So! I hesitated to shout it from the rooftops (because The Vengeful Universe might smite me, you know how it is) but I am now ready to report that He Has Slept Through The Night for over a week, from 12.30am to 8am, with only the occasional whimper. He does wake to play a couple of times, if by play you mean lifting his legs and thumping the mattress with them, but then (thank you Universe) goes back to sleep without a whimper and doesn't get hungry till 8am.
It has been wonderful. I now have to learn to sleep through the night, but still. 4 am always was my wake-up and think gloomy thoughts time, anyway.
(I now pay homage to the Vengeful Universe. Just in case.)
Before we even knew about Jay - back in February or earlier - I wrote a quite desultory proposal for a grant to attend a fair which happened last weekend in Finland. Well, most unexpectedly, the proposal grew legs over the summer; two friends applied too, and somehow we ended up going. I probably would not have chosen to leave Jay for 3 nights, I knew I'd miss him, but I felt torn; the trip was one of coolest opportunities I'd ever had, and I'd worked so hard at it. I (idiotically) underestimated how much he'd miss me, though. I do leave him at bedtime once a month, and that doesn't seem to be a problem at all, but this coincided unfortunately with his realisation that strangers are not to be trusted, so the kind babysitters who came to help the JB with his bath-time were cried at, he didn't sleep well, he wasn't able to sleep through the night. And I got panicked texts about how sad and unsettled he was and felt awful.
So it was a strange trip; full of pangs of guilt and sickening moments where I'd feel I was in the wrong place, like in those horrible dreams where you realise you've forgotten to feed the twins that you forgot you had. And also full of moments of utter hilarity and FUN like you can only have with your peers. My travel companions were the best you could hope for; so funny and resilient and positive. I laughed so much. I have a lot of joy at home, but fun is a different, carefree beast, isn't it? Fun is a drink and a laugh with a friend. Joy is deadly serious, it's your child's face all lit-up with excitement, it's a hug from your frail parent. You need the fun, though, you really do, it fuels the rest of your life.
I'm back now, feeling rather husk-like after all the contrasting emotions, the early morning, the stress of presenting work, of absorbing all the new sights. Ah. I feel I'm being stretched by parenthood - it's painful and wonderful. It's so MUCH.
Jay's happy and settled again now, things are back to normal. Ah, one more thing: he's six months on Saturday. Time to get out all the pureed pear and sweet potato I stashed in the freezer in anticipation of this event. We're moving on.
I hope you're well, everyone.