7 months, 3 weeks & 2 days into Daddyhood

Children are random. This I am learning! Okay, not totally random – there are some patterns, structures and things, but nothing can be presumed. As the father of a very young’un, as my own mother has recently and sympathetically commented, it’s all about sleep. Okay, it’s not all about sleep – but sleep has become pretty central to one’s existence. Specifically Talise’s sleep “patterns” and how they affect us. I used to regularly think thoughts along these lines…

If we put her to bed at Time A, then we go to bed at Time B, she is likely to wake for a feed after X hours, then if she sleeps for another Y hours, she will have woken us so many times before she wakes “for the day,” and we will have cobbled together Z hours of sleep… and so on… and so forth… and suchlike…

… i.e. “planning” how many hours of sleep we were likely to get of a night, how broken that night’s sleep would be, etc. I used to sometimes keep myself awake a little, figuring out how much sleep I would get!

I have learnt (mostly) the folly of my ways.

Of late, generally speaking, Talise has (or seems to have) started sleeping for longer periods at night. She will often go four hours or more (previously the average was about three hours), but occasionally she will go five, six or even, on one (memorable!) occasion, seven-and-a-half hours. This is wonderful! – we thought, after a period of a few days of only being disturbed once each night. Nights of unbroken or virtually unbroken sleep are in sight!

Then she got chicken pox, sniffles, bad bouts of teething… and we had a few nights where we regularly were woken after two hours or less.

She seems to be starting to sleep for longer again now… but like last night, she will sometimes wake at 3/4am and it will take an hour or longer to get her back to sleep. She’s not necessarily unhappy, she just wants to play and be cuddled. I congratulate myself, however, on the fact that last night I didn’t (mostly) lie there thinking about how little sleep I was getting, how many hours I could accumulate if she went back to sleep at X’O’clock, etc… but I just managed (mostly) to relax, go with the proverbial flow, give my daughter a cuddle, allow her to poke and prod my face a bit (as is her wont), and eventually we got her back to sleep and I managed to get about another hour before getting up at ten-to-six… and consequently what sleep I did get was a better quality of sleep and I woke up feeling more relaxed than I might otherwise have done.

Going with the flow…

It’s a concept that applies to my baby’s sleeping “patterns” and so much else. The sleeping patterns (okay, let’s dispense with the quotation marks) are, like I said, presently central, but the knock-on effect is that I am learning to apply the concept more to the rest of my life… our lives… relating to Talise (who also, of course, is central!) – her unpredictability, etc – but also to everything else.

Thank you, baby girl, for lesson #2! 🙂

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