, in approximately that order. His unfavorites include the booger-sucker, putting shirts on, laying on his back, turnips, playing by himself, car seats, also approximately in that order.

Yesterday I turned thirty and had an amazing party; I had someone cook for it, and we set up my iPad to stream karaoke to our TV, and the kid slept straight through the ruckus. A dozen friends paraded through our place with warmth and well-wishes. I don't think I could ask for more. Tonight we are babysitting some friends' kids, two awesomely well-behaved and friendly girls, eleven and six. They're in bed. Looking at them, I feel comforted. Parenting is fucking hard, yo, but they feel like our future, and it's a good one.

And that's our year.
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Sweet cuppin' cakes. I told my husband about my decision to move over to Dreamwidth, and he came along. Check him out at [personal profile] monad.

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