My little man. My cherub.
A couple nights ago, I had stayed up working on changes to this site. By the time I went to bed, Otter woke up and stayed up for an hour or two. After that, he woke up every hour or so fussing and needing to nurse. Tig was sleeping with Violet, and he had a tough day ahead, so I let him rest and dealt with Otter myself. The exact times are fuzzy because I didn’t keep count or watch the clock. The next day I went to work.
This was a big contrast to two and a half years ago. Violet was a completely different baby and required a different level of care. We tracked her sleep and Tig wrote a web-based program that graphed her sleep patterns.
Two and a half years ago, I would’ve insisted that Tig shared in my pain (all it did was made us cranky with each other). I would have been angry a lot more. Nothing anyone said couldn’t swayed me from my obsessive fixation on her sleep back then. Maybe other first time parents were more relaxed, but I had to go through the ring of fire myself and come out the other side.
Now when I get frustrated, it means I truly need help.
Even through the haze of fatigue, I knew in my bones that there was a reason for his wakening. And the reason became clear that night: my finger spotted a sharp little tooth through his gums, like a thin blade of a screwdriver.
I felt a tide of two emotions. I was elated. For Otter, it is but one in a string of firsts that will stretch across his luminous life, the way stars spill across the night sky. I also felt what could be described as saudade, a deep longing, a nostalgic backward glance. Otter is going to be my last child (barring any accidents, ahem). And with each first, it will be my last. I’m incredibly happy for him and look forward to celebrating his milestones. At the same time, I mourn the fact that another phase in my life will be here soon, one where I will have children instead of babies.
The crashing of these two emotions at three a.m. in the morning swept over me as I went back to sleep.
Speaking of firsts, here’s a video of O’s first taste of food.
O’s first food: Avocado from Serena on Vimeo.