I woke up at 4 a.m., stressed about work. This is not terribly unusual. I decided to get up and put in a few hours on my laptop before the kids woke up.
I also woke up feeling cold, and thought about how X's hands and feet felt ice-cold when he woke up the day before. I decided to cover him up with a fleece blanket on my way downstairs.
How many times do I have to learn that if it ain't broke, don't fix it?
The second I cracked open X's door, he was on his feet, ready to go. I tried putting him back down and leaving quietly, but he started to cry. So I went back and stood next to his crib and hugged him, with my eyes closed to signal that I was asleep and he should go back to sleep. I figured he would like this for a minute or two, and then either he would start insisting that I pick him up or he would lie down and go back to sleep. Instead we stayed like that for LITERALLY AN HOUR, both of us standing there pressed against our respective sides of the crib, my arms around him and his face resting against my chest. Occasionally he would look up at my face or kiss me on the chin. And once, for no apparent reason, he slapped me a few times and I could hear K stirring from the sudden noise.
On one hand, if I have to be up at 4 a.m., hugging a baby is not the worst way to spend an hour. On the other hand, if I weren't so stupid, the baby would be sleeping at 4 a.m. When I finally gave up and brought him downstairs, K (who insists on sleeping with all the lights on and the door wide open) immediately woke up and came downstairs. So he was up at 5 a.m. X at least napped during the day, while K just grew progressively more miserable. (He did not, however, have a meltdown. Hooray for growing up.)
(Meanwhile, I've been meaning forever to write about work-life balance, but my thoughts on the subject ricochet so wildly that I could write about half a dozen different posts on the same day that all contradict each other. Clearly, it is an issue.)