I wonder if my mind is playing tricks on me. It certainly seems that Sidney, our sweet fifth is the worst sleeper of the five kids, as if to permanently imprint on my brain that five is in fact a handful (both literal and figurative). Perhaps if I’d had a bad sleeper before now, I wouldn’t have five. I’m not so sure. If I really think about, Fi was a crappy sleeper at seven months. Efram certainly was. I am prevented from recalling Bennett’s first year with much accuracy due to the first child fog (call it delirium, or exhaustion), and I was so excited to have a girl that Francie could have pulled an exorcist head-spin at seven months and I probably wouldn’t remember it. All of this leads me to conclude that I for one remember everything about being in labor, but block out much of the first year. Or at least the hard bits.
(I read an interview with Tina Fey a few years ago in which she compares the first year of parenting as something akin to hitting yourself in the face with a hammer. Over and over. I’m right there: Cute baby, warm baby, soft baby, awake baby.)
And as it turns out, according to a new study, our kids aren’t going to remember much about their first years anyway. This obviously saddens me — why bother making such an effort if they’re not going to remember a damn thing? It also gives me some hope. As a friend put it, I have until Bennett’s tenth birthday (one year away) to keep screwing up. (Or as my lawyer brain saw it: after ten there’s a transcript.)
But, I’m tired. So very tired, and as I err left and right at home and at work, I am constantly grateful that I am not a surgeon, or a bus driver, or anything that would require me to have all my wits about me. It’s bad enough sending everyone to school with the wrong lunches, or without lunches. And it’s one thing to have to apologize for and fix mistakes on a brief. But cutting people open or driving them around in a large, unwieldy vehicle (well, more unwieldy than the cursed minivan) would be impossible. I’m downing my second decaf coffee (live it up Geller) and gearing up to run five miles because the sun is out, and we never know when that’s going to happen again. I’m also hoping that a crisp morning run will wake me up, make the rest of the day manageable.
But I suppose it doesn’t really matter what happens today, because this is Sidney’s first year, and in a few months from now I won’t remember any of it.