I think it’s safe to say that we’ve made it through boot camp.
When you have a newborn, your primary goal is survival. You do whatever you can to make your life easier, employing whatever jiggles, wriggles or witchdoctors you need to keep the cries at bay. But once you’ve got yourself a full-fledged baby, you start being concerned with taking too many shortcuts. The word echoing most frequently in my brain? Habits. As in bad ones. For instance, Evan has had a cold for the past couple of weeks. The frequency of snot-o-lanches has actually surpassed that of poop-o-lanches. He was waking up at night because he couldn’t breathe, and once awake, he was so congested he couldn’t nurse.
We’ve been putting him to sleep in his carseat to keep his head elevated, which has helped to say the least – it has a swaddling effect that keeps him asleep for wonderfully long periods of time. I’ve been getting 7 and 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep for many nights now, which is amazing (despite waking up on the brink of explosion).
We’re loving this nighttime carseat trick, but something tells me it’s false progress. What if it results in him not being able to fall asleep in his crib? Are we making a monster? These days, every method we employ begs that question.
If we don’t check ourselves now, we could end up with a 6-month old that won’t eat, or won’t sleep, or somehow won’t be the Evan we know how to deal with. I fear a slippery slope ahead. One tantrum plus one moment of parental weakness may equal a future in which he'll eat microwaved pizza pops for breakfast, watch 'Girls Gone Wild' on Grampy Doug's satellite TV, drive an all-terrain vehicle and grow a rattail. And work the tilt-a-whirl. But as Justin put it, “Complete idiots bring up normal kids. We’re only half-idiots, so I’m sure he’ll turn out fine.”
Meanwhile, Evan has discovered his hands, and loves to grab anything within reach with enthusiasm and surprising ferocity. Our new family motto, therefore, is as follows (spoken while we carefully wrench a newly discovered body part from that rowdy little fist): Be kind to your jigger, and your jigger will be kind to you.