Saturday, September 30, 2006

Parenting Small Children = An Exercise in Sheer Stamina

We have entertained at our house three separate times in the past three days--once a social engagement with in-town friends planned weeks ago, the other two times last-minute visits from loved ones unexpectedly in town for brief stop-overs. So, you know, I'm pretty wiped out, especially since all this social activity coincided with my first days alone with both babies all day--though, don't get me wrong, we were thrilled to see these dear folks and to have them in our home. Then tomorrow we are supposed to host another friend for breakfast in the morning--again, something planned a long time ago--and then drive up to Minneapolis in the afternoon for a party at the new house of some close friends, where we are to give new baby Genevieve her social debut and meet up with some pals whom we haven't seen in months, let alone since Genna was born.

But here's how the evening is going so far. Genevieve has not slept since noon today. She's going on ten hours of being up right now, which brings to mind some very bad memories of Julia's epic nap strike which began at about this same age. She's had one of her miserable evenings, crying for hours on end and prompting us to try, once again, the fabled car ride. (And the last few days and nights had gone so well for Genevieve, too, what with good sleeping and less-frequent nursing. She seems to have a bad evening every few days or so, with no discernable pattern or trigger.) In the meantime, Julia apparently is getting sick; since she went to bed three hours ago, she's woken up at least six or eight times in tears, pleading with someone to "come in and wipe my nose!" Sigh. All night long, it's been an unpleasant marathon of one baby crying, then the other crying; one parent running up to tend weeping Julia, the other parent running to retrieve squalling Genevieve. If one baby quieted, the other was sure to disrupt the calm with an ill-timed wail.

Between the runny-nosed toddler and the sore-bellied newborn, I sort of think none of us is going to get any sleep tonight. Does all this mean we've been doing too much socializing--perhaps leaving us overtired and virus-prone?--or that, to console and distract ourselves, we're in dire need of more? I'll let you know after tomorrow.

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