In a minute, I say, the nuggets are still cooking in the oven.
First cook it, then eat it, he says, Little Boy is trying to understand time.
Yes, I reply, but first we have to wait a little bit.
These days he is learning that some things have to come before others unlike his baby days when it was just crying if he didn’t get what he wanted immediately (ok, there’s still some of that going on). And as always, I’m learning the same lessons.
Whole rooms messy and unpacked. Can’t do it right now, you’re making sure a toddler adjusts to a new country and taking care of a newborn. Settling in takes time. Couches that need to be delivered, part of the living room in darkness because we don’t have lamps. Wait. It will have to be done some other time. There are groceries that need to be bought, music classes to attend. You can’t do everything.
Time to go out and enjoy Stockholm on my own. He won’t be nursing so much in a few months, he’ll be on solids, soon, soon, you can go out.
After he was born two years ago, I remember wondering when Little Boy would start sleeping through the night. I didn’t care so much that he woke up at night, but sleeping through the night would be an achievement, my achievement, proof that I was a good parent and knew what I was doing.
So he was going to sleep through the night. Early. Earlier than everyone else’s babies. You know how this story goes. After sleeping six, seven and then eight hours in a row at three months, his sleeping habits nosedived from month four until month nine. Of course he didn’t sleep through the night early. To make matters worse, I tried strategies I should not have tried to get him to sleep more because I was ignoring the laws of time and placing myself as lord over time.
He needed time, and the truth is, I needed it, too. I needed those night feedings of holding him in my arms, getting to know him, understanding him, falling in love with him. I needed the time to think, to watch early sunrises, and I needed to be taken to my emotional and physical limit to realize that I would not be able to do this on my own because having a baby is an exercise in knowing you can’t do it alone. It took time, but time brought life to us and we learned what worked for Little Boy, for us, for our family. If there is one impulse that I felt over and over and over again in the early months, it was this one – Why isn’t _______ happening NOW? When will it happen? You could fill that blank with anything from breastfeeding to schedules to sleeping to naps to eating veggies to cutting teeth to crawling to walking to talking to…really this list could go on for a while.