It was a little overwhelming. Neither Dave nor I are particularly good about having our routine disrupted, and it appears Willow takes after us. Not that it wasn't wonderful seeing everyone, and getting out of the house, and actually doing stuff besides watching tv and sleeping, but that's what we're used to doing, so anything else is a little scary.
Francie is adorable. I almost wish they had been born further apart so I could have spent more time holding her, instead of always holding my baby.
But they had absolutely no interest in each other. In fact, at times it bordered on outright dislike:
We had to keep them separated. Either Francie didn't like Willow:
Or Willow didn't like Francie:
Of course, Francie might justifiably have been thinking Willow was making fun of her pants. Not that Willow would understand an Urkel reference. Here's a more flattering picture of Francie:
As if that wasn't enough upheaval, when we got home Dave, Willow, and I embarked on a Misguided Sleep Experiment. Our doctor had given us the surprising and certainly very welcome instruction to shut Willow in her room for twelve hours, and not open the door no matter what. We were told that scream she would, for four nights, and then it would never happen again.
We weren't quite able to bring ourselves to do that. We talked a good talk while we were up in Massachusetts, but I don't think anyone there will be surprised to learn we didn't follow through. She does still get up in the night to eat, after all, and who wants to starve their baby? So we compromised: if she was fed, changed, warm, and comfortable, then she could work out her existential problems herself. We would put her down to bed, and let her cry until she fell asleep. And when she woke up in the night, we would feed her, change her as necessary, and then put her down in her basket.
Seems simple enough, right? And not horribly inhumane? But it didn't feel that way. We had never heard of anyone doing even this at two months, much less the twelve hours thing. We tried it for two nights, and they were the most miserable nights imaginable. I cried. A lot. I spent most of the day crying too, because although Willow seemed fine and unbroken, I felt that I was betraying an essential trust.
It also turned out to be a lot more complicated than it seemed. What about during the day? Are we teaching her that she has to cry herself to sleep at night, but not during the day? So she just screams all the time? But I feel that an essential part of parenting is the giving of comfort, and that's certainly not something that goes away as the child grows. And what about the sleeping? She is still pretty much only willing to sleep on a person during the day--am I supposed to insist that she get herself to sleep in her basket during the day, too? If not, that's certainly sending a mixed message. But if so, she will simply be screaming all day long, because babies sleep a lot. Not to mention, it's good to hold babies.
We talked and argued and fought and cried (just me and Willow. Dave didn't cry) and it was just Not Good. For anyone. So we decided not to do this now. She just seems too young. She's only just started to respond to stimuli, and smile, and coo, and it doesn't feel like she's ready to be forced into self-sufficiency. It seems like we'd be struggling for a short-term gain, only to be screwed in the long run. If it were something I felt confident in, that this is the right thing for my child, however hard it might be, I think I would be able to follow through, but I just don't feel that way. Maybe in another month or two. RockNoodle and Toaster were both Ferberized, and maybe we'll end up doing that. Or maybe she'll just magically start sleeping through the night, which is what various other parenting books I've read have said she'll do (of course, they're also all "if she doesn't, does it matter so very much?" Um, yes).
On top of all this, we tried pumping, which let me tell you worked really well with my stress levels up and my supply levels down. And Willow hated the bottle. Shocker.
No more upheaval. Bring me television, bring me cookies, bring me my baby to rock to sleep and then hold while she sleeps. She's just a tiny baby still.