My son is now almost 4 years old. And it’s only in the last few months that I’ve actually been able to enjoy being with him. The first 3 years of his life seem to have gone by in one long blurry zombie state. At that point, I was just soo goddam tired. They don’t tell ya that motherhood would be so physically taxing. I was tired, waay into my bones. Ready to drop any time. All I wanted to do in life was hibernate. Preferably for a few years.
Around the 3.5 year mark, a bunch of miraculous changes were set in motion, that were to change my life forever. I didn’t realize the profoundness of this at the time. The kid started sleeping through the night!! The first few weeks, I kept getting up 10 times a night, only to find him snoring away. It was no longer him waking me up – I woke up on my own – ~10 times a night. My body clock had been set that way over the last 3 years. Over the next few weeks, I tweaked my clock, slowly, ever so slowly. I got it down to 5 times a night. And now I’m down to 1. I’m slowly sleeping my way out of the zombiexxx. I’m still instantly awake if he cough, or turns, or reaches out for me at night. Even if he’s sleeping in the next room. But yes, I’m now getting a full night’s sleep.
I’m no longer a grumpy frazzled snapping sleep deprived zombie. I’m slowly returning to being human. I’m starting to smile again. My jaw muscles are de-atrophying. Slowly.
Around the same time he became a wee bit independent. Meaning, I could leave him unsupervised for upto a minute; and he wont get into trouble or hurt himself. Right from the 4 month mark he’d mastered the art of getting into trouble, fast. At 6 months he was climbing over pillows to jump off the bed, in his sleep; rocking the cradle so that it tilted 90 degree and he could fall/crawl out; and he did somersaults to get out of the pram. Over the years, he made steady progress. Like climbing to the top rung on the window grill in 10 seconds flat (I kid not!), or finding the knives I had hidden away in the furthest corner of the corner cupboard within 15 seconds or feeding the fish by attempting to climb into the fishbowl that was kept on the top shelf. You get the idea. My mommy radar got finely tuned in to his stunts. I’d actually developed eyes at the back of my head and reflex actions that would match Jack Bauer’s. And then he turned 3.5.
I suddenly found he would play by himself, without getting into trouble, for up to a few minutes. He’s learning what’s safe and what isn’t. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to do with myself in the playground now that I didn’t have to hover within arms distance and watch with all my senses. Slowly, slowly, I pulled away. After he shoo’d me away a coupla times, I made my peace. He plays with his friends, while I go off for a walk. Or get onto the phone.
Speaking of phone – again, dramatic change. He’s got his own iPod. With games. That means my phone time has gone up from 0, to about 5 min a week. Cumulative. I’ve even got around to configuring my phone and downloading some apps. 8 months after I bought the phone. Now one of these days I have to update my contact list, actually call people, and attempt to have a conversation. If I can remember how to talk normal, for more than 30 seconds at a stretch. I’m still getting around this one.
It’s almost like being in a MommyHood de-addiction program. The last 4+ years of my life completely geared to taking care of the little fellow. To being a mommy. My world revolving around his. Completely. And now that he’s up and running, on his own, I can step back and take a breather. Ofcourse, the rest of the world hasn’t stood still while I went into Mommyhood. It changed. And I’m slowly figuring out how I relate to the new world around me and how to navigate it.
[ps: this post has been in the draft a few weeks now. And just as I get it together to publish I’m hit, of all things, with a week of sleeplessness. It’s getting to me again. Tired, heavy eyes. A dull headache. Frazzled. Just wanting some sleep – and being unable to sleep even when I hit the bed… sigh.. here we go again]