In my plan to wear the bugger out, yesterday I hauled the babe to a Creative Play class. I was curious to see him around other babies (he gets craaaazy with the excites) but also to see what exactly made it "creative". Have I spent months encouraging uncreative play? Is there such a thing? (Unfortunately my questions will have to wait until next week; the instructor cancelled.) Instead of taking the (increasingly antsy) munchkin home, I plopped him on the floor next to a very affectionate 10 month old and sat down for a chat with a couple of the other mothers. I always get nervous around NYC moms, especially overtly wealthy ones. I always feel like I have something to prove and end up turning into this hammy know-it-all, which is super fun for everyone involved. Plus, mommy chatter always turns to sleep which is dangerous territory for me. NYC attracts the competitive, and when you've got a gaggle of women who've left big, self-affirming jobs to raise tiny, rather non-affirming beings, it's easy to start Mommy Warring. Most mommies fall into one of two camps: the Schedulers (those who are convinced that your child will develop horrible sleep associations unless extensively scheduled, quoters of Dr. Weissbluth, devotees of BabyWise) or Attachers (convinced that your child will develop horrible sleep associations unless in the family bed, quoters of Dr. Sears, devotees of breastfeeding). I have fallen into both camps and think each one has merits, but until Moxie I'd never found anyone who fell into the middle. So when the dreaded "So how is he sleeping?" question came up I hesitated before telling the truth: that we rock him until drowsy (make that drooooooooowsy. I think he's technically still awake) and that we're fine with it, thank you, and when it stops working we'll figure something else out and yes we know we're doing it all wrong but we're really not interested in enduring CIO again. This is usually when it gets ugly (in a nice way. They're always very smiley when they berate) but before I could get through my shtick, Blond Mommy interrupted to say that she rocks her baby to sleep too. Turns out German Mommy rocked her baby too! Yet we'd all been made to feel like we were the only people in the world barbaric (or stupid) enough to still be doing it. Don't get me wrong, the boy has definitely had issues (see: the first 6 months of his life, recent regression) but compared to a lot of other kids I think he does pretty well. He usually sleeps from 6:30 - 5:20, takes two naps of indeterminate length (right now we're going on Hour Two), and he always gets 14-17 hours of sleep a day. (CAN YOU IMAGINE?) Now that I'm wearing him out he goes down in about 5 minutes and sleeps soundly unless teething/crawling/developmental BS takes over. Do I wish I could lay him down in his crib completely awake and just turn on his music and go? Actually, no. I really love sniffing his hair. When he's 3 and weighs 60 lbs we'll cross that bridge, but right now I thoroughly enjoy his sleep-induced affection. (At this last nap he spent at least 3 minutes pressing his drooly, wide open mouth against mine. So cute! So gross!) I love the fact that he has to rub his face all over my chest in order to get comfortable and his desire to pull out every strand of my hair. (Okay, that one I could live without.) It was so nice to finally meet other mothers who feel the same way, and to see the relief and the giddiness (and yes, the smugness) over the fact that we're not actually effing it all up. We hope.
Speaking of effing it all up, anybody catch the Sharon Stone thing? When a judge deems a celebrity unfit to parent, it must be pretty bad. (Robert Downey, Jr. wasn't even considered unfit, and he fell asleep in other peoples' houses.)