Finally we can take non-sleeping snapshots. Someone is starting to wake up, revealing and asserting little bits of his personality. It’s hard to say whether he’s actually more laid back than Iris or whether we’re the ones who have changed, but it certainly feels different this time. I remember the cold water dousing when I realized Iris was going to wake up about every ninety minutes every night for months…. I didn’t even check the clock for the first week, but when I finally got around to timing last night I discovered that Oliver also wakes up to eat about every two hours on the dot.
But we keep him within arm’s reach of us at night, and feeding him isn’t that much more disruptive to my sleep than getting up 5 times a night to use the bathroom used to be—my somewhat horrifying third trimester average. The only sleep I genuinely miss is the hour long nap I used to take when Iris went down for hers, but I still get that on the weekends when Carl is home to take over with Oliver. I’m not hurting yet.
We were already nicely in a parents-of-young-children time zone, so there’s less jetlag this time around. We expect to get up around 6:30 every morning. We are not surprised when Oliver poops out a diaper 20 seconds after we changed the last one. When he falls asleep, I put him down so I can spend one-on-one time with Iris or (occasionally) clean something, and to my surprise he often stays contentedly asleep… through dance parties, through cartoons, through exuberant kisses from his big sis. My memory is that Iris NEVER slept except in arms, but maybe I never gave her the chance to figure out how to either. I certainly monitored her every movement in a way I don’t with Oliver. Babies seem simpler and sturdier than I used to imagine. All in all, I find myself wondering now how much of an infant’s personality is objectively real and how much is just imagined, the product of parental necessities, expectations, and habits.
Hard to say, but whatever his personality turns out to be, through whatever channels of nature and nurture, we sure are enjoying him.