So much for blogging every day in November.
Nugget is sick with some sort of virus that has made him quite a butthead lately. Trent says it has made him backpedal on having a second kid. It hasn't had that effect on me, although admittedly I have been working 80-hour weeks so I am generally happy to see Nugget even if he is in full-out butthead mode.
I have noticed that I've come so far from those early nights of full-body-genuflection gratitude for a solid six hours without a peep from Nugget's room that I am now actually excited when he wakes up at night, as he has been doing all too often lately. I miss him after he goes to bed.
Except when he wakes up between 5:30 and 7 AM, even though at that hour it would make sense for me to be up and off to work early anyway. I just am not the same person in the morning. I am a person who has no other priority in the world but to go back to sleep, and damn the consequences.
I think it is generally considered advisable to shelter your kids from things like family finances. But I've been wondering, does that create a distance between parent and kid? When the kid gets older, is it difficult to have a meaningful relationship when one half doesn't express the weightiest things on his or her mind? Especially when the kid is old enough to know just enough to worry about it? Obviously I am thinking yes, subject to difficult questions like at what age do you start to share. But is it just too painful for a kid to recognize the parent's vulnerability and/or fallibility? Or is that just a symptom of the problem?
The other day I read some books with a third grader as part of a sort of community outreach program through my firm. This adorable, sweet kid stumbled over the word "and" and could barely sit still. He'd arrived at school late so had missed breakfast, and the supervising adult (I wouldn't count myself as an adult and apparently the Chicago Public Schools agrees) wouldn't let him go to the office to see if they'd give him some food, so he just had to wait til lunch. How exactly is he supposed to concentrate? I really regretted that I'd taken the cereal bar I'd grabbed for my own breakfast out of my bag and left it in my office. Of course, giving the kid food would be technically against the rules but seriously? F*ck that rule. Next time I'm bringing the kid breakfast. Anyway the reason I'm writing about this, other than to share the fact that this dear, sweet, and very astute kid thught I was in high school, is because it made me realize that I can just relax about how I'm raising my son. He's got about a million and a half advantages, and I don't think going to bed late is really going to hurt him that much. At this juncture. I do recognize that when he starts school, the kind that doesn't have naptime, the whole staying up til 11 pm thing needs to stop. But he went to bed at like 9 tonight! An improvement. I was home when he got back from daycare at 6:30 today, which may have something to do with his willingness to go to bed early ...
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I count myself fortunate to have an insomniac toddler, because I can get home at 10:30 and still put him to bed (kicking and screaming). Of course, there are plenty of nights when our little night owl's stubbornness doesn't feel like fortune. And then there is the worry: does he fight sleep because I get home late? Is he getting the sleep he needs to grow up healthy and happy? Am I hurting his future hopes of catching the worm by failing to raise an early bird? But there are worse things he could have to complain to his shrink about someday. For now, I'm happy I got home in time to see my Nugget.
I have 15 minutes left to write a post to preserve the possibility of writing a post every day in November ... given my miserable record in October I'm not sure it's worth trying. But blowing it on the first day is more than I can bear. My husband says Mimismartypants has a rule that she never spends more than an hour on her posts. Maybe that's how she's been able to blog for so long. It probably helps that another ofher rules is never to revise. I'm going to try to follow her example, maybe that will get me through November. Funny thing, while I'm thinking about how little time I have for anything. I picked up a book of short stories today and discovered that I had put it down in the middle of a story -- something I don't usually do. The main reason I read a lot of short stories is that it allows me to finish something in one short sitting so I won't get sucked in and allow a good book to wreak havoc on my life, because one unfortunate thing about growing up is you can't afford to do that anymore. Anyway, I'd Dogeared a quote from this particular story on AUGUST 18. So I started it 2 and a half months ago and finished it today. And it's like a five page story. That's ... well, that's just one more sign that my life looks nothing like what I ever would have expected it to look like. And yet strangely I'm quite happy. I was "on trial" (the magic words that litigators love to say) a few weeks ago for the first time and had the absolute time of my life despite averaging three hours of sleep a night. And my first reaction to that is, oh sh-t, I have to keep being a lawyer now.