Just put the kid down for maybe the fifth time of the evening. If fighting sleep were boxing, Henry would be Evander Holyfield. And the holiday threw him off. At least we have two more days to recover.
This is generally my favorite time of year. I love cold weather, I love Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my birthday is coming up in less than a week. I'm not too big on birthdays anymore (particularly after my twenty eighth, when I had a run-in with tequila, flashed my party guests, and gave myself a black eye) but in the past few years I've been reminded that getting older is a privilege and not everyone gets to. Plus on my birthday this year I will be 31, but the kiddo will be six months exactly. Ben asked me what I wanted for my birthday last year, and I said "A baby." Careful what you wish for, because I spent my 30th three months pregnant and nauseous. Worth it, though.
This holiday season has been pretty difficult for both Ben and I. Lots of family drama, and it's mainly the kind you can't do a damn thing about. We went and saw my family this year, and my parents were just stressed. We still had fun-if you can go to a gathering involving my immediate and extended family and not hurt yourself laughing, you have remarkable restraint. Even funerals tend to turn jovial. But we are big and loud and can be overwhelming. Of course, the baby is always the hit of the party, and Henry soaked up the attention. He did pretty well, but he got tired and didn't want to go to sleep, which led to a meltdown. What was funny was my family's reaction-everyone surrounded us like something was really wrong.
I mean, my siblings were freaking out, my mom was calling the nurse practitioner who lives across the street, and my dad was offering to drive to Wal-Mart (I'm not even sure what for). Henry was getting more and more agitated, and Ben and I were looking at them like they'd lost their minds. Finally I had to say "Look, everyone quiet down. HE IS A BABY. He is tired." and take him out of there to get him settled down. But I think the screaming fit did temporarily cure a few cases of "I want a baby" that some people (I'm looking at YOU, older sister) were having. Yeah, it's all fun and games when they're laughing, but as I've said, Henry goes from perfectly fine to really, really pissed with no in-between. If I believed in astrology I'd blame his dual personality on him being a Gemini.
So we crashed out. The bonus of having a kid is that it has dramatically upgraded our sleeping arrangements. We actually got a bedroom, instead of the busted, ancient fold-out couch that I'm pretty sure both of my brothers lost their virginity on. Later I found out that Dad wanted to drive to Wal-Mart at ten at night to get Henry a stroller because my mom thought he needed a walk. Never mind that it was thirty degrees out and he would have been asleep by the time Dad got back. Mom's the type that gets stressed about one thing and then just starts inventing trouble. I had to explain to her that the kid is almost six months old and we've managed to get this far. As she was walking upstairs I said "Go to sleep, don't make up trouble, Henry's asleep." She turned back to me and said "Is he on his back????" I just rolled my eyes and said "No, Mom, we let him sleep on his stomach with a blanket over his head." I mean, come on. I did read some books and I do know the basics.
But in the end I know that Henry (and I) are lucky to have a family that loves us. Not everyone's so lucky, and my mom came from such a crappy background that I'm amazed she is anything close to a functional adult. To give you an idea of what she grew up with, my grandmother (her mom) was admiring my son and said "I just don't understand how you two made such a beautiful baby."
And she wonders why we want her to go into a home.....Happy Thanksgiving!