Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quiet down cobwebs

It's 4 a.m. and I'm laying on the floor in the nursery watching Emily coo and smile and wiggle and squirm. I'm so tired, but I can't help smiling at my happy little baby. Even at 4 in the morning. I keep telling her that it's time to go back to sleep, but she's oblivious to the time and to my exhaustion. She is merely happy and talking to the angels.

After Katherine was born, I went through a time when I was so sleep deprived that I would wake up standing in the hallway, confused and certain that someone was up and needing me. I would stand there listening, and ultimately go back to bed not having heard a thing. I got to the point where I hated the middle of the night wakings and feedings. I was cranky and unhappy and it made for unhappy babies in the night. I even understood how a parent could shake a baby. How awful.

I needed a change of heart, a change of attitude.

Before Odessa was born, as I was decorating the nursery, I decided to put part of a poem I'd seen before on the wall. The portion of the poem on my wall reads, "So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep. I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep." I put it up there so that I would have a constant reminder of what is really important, especially during those times that I want to be doing other things, like sleeping.

I made up my mind before she was born that I would learn to enjoy the middle of the night feedings. I would have a good attitude and be happy to see her. I was determined to have a better experience.

And I did. Though there were still many nights I looked to my wall for a reminder, it was better. And Odessa and I shared a few wonderful middle-of-the-night moments, just the two of us, that I will never forget.

So as I lay there on the floor last night, watching Emily wiggle and squirm, I looked up to my wall and remembered that babies don't keep. They grow so quickly. And even though I'm very tired this morning, I quite enjoyed our conversation at 4 in the morning, which included many priceless smiles.

Here's the poem in it's entirety.

"Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth, Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."

by Ruth Hamilton

1 comment:

bullfrogranch said...

Beautiful thought Stacey. That's such great perspective. Amazing how our perspective changes as we have children. We realize that babies don't stay small forever.