Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Married With Children
I was holding Aubrey today as she was falling asleep, and I was thinking about how we've already conquered the "sleeping through the night" hurdle. She rarely ever cries out at night, and if she does, she puts herself back to sleep without needing me to come in and rock her to sleep. It made me think about the nights (not so long ago) when I was awakening every 2-3 hours not just to rock her, but to feed her as well. It made me think of the nights when she would wake up at 1am, and then not fall asleep again till after 3am. All of those nights seem to blur together now; it seems like it was years ago- not just months ago. There was one night, however, that I don't think I'll ever forget. For some reason, it was really special to me.
It had been a typical night with Aubrey when she was around 6-7 weeks old. She had woken up at around 1am to eat, and fell back asleep at around 2am or so. That was normal back then. It was also normal that she was awake and crying again at 4am. So I dragged myself out of bed, half asleep, half awake, and began the normal middle of the night routine-make the bottle, change her diaper, and feed her on the couch. I was hoping that she would fall asleep while drinking her bottle as she sometimes would during her middle of the night feedings. However, every time I would glance down at her, her eyes would be wide open and she would smile real wide when she caught me looking at her. I couldn't help but smile back, but my mind was thinking, "Oh no. She is up and she is up for the long haul. I don't know when I'll ever sleep again..."
The minutes ticked away quickly. 4am turned into 4:20, 4:20 turned into 4:45, and before I knew it, it was 5am and Aubrey was smiling and cooing with no intention of going to sleep. It was at this moment that I precisely remember looking at her and saying, "You know what? You win. You want to be awake? Let's be awake." I turned on the light in the living room, heated up some pizza and breadsticks from the night before's dinner (sounds gross at 5am, but it was actually sooo delicious...think late night drunken snack in college, except you're not drunk, you're exhausted), and then I grabbed the remote.
Lord only knew what would be on tv at that hour on a Saturday morning. Apparently, Married with Children is on at 5am. It was an episode from the final season where the Bundys go on vacation and Peggy and Kelly enter a singing competition to try to win money. The acting was HORRIBLE. The writing was ridiculously horrible. But as I sat there at 5am, eating pizza, lying with Aubrey, I was cracking up laughing and feeling blissfully happy. Aubrey, although only 6-7 weeks old, also seemed to be enjoying herself. She was laughing and making noises all throughout the show. I suddenly didn't mind that I hadn't slept at all that night (or in the last 7 weeks). I was having fun- in this new, weird, different way. Certainly not in the way I had previously defined "fun" in my former, pre-baby life.
I couldn't help but think that this would probably be just the beginning of late nights with Aubrey. 15 years from now, we'll probably be sitting on the couch, late one Friday night, eating leftover pizza and watching Modern Family reruns. Except, instead of feeding her a bottle, we'll probably be bashing some boy who just broke her heart. And as we're sitting there talking about how boys are stupid, I'll tell her how it seems like just yesterday that life seemed so simple. I'll tell her about the night we watched Married with Children together and how this night seemed so far away back then. And then I'll probably start to get teary, and she'll say, "Oh mom, shut up," and we'll hug good night.
Maybe that's why the Married with Children night is so special to me. It was kind of like our first late-night mother daughter bonding experience. Our first "screw sleep, break out the pizza, turn on the reruns" kind of night. I pray that Aubrey and I are lucky enough to have dozens more of these nights ahead of us. Just not any time soon--I am really enjoying sleeping through the night again :)
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When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. ~Sophia Loren