Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Schedule (pt. 1)

This week is one of those classic examples of life as the adults strive to establish a routine around the individual needs in the house, and then baby-lightening flashes and those needs change. MNJ was going to the head of his class on sleep training. While SL was still waking up every 20-40 minutes, MNJ began snoozing for long stretches at night, began being able to fall asleep without our arsenal of tricks and prompts, even having naps that lasted over 30 minutes during the day! Considering the nights before sleep training were an absolute frenzy, C has been using gentle sleep training methods with M for his night sleep, afterward switching the focus over to S. Then, about three days ago, both C and I heard the telltale "mmm" and buried our heads in our hands.

Now, MNJ has been giving off little hints in the last month or more that he might be teething. Pulling his ear, drooling like a madman, chewing on just about anything in sight. C kept saying, "nope, not yet" and I have to look back and say she was right. He was in pre-teething tryouts.

Let me interrupt myself a little bit (you know whats coming, anyway) and say that in our outside lives, there has been some very helpful change. Through the council of a friend, C and I are putting our heads together to create a schedule for our days. We have been reminded (through words, and now through MNJ's direct experience) that this first year is all about the basics. It is interesting to me that, while the boys are in their Year of Basics, C and I are in this place of survival too.

Sleep, food, physical health, all of these things are on the table every day for these babies. For the adults in the house these things have to be constantly checked and revised, too. It feels, at times, once we try and do anything beyond these essential factors, that with any shift in circumstance for the boys we are right back to square 1. This may be the emotional reaction to the changes, I'm starting to realize, and not always the reality of the situation. The reality is, every time there is one of these shifts we have found, somehow, a tool or some tools to process and more forward. Every time we have learned something and imposed steps in order to get through it. There still may be 4 months left to the Year of Basics, but at least there is some reassurance that when we call, although it takes time every time... there is an answer.

It is this faith and reliance on the unexpected I wish (and hope) I could bring to my Etsy shop. I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about process, completion, and inspiration. Yesterday I went from being intellectual about it to just plain "PHOOEY!". Hopefully this time of frustration and change is just the same energy in a different mode. I'm learning SOMETHING over here, or some tool is about to arrive on my doorstep, I'm just still in the emotional place BEFORE that has happened. Hmm. I sound a little, "everything I know I learned from my baby nephews", but maybe that's the point.

Anyway, so now MNJ is back to restless nights. Waiting for teeth really does change the nature of the game, as well as its intensity. SL has afternoons when he continues to "mmm mmm" after a pause when the teeth came in. In the face of this, C and I will still forge ahead and try to construct a schedule that gives me blocks of time to job hunt and do Etsy work, give C time to recoup sleep and get her business going. Just getting a schedule is going to be a big step for the members of the house. Beyond that, sleep and teeth are now neck and neck for the priorities of these little babies.

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