For the rest of my life

So, just like during my last post, I'm sleep deprived once again. Hollis threw us a bone once last week by having a night where he only woke up once. The next night, he woke up twice, and ever since then it's been spiraling out of control to the point where Anthony lay on the nursery floor last night with a Boppy as a pillow while Hollis played himself to sleep. He had carpet marks on his cheek when Anthony moved him into the crib at 6 am.

Parenthood is an interesting thing. You are 100% in charge of a little being that's 0% capable of taking care of himself. You at once question your motives, your intelligence, your future, and your sanity for each little decision. If you go into his room while he's crying this time, does that mean you'll be destined to drop what you're doing forever? And the part that really gets me rattled is, "Is this gonna last for the rest of my life??"

That's the sleep-depro talkin'.

On a day where I get at least 8 hours of sleep (broken or not) I think to myself, "Aw, little Bubby needs to see his mama. I'll go let him know I'm still around. No biggie!" and I skip off to my Sweet Baby Hollis. However, on days when I'm going on maybe 2-3 hours of sleep I'm much more sinister and a lot less flexible. Thoughts such as "I'm going to die if I can't write this email!!!" or "I can't do this for the next 12 friggin' years!!!" go through my head and I'm not as soft with him. Then, guilt quickly follows because I know deep down that he can't help it.

He cannot help it...

... that he's a baby.
... that he can't reach that itch.
... that he's bored, lonely, cranky, tired, hungry.
... that he wants to be *over there* and needs my assistance.
... that his teeth hurt.
... that he wants to play.
... that he needs a diaper change.
... that he has gas.
... that he's constipated.
... that he wants to pet the kitty.
... that he wants to play.
... that he wants to eat that tiny piece of plastic.
... that he wants the grown-up remote controls and not his battery-less one.
... that he wants out of the Exersaucer/Jumper/Bouncer/ErgoBaby/carseat/stroller.

He is utterly incapable of rationalizing, forecasting, and conceptualizing. And I love him all the more for it.

It's this utter helplessness that has bonded me to him inextricably. I love him, plain and simple. And while I don't pretend to think that he "loves" me back, he is most certainly bonded to me (and to Anthony, for that matter). He lights up when he sees me, he reaches for me for comfort, and he laughs for me when I make ridiculous faces and sounds.

It's because of this bonding that he wants us around so much in the first place. I should feel honored in those dark, early morning hours when he cries until I reach for him. I really do remind myself of all of this, but God damn, it's hard to let it seep into the folds of my shriveled, sleep-deprived brain.

Come morning, though, with the sun beaming down through our big-leafed trees and the wind-chimes serenading us I am able to think, "It's a new day to be with Hollis" and even the hardest night is gently put in its place of "It's Just a Phase."

I'm rambling... I know it. But I don't care. I want to sing the praises of parenthood to everyone I know, but I want to be real about it. I'm not a perfect person and I'm not finding this experience all roses and rainbows. It's demanding beyond anything I have ever done before. I knew it when I signed up for it and so I'm not surprised by any of this. I guess I'm just at a place in this process where I'm able to think about my thinking some more.

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