Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tradeoffs

Before I went to sleep last night, I composed a post in my head about not having enough time with Lumpyhead. The long holiday weekend and two vacation days last week - followed by two short days at work before the weekend - spoiled me. The harsh reality of the regular old routine set in yesterday, complete with the knowledge that it would be four days before I was able to spend a whole day with the baby again. Four more days of seeing him for only an hour before work and an hour afterward.

You'd think that after this unfinished post, I would have been psyched when Lumpyhead woke this morning at a little after five. "Sweet!" you'd think I would have said, "Extra time with the baby!"

Except, yeah, not so much.

Blearily, I rocked him; he was drowsy but wouldn't go back to sleep. I tried laying him down in our bed to see if he wanted to sleep there. He didn't. (It would have set us back with the sleep training anyway, so it was probably for the best.) We rocked some more. He was quiet and his eyelids were oh so heavy, but he decided he was done sleeping for the morning.

So I changed his diaper, gave him some breakfast, then got out some toys. At about 6:45, I felt the full-body chill of impending exhaustion. I sat on the floor, playing with Lumpyhead, wrapped in a blanket. I realized that if I was going to get through the three meetings I had today without nodding off, I needed to do something. If I went back to bed right then, I could squeeze in a half an hour of sleep. So woke up Bump, handed off the baby, and snuggled under the covers for a nap.

From bed, I could hear Lumpyhead babbling and squealing, and it made me sad. It reminded me of the phone calls I get at the office from Bump, when I can hear Lumpyhead in the background giggling at himself in the mirror or telling some elaborate story that only he understands.

I felt left out of my son's life.

I was making a conscious choice to do something other than spend time with Lumpyhead, after complaining (only in my own head, but it was still complaining) about how little face time I have with him.

I felt terrible. I was tired. I was trying to will myself to sleep, but was not able to make it happen. After ten minutes, the babbling stopped and Lumpyhead went down for his morning nap. After another ten minutes, my extremities had warmed up and my nose no longer felt like an icicle. The adrenaline rush of guilt had worn off, and I was sluggish again.

I hadn't slept, but it was too late. I staggered out of bed, running into the doorframe on the way to the shower. I went to work and had a bout of tunnel vision while I stumbled to the carryout for some coffee. Thank goodness I'm no longer an operating dairy or a child-pod so I can avail myself of the sweet, sweet magic of caffeine.

I should have gone to bed earlier last night, but a fat lot of good that sentiment does you as you're struggling to stay awake during meetings and keep the imaginary ants off your arms.

At least I'll get another hour of Lumpyhead time tonight.

3 comments:

la dra said...

After the last 2 weeks of having Pumpkin with me 24/7 I am having some serious withdrawal. When I call and can hear them laughing together and even when I hear Hubby saying "Don't eat the shopping list!" I feel so like I'm missing all the fun. But we got bills to pay :( Work sucks!

Mom at Work said...

I'm with la dra. Work sucks. And the little guy fell asleep at 5:30 last night. Ugh.

But feel confident in the knowledge that Bump will call when the really cool stuff happens, and Lumpyhead will continue to light up with delight when he sees you.

Michele said...

Ditto on work suckage.

I feel 'ya. For weeks I have been lamenting the fact that I get no ME time. Last night on the way home from work we needed to run an errand but hubs said why dont you drop us (him and the babes) off and go on your own - have some ME time. I make him a counter offer that I will go after they get bathed. So we feed them and bathe them and they are so sweet and delicious and adorable waving bye-bye to me as I leave, ALONE, to run some errands. And the whole time I was out, instead of skipping along footloose and toddler free, I felt guilty. I felt like I was wasting the precious 90 minutes we have between bath time and bed time when I usually hang with the kids.
I ended up heading home early just so I could kiss them before they went to sleep.
Motherhood is one long guilt trip.