Thanks for taking one for the team, Dear Husband

Papa Bear rocks Baby Bear to sleep along the Black River, Hacklebarney State Park
April 16, 2012

"I love you," I say as I watch my son play. We set up the dollhouse table and chairs that my we trash picked on the way to Route 29. We build additional chairs from blocks for the zebra, dalmatian, monkeys, and the vintage (my childhood) Playschool figures that I call Baby and Ned.

Last night's sleep was rocky.


It begins for me at 11PM but for my son at 6PM. He wakes several times before 11:00. "Eh eh, eh eh," he calls at 7:00. My husband and I peer at our son. He's rubbing his eyes and rocking back and forth. His legs are drawn up.

Nursing is the only way to soothe him. He goes back to sleep easily.

My husband and I shower at 8:30. "I shut off all the lights, so Beren will know we're in the bathroom," my husband says. I relax and let the hot water rinse my hair.

I think I hear something, so I step out of the shower. As I dry off, I hear the floor creaking and whimpering. "Momma's here, Momma's here," I say. My son stands at the door, his cries escalating to a wail. I toss on a robe and feel the flannel stick to my wet skin and become cold. We nurse again.

I begin typing and my husband prepares up a root beer soda of spikenard, spicebush, and sassafras. He stands in the kitchen doorway, shaking the Mason jars. "This is good. This is really good," he says smiling. He has interrupted my typing about a half dozen times to inquire, I know you are working, but what vessels do we have for storing the soda?, Would I like a taste?, How about another?, Would I help pour off the roots?
Build me a pallet on your floor, May 16, 2012
Asleep next to one of my childhood dolls, covered with a blanket his great grandmother made for his aunties long ago.

Beren wakes once more. We peer at our son. This time, he is smiling. "Uh, oh."

With a 6:00 bedtime, so much is possible, but in our home early bedtimes mean several wake ups before parents' bedtime. And then, through the night, we play musical beds. My son up from the floor into our bed until his kicking legs wake and irritate me. I move to the floor. My son comes down to the floor to find me. He kicks and nurses.

Back when my son was more garbanzo bean than string bean-shaped
June 2, 2011

At 4:00AM my husband checks the time. "It's not even close to morning," he says.

I try rocking, nursing, singing, talking softly. Beren chatters quietly and stays somewhat still.

"I need you to take a turn with Beren, so I can sleep," I say. My husband is silent for only a moment. "OK," he says.

They turn on a light and open the toy box. I drag three sleeping bags, two nylon and one tattered cotton one, our son's humble bed, onto the other side of house. I lie back down. I sleep until my husband steps over me. "I have to get my work clothes. Sorry." My eyes close.

Grandpa and grandson nap. April 20, 2012

A half a day later, my husband, who usually goes to sleep at 11PM, even when absolutely exhausted, is asleep on the couch at 7:30. I can recall only two early bedtimes for my husband - when we brought our son home from the hospital, we went to bed at 5:00PM. The other after a particularly long work day at a You Pick orchard, he sat in an upholstered armchair and I straddled him, still in bedraggled work clothes - this is a family blog! We fell asleep for an hour. We woke, my limbs numb, I rolled off my husband and hit the floor. We both fell asleep again.

Details, details. Tangents, tangents. I have my husband to thank for this morning's pleasant play with our son. Without the extra couple hours of sleep, I would have been grumpy. I'd be asleep on the couch and my husband here at the computer. Thanks, Bubbaloo.

June 28, 2012
 My fellows, asleep on the humble bed we make for our son nightly. I also spend a lot of timing sleeping here. Top sleeping bag: Rachel grammar school vintage, used it on my bed in high school also. Middle sleeping bag: Rachel forgot to bring her sleeping bag on a camping trip in college, purchased at a Walmart on the way to Vermont. Bottom sleeping bag: Rachel purchased at Herman's Sporting Goods in the Phillipsburg Mall for a trip to Michigan after dropping out of University of Hartford. These riches, this legacy. Nothing but the best for the first born son.