Good Days and Bad Days

December 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

The old method of feeding him while he’s reclined, his head resting in the crook of my arm isn’t working today. He screams when I try to cradle him.

He also hasn’t been very entertained with any of his toys today.

Earlier, he sat in his chair and was perfectly happy until—for no apparent reason—his boredom boiled into frustration.

He just downed the bottle that he refused not five minutes earlier.

Yet, as he ate, he looked up at me and smiled. And his eyes turned red. And they closed halfway. And he raised his hand in the air and touched my cheek, then brought it back to rest upon his left eye—a sure sign that sleep is getting the best of him.

I laid him down and he drifted off to sleep, his blanket pulled up against his cheek, his breathing calm and rhythmic.

For all the bad, today is a good day. Monday, I may not have seen it that way.

Monday, it was like we were strangers. All the trust and knowledge of one another that we’d built up over the last several months seemed to have deteriorated in the matter of a week or so. With Karen home she had taken on the role of the primary caretaker, and Finn and I had not spent much alone time together. Monday, our separation was apparent. Our rhythms were off. We weren’t in sync. There wasn’t an understanding, much less a groove. It seemed I couldn’t do anything right. When I tried to feed him, he cried. When I tried to play with him, he cried. When I tried to lay him down for a nap, he cried. When I left the room, he cried.

By the time Karen arrived home from work I was tired and frustrated. In my mind I had declared it a bad day.

Today is a good day, but not much has changed. He’s still sending me signals I can’t understand. He’s still crying (or at least fussing) for no apparent reason. Yet, I feel better. I feel calm. I’m having fun. You see, I’m realizing that whether a day is “good” or “bad” depends far more on me than on him.

Because even when we seem not to be getting along well, he still has that same wide, open-mouthed smile to give me when I go in to get him after a nap. He seems not to remember when I made him cry because he was hungry, or because he was bored, or because he was frustrated, or because he wasn’t hungry, or because he was lonely.

If he does remember, he doesn’t seem to mind. And neither do I.


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