It’s happening. I am attempting to sleep train Theo. Currently on this Monday night, I am hiding on the couch in the dark trying not to let him smell me (those infants have the noses of blood hounds for that breastmilk). My bff Grace gave Theo a Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit (google it) for Christmas and I am attempting its magic. For both Emma and Henry we failed (read: currently failing) miserably at sleep training. In fact, Paul is laying down with Henry in his bed because he still cannot fall asleep alone.
So this is me, a 29 year-old mom to three kids under five. I’m hiding in the dark living room trying not to make any noise (and praying my typing is not too loud) and listening for the baby to fall asleep in his crib alone.
Ope, just heard him crying. Let’s see if he self-soothes or if I have to go back in there.
Okay, I did have to go in there but I cuddled him for about two minutes and put him back down. Guys, this may work (she says as she holds her breath, crosses her fingers, makes a sign of the cross, throws salt over her shoulder, makes a wish on a birthday candle, breaks a wish bone in half, douses crib in holy water).
Where were we? Yes. That’s right, hiding in the dark listening for baby cries while also hearing Emma try to negotiate another goodnight hug and kiss and Henry singing head shoulders knees and toes. You know, normal stuff. But here we are.
This nightly routine got me to thinking. I have never traveled the world. I rarely travel in fact. I don’t get to sit and read for hours in a coffee shop. My home is not decorated with beautiful breakable things. My cupboards are filled with boxes of mac and cheese, fruit cups, plastic plates, and sippy cups. My husband and I have about 30 seconds of alone time before another round of chaos picks up. My car has three carseats lined up with God knows what under the seats. I haven’t showered without an audience in nearly five years. Here we are.
But I get to wake up to baby coos and a bed filled with five snuggly people. I get to show my children the world and teach them about the world. My home is decorated with hand painted artwork. My cupboards have every variety of fruit snack and frankly, they are delicious. My husband and I knowingly glance at one another when Emma says something clever or when Henry makes a silly facial expression. My car is filled with laugher and exclamations of truck! and tree! and lights! like they are the most exciting things on the planet. I get to read books with a child in my lap wanting to flip the page and asking for another one mommy!
Here we are, in a season of utter chaos, pure energy, ups and downs of raw emotion. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here we are, exactly where we should be and exactly who we should be. A family. A crazy, beautiful, chaotic, loud, perfect family.
Photos from a walk we took along our island looking out at San Francisco.