Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Because I'm me

3:52 a.m. and I was driving to an all-night drug store. I was going to grab every baby congestion remedy I could find (counting on calling the pharmacist when s/he arrived four hours later) including our third humidifier this year. But also to get away from JP. The streets were almost empty, and my sleep-starved brain was, too.

As I pulled into a parking spot, JP called my phone.

"Where are you?"

"Drug store," I said.

"Fly is back asleep."

"That's good," I said, relieved. I imagined Fly resting in a comma shape in his crib and JP lying back down again in bed. "But when you take him away from me like that, it makes me feel you don't think I can do it myself."

"It's just because you're you. He expects something different from you. He's different with me, and it's one thing I can do for him."

"So you're saying he goes back to sleep faster with you."

JP sighed. "Well, yeah."

"So what have I been doing this past year, being the one to get up with him 90% of the time? Have I just been wasting my time?" Truly, people should not have conversations like this, I realized as I watched a street lamp flickering above me, almost like a strobe light over the dark parking lot.

JP sighed again without a sufficient answer. It had been a rough night, with both of us trying to comfort a feisty baby who couldn't breathe, couldn't nurse, couldn't sleep.

Despite my annoyance -- at Fly's congestion, our lack of sleep, our argument -- I kept JP on the phone while I shopped because it felt creepy being the only customer in the store. When I got home, JP dutifully set up the humidifier, and we all slept until almost 7 a.m. when Fly got me up. In another hour, I called the pharmacist, hoping something I'd bought would work for Fly. She suggested something different, and when JP got up, he went to the store to get it. Fly finally took a nap, and so did I. And later, I went to a health food store to get a homeopathic remedy that turns out to be working better.

We are not the same people we were last night.

But even as I let the issue of JP "rescuing" Fly and me last night nag my thoughts, and as I try to not let it dampen my spirits, there is another, quieter thought that appears: JP is here for Fly and for me. It might annoy me that JP can put Fly to sleep faster and that he doesn't use that gift more often -- but when he does help, Fly and I are better off because of him. And even though I still have a sense that is off from what I wish it would be, just like that flickering street light, it's still something I look to.

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Blogger Jodi said...

Oh, I've been there, and it's hard. Michael is a true Daddy's boy. And it breaks my heart to hear, "no Mommy, Daddy do it," or "I want Daddy." Every morning he wakes up and says, "where's Daddy?" Even though 6 mornings I week, I get up with him

4:56 PM  
Blogger Bri said...

This entry just made me want to give you a hug, so I'm sending you hug vibes at this moment. Hope Fly feels better!

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Much More Than A Mom said...

How awesome that he can even once in a while. The BG can't. Ever. He can hold him but can't get him into his crib. Oh well - maybe next year!

(Oh, and I've been meaning to email you. Sorry about the freak who found my blog and decided to email everyone. I've never been to the store in question and was emailed the newsletter from someone else but will never go now and neither will hundreds of people that I emailed the freakishness to.)

6:56 PM  
Anonymous oh amanda said...

*sigh* It's tougher than we think, huh? Combining marriage and parenthood. (((HUGS))) to you. Great post!

8:31 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Aw, I'm there with you. Both of my kids want to be with Dad all the time. It actually still hurts my feelings once in awhile. I should really grow up.

But actually, kids go back and forth preferring one parent over the other. Soon Flybaby will want you all the time and you'll want this time back!

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Jill said...

Curious what the homeopathic method was that seemed to work?

8:53 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Yes, like Amanda is tougher than we think, huh? But still SOOO worth it...and I've found that homeopathic remedies work WAY better (for many many things) than the drugstore remedies too! :)

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Jill said...

Thanks for getting back to me. I used those when my kids were babies and it did seem to work. We also loved the Hyland's teething tablets! Hope your Flybaby feels better soon and you get good rest again tonight!

9:25 PM  
Anonymous chelle said...

My husband has a magical touch, I could be at my breaking point and he will settle both kids in a flash.

It drives me nuts sometimes. Then like you after the fact, I am grateful that he is so into our kids that he can be that guy.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous fidget said...

Levi often settles down for bed better when The Hubster takes him and lays him down.

I hope flybaby is on the mend

9:35 PM  
Blogger Freckle Face Girl said...

My husband and I often have arguments/discussions because of this type of thing. It is hard not to step in and try something when the other one is consoling a baby. We do it to each other and it always makes the other one a bit mad or frustrated.

6:39 AM  
Anonymous jenn said...

:( Those are tough moments, even though we really need the help one has to wonder why it has to get to such a level before they step in sometimes... I also feel like I'm defeated when it gets to such a frustrating point.

7:17 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

My husband was good at the non-breast settling of babies too. Know what used to drive me nuts? If we were out at someone's place for dinner, or something, he suddenly lost that skill altogether. As soon as the baby would fuss he'd look at me and say, "I think he/she is hungry."

It stinks when they are sick, doesn't it? Hope Fly gets well soon.

6:12 PM  
Blogger groovyoldlady said...

The Girlies LOVE to have their Daddy put them to bed, read the Bible to them, take them swimming, rough house, snuggle for extended periods of time, etc. Mommy is for FOOD (that certainly hasn't changed!), school, housework, long philosphical conversations, art, music, and hpours of reading aloud.

I used to get jealous, too. But after 4 kids I've realized that our different strengths do indeed make our family stronger and help keep either Mulletman or I from buckling under too many expectations.

Embrace it!

8:36 AM  
Blogger Guinevere Meadow said...

HUGS to you!! It was like that for us for awhile, too. Lance would be screaming his little head off, I'd hand him off to daddy, and he'd be quiet. It drove me nuts. Made me feel like I wasn't an adequate mother and that he didn't like me. Now I realize that it's wonderful that Lance loves his daddy so much and that daddy is able to accomplish things with him when I am unable to.

8:49 AM  

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