The Litany

Today I am a living litany of complaints.

That’s all I have to share actually, so if you were looking for something uplifting this is not your post. Earlier this week Iris had her first really good night’s sleep. So naturally I woke up with mastitis. I have been trying to establish some kind of routine for her, but the only routine we seem to have established is that, like Cinderella’s coach and four, at midnight the enchantment of her chillaxed nature will expire, and she will flip her tiny wig.

For about an hour.

It doesn’t even matter what I do. She will wake up out of a sound sleep to cry. She will have a clean diaper and cry. She will stop nursing in order to cry louder. She might be in her bed, in my bed, being walked around, swaddled, with a pacifier, (without a pacifier), with a light on, with a light off. It really makes no difference. Eventually, after 15 minutes to an hour, she falls asleep.

And as tempting as it is to just put her in her crib to cry it out—the realist in my brain recognizes that I have in fact tried everything I know and if none of it truly makes any difference (and it doesn’t) then there really is no advantage to both of us being miserable—the sound of your baby’s cry really does bring out the latent gambler in a person. Maybe it’ll work next time I try it… Maybe if I bounce her at a slightly faster speed…

Or, more realistically, maybe if I wait about six months.

Also I hate Easter. I may have mentioned that before. I have enthusiasm (and patience) for about one religious holiday per year, so Christmas is good. I’m a big fan of Christmas. Advent, candles, reflection, good cheer. Yes. Excellent. In theory, Easter should be equally great. In fact, it has the potential to be even better. But it’s not.

It just isn’t.

Carl worked until 1:30 last night at home (or maybe later. I don’t know. I fell asleep pretty quickly after Iris stopped screaming). I’m not sure when he left this morning. It was still completely dark out when I woke up to the sound of his crutches scraping across the floor. Another reason I don’t remember the time: I didn’t have to drive him to work. Our car wouldn’t start yesterday, so he had to have somebody pick him up. We got the car towed this morning. I’m not sure when I’ll see either Carl or the car again, but I’m guessing I’ll see Carl first. And given the Easter rush, that’s not exactly a compliment to the auto repair shop.


I think that covers the acreage of my present moans.

Mostly I need a nap. And a Tylenol. Also a night nanny, functioning car, fewer arguments with our insurance company, a husband who can share a little of the parenting, and warmer weather.

Sometimes in the evening—before Iris wakes up to scream at us, her hands shooting around in rapid-fire gestures like a tiny, frantic rapper—we sit and look at her angelically sleeping and Carl talks about how lucky we are despite everything. Carl’s best friend just watched his seven-week-old daughter go through heart surgery. Other people lose loved ones, have accidents they never recover from, have children with special needs, don’t have children at all.

Nothing is happening to us that won’t be resolved in a matter of time, smoothed away into funny stories with all the sharp edges knocked off. It’s normal for babies to have sleep issues. Old cars break down. Easter comes every year.

But I have to believe it’s ok to tell both sides of the truth. We are very blessed.

And sometimes it still sucks.


One thought on “The Litany

  1. Oh man! That all sucks. I sure do know the desperate feeling and panicky depression that a crying baby that won’t stop can bring. Gideon was pretty hard to soothe, particularly at night. I hope Little I. grows out of it quickly, time to give a mama a break. I wish Iived close enough to come over and make yummy juices together and take walks. I’m sending you all my long distance love! May the car switch iron out, may Carl’s bones knit and heal, may Easter pass and may lazy summer days arrive with all their warm hope. xoxox Hang tough, Friend.

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