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Like a cheetah

Pumpkin has tended to be a very good sleeper.  I like to joke that she understood early on that she had a choice between waking up repeatedly during the night or having a momma.  People almost never laugh at the joke - I think it might be so dark as to be unsettling.  But, frankly, those were dark days.  I can't help but believe that, on some level, Pumpkin understood how dire things were then, and she slept so that I could, too - for which I will be forever grateful.  

In the last few months, something (a million things?) changed, and Pumpkin would wake in the night.  For weeks, all we had to do was go into her room, put a paci in her mouth, and slowly back away.  Eventually, Pumpkin found the paci less soothing than the nice, warm parents who took turns coming into her room.  After one long night that involved very little sleep from 2:30 to 4 am, we let her cry it out.  It was awful.  She would cry.  I would cry.  My husband would suggest I sleep downstairs so I could get away from the trauma.  Like any self-respecting (read: self-punishing) momma, I refused.  And I might have even acted offended at the suggestion.   Because when you are sleep-deprived and your baby is crying and you are crying, of course it's offensive to be offered the opportunity to sleep.  Preposterous even.  

Everyone knows how the cry-it-out story ends though.  That's why we do it.  Because a few nights later, and for every night since, Pumpkin has slept through the night.   If she wakes and fusses, it lasts for a few minutes, we all remain in our own bedrooms (Squish and Bug excepting, of course), and we all go back to sleep.  

Last night, around 11:30 pm, Pumpkin cried a terrified-scream cry.  Not the I-just-woke-up-and-can't-find-my-paci cry.  A cry that led me to believe she would be burning up when I got to her.  Or that her crib had spontaneously fallen to pieces around her.  I threw back the covers, ran down the hallway, and picked her up.  I comforted her and rocked her until she calmed down and fell asleep again.  

I put her down in her crib.  I left the room, and she started to cry again.  I let her go for about ten minutes until she quieted and went to sleep.  

Then the scared-scream cry started again.  I went in, nursed her, and I let her reach up and pull my hair and squish my nose and my cheeks.  She fell into a deep sleep, and I was able to put her in her crib.  She stirred and fussed for a minute and then slept for the night.  

This morning, my husband and I were reliving the difficult night and talking about how awful Pumpkin's first cry was.  He gave me a hug and said, "I've never seen you run so fast - you were like a cheetah."

Like a cheetah, Pumpkin.  That's how I will always come running when you need me.  


Sorry (not sorry?)

This morning, Pumpkin had her nine-month check-up, and she wowed everyone with her smiles and babbles and curiosity. 

When we got to our car after the appointment, there was a man parking his motorcycle between the trunk of my car and the front of the car behind mine.  I thought about saying something like, "That is not a parking space - move your motorcycle."   

But then I remembered a man who yelled at me about parking a few weeks ago.  Even though I had done nothing wrong.  And I remembered how awful it felt to be yelled at by a stranger in the rain.  So when I saw that there was no other car parked in front of my car, and I could just pull forward to leave the space, I decided to give the motorcycle a break.  

Until I realized I needed to open my trunk to put away the stroller frame before we could drive away. 

I said to the parking interloper, "I need to get into my trunk.  Could you please move your motorcycle?"

He asked if I could open it without him having to move.  

I entertained his suggestion because, apparently I am very open to second-guessing.  I realized that, even if his motorcycle would not prevent me from opening my trunk, I would need to stand on his motorcycle while I placed the stroller frame into my trunk.  

I said, "I need to put my stroller away."


Then I said, "Sorry."

And he moved.  

Why on earth did I apologize?  

I know why I apologized.  I have seen enough of the research and that Pantene ad to get it.  

So, I am actually sorry Pumpkin had to witness my apology.  Pumpkin, do not apologize for some one else's error.  Do not apologize for pointing out the error so that you can use space in this world.  You and I are entitled to as much space - parking or not - as anyone else.