The dramatic twists of a rhythm

Baby Shaw's Lessons Learning

(By Laura)

You would never know it from the angelic cherub peacefully beside me, but we are hopefully at the tail end of a two-week shift that has caused me angst, given babyShaw a hoarse throat, and catapulted Caleb into the bedtime limelight. My memory of how it began is fading, but suffice it to say that the past week and a half have involved a lot of sucking frenetically, writhing in arms, protracted – by our high standards – fussy spells, and some all-out wailing. Me sitting on the stairs, hair up on the back of my neck, starting and then stopping myself from dashing up and seizing the babe from the…loving care of his father. It is HARD to let go. I remember myself saying how I enjoyed sweetly rocking the babe to slumber, while papa reasoned that he might go down just as well laying in his bed with company beside him. No, I said, I’d rather have him be held than not. But before the smug satisfaction and pride in my gentle, effective mothering had worn off, curveballs started flying at our little family. What must be 2.5 pounds and several weeks later I am taking the other tack, if only because most contact seems to have become distracting stimulation rather than soothing ritual. Sleeps comes within seconds when I pop him in the carrier…but then it’s my body on the line, growing achy, weary, and antsy as I sway him through sleep squirms. When I look beyond my responses to a practical dilemma, I see once again the other subtext, that of co-parenting, learning to listen with my primal instincts to my child, my ears to my husband, and my heart to both.

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