This afternoon I sent Camilla into the other room to get a rattle for Blaise, but she returned empty-handed.
"Mama," she said worriedly, "there is some kind of ant in there."
"Some kind of ant" turned out to be a huge moth, crouched threateningly on the floor near the rattles. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate moths? Only junebugs creep me out more. I'd rather find a spider in my house any day.
Fortunately the moth is dead now. (Turns out he was striking a lethargic rather than a threatening pose; his reflexes weren't up to much.) But hours later, I'm still shuddering at the memory of his presence, and I keep imagining I see fluttering things out of the corner of my eye.
The imagined flutterings are making it hard for me to relax, but I need to be relaxing right now, because both kids are sleeping. I know!
Here is one thing I'd forgotten about having an infant: how much the topic of sleep consumes your life.
These are problems under constant consideration at our house:
1) How to get the baby to sleep,
2) When the baby should be going to sleep,
3) How to get the baby to take a nap longer than forty-five minutes (currently a near-impossibility),
4) How to get the baby to wake up fewer than three times per night,
5) Whether it is even possible to arrange our lives so that we, the parents, get enough sleep in spite of our baby's sleeplessness, and
6) If so, how to do that.
What makes it really confusing is that the answers to several of these questions are completely different than they were when Camilla was a baby.
We were so ready to tackle the sleep problem the second time around. Having had a child who hadn't slept through the night for 22 months, we assumed we had seen it all when it came to baby sleep. We were VETERANS. We could do this.
And while it's true that we can do it, it's turned out that the bag of tricks we developed to deal with Camilla are not so useful with Blaise. Children are unique individuals with unique needs, apparently. Go figure.
With Camilla we bought a co-sleeper before she was born, thinking it would be convenient to have her nearby at night. But I was sure she would sleep in it, not in our bed. (This was back before I had children, when I thought that you could just put babies down and they would obligingly sleep where you'd left them. That turned out to be SO HILARIOUSLY UNTRUE with Camilla. Ironically, it is mostly true with Blaise.)
I didn't think we'd be a co-sleeping family. I had nothing against it, I just kind of assumed it wasn't for us.
Turns out I was a little clueless about the parents Bryan and I would turn out to be. Because we are not just a co-sleeping family. We are a hard-core co-sleeping family. And we love it.
It's a joke among our family and friends that we don't just have a bedroom, we have a BEDroom at our house. As in: the room is almost completely taken up by the bed. And it's not a particularly small room. It's just a lot of bed.
Camilla never slept in the co-sleeper, so we removed it and she slept in between us in our bed. Around twelve months, we bought a crib and set it up in a side-car arrangement with our queen bed. She did okay with the crib, but crawled into our bed often enough that it still felt crowded, so we bought a king bed and moved our queen into the guest room, freeing the twin that had been in there to be Camilla's bed. So we had a twin bed next to the wall for Camilla, and our king bed next to that.
When Blaise was born I assumed he'd sleep in our bed for at least the first year like Camilla did, but that didn't work with him. Reflux means he can't sleep flat, so we set the crib back up and elevated the head of the mattress so he'll be more comfortable at night.
I'm kind of sad that I don't get to sleep with Blaise right in the bed with me, but we do have the crib set up as a side-car to our bed (one of the sides removed, attached to our bed frame with luggage straps) so I have very easy access to the baby in the middle of the night.
And now we have the hugest amount of contiguous sleeping space I've ever seen. Twin bed, king bed, and crib all attached to one another. It's crazy.
I never thought we'd be co-sleeping parents, but it turned out to be what works most easily for our family. So instead of fighting it, we embraced it and made it work for us. In our BEDroom, we're all pretty much as comfortable as we can get.