I feel, and I think most of my friends would confirm this, I'm a pretty laidback guy. Happy go lucky. The kind of guy who both recognizes how lucky he is but feels he controls his own fate. Before we got pregnant, when considering our future child, I never considered that my child wouldn't be laidback and easy. I mean, most parents hope for an easy child, so it's really hard not to picture your future with such a child. Days filled with coos and giggles and painless nap times during which you'll catch up on the dishes and your award-winning dad blog. Or something.
When The Baby came, I held on to this dream despite some evidence to the contrary. Don't get me wrong; as I've stated before, she's not a difficult baby. She's a pretty ordinary baby, which is to say, not that easy. But I've only recently, like in the last two weeks, come to terms with the truth: The Baby is Not Easy. She's now just over four months old. She sleeps OK at night, waking two or three times, but typically giving us stretches of three or four hours. But she naps for shit. We try to follow all the "rules" of good sleep hygiene. We're consistent with how we put her down. We use minimal sleep crutches, just a nuk, swaddle, and a fan for white noise. We put her down drowsy but awake. And despite this, she will still only nap for 25-30 minutes, unless we're rocking her. At every timeline milestone, six weeks, three months, four months, I've waited for her to sort her naps out. After 25 minutes, I'll watch the monitor, and cross my fingers that this day, finally, after so much hard work, she'll roll over and go the fuck back to sleep. But she never does. So for the last month plus, she takes between two and five of these half-hour cat naps and we rock her for two to four hours in the afternoon so she actually gets at least one effective nap in. The result is she's still chronically over-tired and fussy. She is Not Easy.
At this point, I've sat for hours upon hours in almost-absolute darkness with my hand on her tiny little chest, because she's become very observant, and if there's any light at all, she'd rather sing and coo than go to sleep. So I can't even look at my phone, and I sit, and I have nothing to do but think, and I think, and I hate myself for hating my life.