on sleep and houses
I don’t sit down to write at the moment. On my bike ride to and from work I might think of something to write about, might toss around some ideas and try to form some sentences, but that is as far as I get.
If I struck by guilt over not writing and actually sit down to write, all I can come up with is something along the lines of:
Monday. Got up, got to work, got home.
Tuesday. Got up, got to work, got home.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
Not inspiring and not even worthy of my private journal, and so most days I just sigh and hope that tomorrow will bring me something to write about.
And it doesn’t.
As you might have gotten the idea of a couple of days ago, our evenings are tough and exhausting at the moment. We are “blessed” with a girl who apparently feels that going to bed at night is the worst imaginable. And whereas it was just being put to bed that made her freak out in the beginning, it has now expanded to being every single ritual that leads up to this.
And I don’t feel like writing about this. Part of me thinks that I am failing a little bit because I can’t get my daughter to sleep at night. Part of me thinks I am a lousy parent for not being able to make her feel calm and safe in her bed. And the biggest part of me hopes and crosses her fingers that this is just another phase and that it will soon come to an end.
The best thing about parenthood is that you can get advice from so many people and that they want to help, but at the same time the worst thing about parenthood is that everybody have an opinion, there is always a book you should read, a method you should try. And there is always someone who looks at you and says: “It must be because you’re doing it wrong, because it worked for me.”
My brother was a great sleeper. My parents put him to bed, sang to him, he closed his eyes and off to the land of dreams he went. I was the exact opposite. My parents read to me, sang to me, held my hand. They fought to make me close my eyes, but I just wouldn’t. These days my take on sleep is this: No two babies are alike and apparently we are dealing with a situation of “like mother, like daughter” at our place.
This weekend I suddenly started to think about buying a house. I love the apartment, I love living in the city, and I love riding my bike to work, but I hate that we don’t have a garden and that being able to dry our laundry outdoors is always a matter of luck. And because of all G’s problems with falling asleep, I am starting to miss having a room for her so that J and I won’t have to whisper to each other every night when we go to bed afraid of waking up G now that she has finally fallen asleep.
Most of our friends live in the city and in apartments and we are within biking distance of each other, but the first couple of couples (ha, ha) have started to buy houses and move to the suburbs. Suddenly cars are required and the grocery shops close early and you have to plan going to the cinema (as if you didn’t have to plan these things when you have a kid? Ha!), but these are just my thoughts until I see their gardens, their large houses, their many rooms. At that point I think to myself that maybe public transportation every morning and getting home a little later wouldn’t be a bad trade for getting a garden and more rooms and the opportunity to open doors and windows and let the sun stream in. This is when I remember the long winter we had this year and wonder how I would feel about being forced to shovel snow all winter. Not the nicest thought, but not enough to make me dream of houses any less.
I don’t know how long we will be staying in the city. J says maybe two years. He might be right. We need to start saving and figuring out what we can afford, we need to sell our apartment (which is not easy these days). The only thing I know for sure is that having another kid – one who might have the same problems sleeping as G – in our apartment is not an option. How is that for a deadline?