Saturday, September 29, 2007

I'm so tired

I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink
I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink
I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink
--The Beatles, I'm so tired
I like being a father, but I wish babies liked to sleep until 9 or 10 a.m. And it's not like I'm jumping up every two to three hours with a new born changing diapers and popping bottles in my daughter's mouth (though we got to do that on our first visit with her last Christmas). But EM does tend to keep us guessing about when she is going to decide to wake up. She tends to need a diaper change and bottle anywhere between 3 and 5 a.m. and then sleeps until anywhere between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m.
In all honesty, Tess is the one who pops up to tend to the wee hour (no pun intended) diaper change. On the days that I'm staying home with our daughter, Tess says she wants me rested and it gives her time to be with EM before she has to get ready for work. But on the days Tess is staying home, she still jumps up comfort our daughter. I don't protest vigorously. I imagine my time will come.

Regardless of whether I get up or not, I wake up. I am not a sound sleeper. I've gotten so the mere rustle of our daughter tossing in her sleep puts me on a first level alert. A whimper raises that alert. When that elevates to a prolonged cry, I'm ready to jump up. The past few nights she has been waking up at midnight, 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. tossing, kicking and crying out odd things. I swear the other night she yelled, "Rosebud." But that could just be me projecting things on her.

Even after a rough night that leaves Tess and I feeling as though we've been through the Cuisinart at high speed, EM wakes up smiling coyly as if she hadn't been wriggling in our arms with her head spinning like Linda Blair ala the Exorcist just hours before. I applaud her ability to do mornings. At least one of us is smiling.

I have found that taking care of a baby and blogging are not totally compatible. Even when she is napping, I'm too busy picking Cheerios out of the cat's fur to think about blogging. The evenings are spent catching up with Tess, cooking dinner and listening to the baby monitor in case Lind Blair decides to make an appearance upstairs.

I suppose I will get into the rhythm of it all. Some day I'll be able to feed EM breakfast, play with her, get her morning bottle, walk her to Safeway to prime her for her nap and manage to squeeze in a shower and maybe some blogging. Until then I've given up worrying about my appearance. That's what jogging suits and baseball caps are for.


Steve said...

By the time you feel like enough is enough she will out dating boys and you will wonder where all the time went.
Enjoy ever moment Tim, enjoy every precious damn moment!

Isabella said...

I agree with Steve Tim. Enjoy every moment because they grow up so fast. Blogging will always be there when you have time. Right now soak up every little smile, every head turning moment because before you know it she'll be asking for the car keys and you'll be looking out the window every 5 minutes waiting for her to come home.

Time said...

Steve, Isabella,
I know that every moment is precious. Not being able to see her for the months in between visits when she was still in Guatemala taught me how quickly they change. I feel lucky to be able to stay home with her even a few days a week.

JP (mom) said...

Ah yes, welcome to the wonderful world of parenthood where priorities shift and free-time is a thing of the past! Now you have some major appreciation for mommy-bloggers!! xx, JP/deb

Anonymous said...

You may feel "out of it" with regard to balancing your responsibilities, priorities and desires, but from what you wrote it sounds to me like you are doing just fine. The minute you place unrealistic expectations on yourself as to how much you think you should be doing vs. what you really can do - that, my friend, is the real enemy and you will surely lose the battle.

I think the majority of new dads go through the who's-going-to-get-up-first-with-the-baby guilt syndrome. The reality is most mothers are the first to run when baby calls and there is no martyrdom in is just the nature of things. I was always the first to wake with all three kids and my husband would literally sleep through it all. Through the years he has also been the human jungle gym while I cook dinner, the human punching bag while I get ready for work and the one that has taught the kids not to take life so seriously. There are many ways you can make up for not getting up in the middle of the night/ many more ways. Every day you will find a new way.

My Mother has always repeated this weird phrase to me when I talk about being overwhelmed (my kids are 13, 10 and 3), "No one ever stole dirty dishes." I think she has been trying to tell me that there is no value in things that do not have to do with my kids. So, I turn away from a messy TV room or a counter full of dinner dishes especially if it means I get to help locate the US plains and label all the Great Lakes or listen to the latest story about which friend has a crush on what guy this week.

The nuances of child rearing are the true highlights. It really just keeps getting better and better. AND if your blog suffers, so be it. We, your blog fans, can fill in the blanks on what is going on in your life. Believe me, we only imagine the best....

BlazngScarlet said...

Well, it sounds to me like you've got the "new-parent" wardrobe down! lol
Welcome to it my friend!
Soak it all in and enjoy every last drop of all that baby-goodness!

There will be plenty of time for blogging.
Besides, it's not like the rest of us are going anywhere! lol

Naughti Biscotti said...

I don't even know what to say. Everyone else said everything so perfectly and I would end up echoing the very same words. Most of us parents know exactly what you're going through. Your happiness is still so obvious through the sleep deprivation and the lack of free time.

Anonymous said...

Pap and I used to get stuck in the doorway both racing for our crying babies. They're grown, and now we're doing it with visiting grandchildren. Don't waste a minute, they grow and change so fast.

Lights in the wake said...

Sometimes my cat will wake me up in the middle of the night with some complaint or other. I find if you just fling a pillow at it it'll shut right up. Have you tried that?

R. said...

So I guess I'm on deck warming up for my turn at bat for the fatherhood series.

My hat is off to you. I'm going to be a stay-at-home daddy doing consulting part time. You work full time *and* tend to the little one. Kudos, sir.

Hopefully, next year we'll be able to get together and trade parent war stories.

Time said...

I don't feel so much that I have lost free time as much as gained full moments. :)

Miss Bliss,
I try to keep in mind that Enya-Maria will turn to me when she needs me (particularily if she can't get her way from her mommy).

At least Enya-Maria hasn't reached the age where she can verbally express her disgust at the way daddy dresses.

No matter how tired I get, it melts away when a little hand grasps my finger while she is sucking down a bottle.

I take enough digital photos of her to make sure I don't miss a precious moment.

You would make a good father.

R. I'm sure you will be a good father. I'm just trying to get used to the idea of you being grown up. You were such a cute little baby.