And then it rained. I couldn’t hang the laundry outside. I ran out of room to hang laundry inside. I ran out of fitted cloth diapers because they were so slow to dry indoors. (I pulled some prefolds out of storage to tide us over) Nathan took a second look at the dryer and discovered a small connection had been missed. Voila! We had a dryer again. Hanging laundry outside works when the weather is clear at the times I have available to go hang it outside and we’re not expecting rain or snow before I’ll have time to bring it in again. So I’m making concessions. The diapers are in the dryer; the load of whites are out on the line. I’ll take it ‘one load at a time’ and do what’s necessary to keep us all clean and dry.
The other concession I’ve had to make lately is in the area of sleep and night weaning. Levi was a great sleeper until a growth spurt, teething, and the time change collided on the same weekend when he was 6 months old. He was up every couple hours all night long. To preserve our sanity, Levi started sleeping in bed with Nathan & I so that he could nurse as needed through the night while I at least rested. 3 months of this came and went. I was supposed to go on-call in late February. Nathan could manage to distract Levi with solids and a bottle during the day, but if I got called out to a birth and Nathan had to feed Levi in the middle of the night – that would be a whole different matter. I made the decision to night-wean, and Levi would go back to sleeping in his crib next to our bed. I would hold, rock, bounce, jiggle, and sing to him as needed – but no milk. And no bed-sharing either because then Levi gets desperate looking for the milk. Not that he’s hungry, he mostly likes to twiddle and play. Let me tell you – that’s a little distracting to sleep through! It’s been going reasonably well. He’s still awake a few times a night. If it’s a good night I can pat his bottom and he’s back to sleep. On the hard nights I’m up bouncing him multiple times. I said from the beginning that if he cried or was obviously hungry then *of course* I would feed him. That hasn’t happened… until this weekend. Thursday he slept from 10:30pm to 6:30am. I was overjoyed. I thought we’d finally turned the sleep corner. Yeah right. Friday night he nursed to sleep at 10:15 but woke up for more milk just as I was going to lay him down. He went to bed at 11, I came to bed at 11:30, he was up at 12:30. I patted him back to sleep. 12:40 he woke up; I patted him back to sleep. 12:50 he woke up; I patted him back to sleep. 1:00am he woke up; I finally get out of bed to bounce him back to sleep – that usually works in less than 5 minutes. Not this time. After 45 minutes of trying, Nathan got up to take a turn while I rested. After 45 minutes of Nathan trying it was my turn again. It’s now 2:30 in the morning. I really get desperate and turn the tv on to watch a movie in the hope he’ll be mesmerized to sleep. Not the healthiest choice I know, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Uh huh. That didn’t work either. By now it’s 3am and Levi is wide awake and irritable. As am I. I manage to find a moment of clarity though in which I realize the only reason I was night-weaning was because of going on-call in March. I’m not on-call after all. Forget it then! Let’s feed this kid some milk and call it a night. 3:30am I tuck him into his crib and burrow down for a few good hours myself. You guessed it. 4:30am he’s awake again. But it’s okay. This time he’s just coming to bed with me. I don’t go on-call again until the end of April. By then he’ll be pretty much a year old and Nathan won’t have to mess with defrosting breastmilk to feed him. Let’s just go to sleep.I had been determined to hold firm. On using the laundry line, on night-weaning, on so many things. But life is too complex to hold firm. Sometimes you have to make concessions, let go, change your mind. For sanity’s sake.