Friday, December 07, 2007

Flashback

The other night, Little Man woke us up with his crying. Which some might call highly inconsiderate on his part, but I've decided that I have to accept this flaw, since he's so good looking and good looking people don't have to be considerate. Just ask any celebrity.

When I rushed up the stairs, stumbling due to being roused from deep sleep, not due to being drunk, unfortunately, I came to find out that Little Man was crying because he couldn't find his beloved stuffed frog. The one that he clutches in his sleep as if it would be impossible for him to live without that worn down green frog.

I found the lost frog in the dark, gave it back to Little Man, shushed him back to sleep, stroked his hair and crawled back into bed.

As I did so, this flashback hit me like lightning. Am I the only one who ever has that? Where a flashback is so strong, you're practically transported back in the moment and can see everything so clearly, smell and hear everything of that instant that you feel like you are reliving it?

The moment I relived was when Little Man was itty bitty. I want to say he was a few weeks old at most. Those first months, I've talked about at length before, were very, very brutal, because Little Man was morally opposed to sleep then.

Eventually, I figured out that the only way he would sleep, was laying on my chest, skin to skin, with a swaddling blanket over his back.

When he'd sleep that way, I'd go in and out of consciousness, because I was so terrified that he would fall off me, hit the mattress and break in half somehow. Maybe his head would roll off, I wasn't sure, I was a new mom and I was scared shitless, no matter how many "What to Expect" books I had read.

One night, at some ungodly hour where only feral cats in heat are awake, I woke up and Little Man was no longer on my chest. I clearly remember the feeling of my entire skeleton flying out of my body, and I'm pretty sure that my bladder temporarily forgot about Kegel exercises, and I peed myself in terror. I had managed to lose my newborn son.

I groped the sheet around me, patted the floor, quietly wailing and wondering how I could be such a terrible mother. And then thanks to the moonlight streaming between the slats of our bedroom blinds, I spotted him. Asleep peacefully. In his bassinet. Next to our bed. Where I had managed to get him to sleep (for once) after the previous feeding.

I still remember the feeling of terror sapping every ounce of energy I had left as it was replaced by just overwhelming relief.

As I laid in bed this week, reliving that moment from more than two years ago, my heart still continued to beat a little faster. I still have the fear of losing my son. It haunts me every day. Maybe even every minute, somewhere in my subconscious.

And I knew that when Little Man woke up and his frog was missing, he felt the exact same way that I felt on that day.

I don't know if I should be happy for my son that he's able to experience love that intense. Or if I should feel sad for him that it's directed at a stuffed green frog, with a frayed ribbon around its neck.

Love,

Catwoman.

12 comments:

AndreAnna said...

I think it's great that he has such emotion - even if it is for a stuffed frog. You can't teach empathy or love - those are our greatest inherited traits.

Emma in Canada said...

Be glad it's for a stuffed animal and not a dummy, which is the only thing that will wake Sophie up in the middle night. She'll be standing in the crib saying "dum, dum, dum" over and over. And I can only hope it's not down the side of the crib against the wall.

Rachel said...

I think it's great that he feels that way. And, he still loves you that much, he just doesn't need you to help him sleep anymore. We teach our children to sleep on their own and the we are so sad when they do. Alyssa never wakes up at night anymore. Sometimes, I wish she would. I always cherished those times, secretly.

AnGlOpHiLe FoOtBaLl FaNaTiC said...

I laughed my ass off at the feral cats in heat. You = naughty! But, must say I saw the title, thought it said Flashdance...and had visions of you dancing ala Jennifer Beals.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Just be happy for him.... sounds like you've got quite the little man! He will never be "lost" to you completely - I keep trying to believe that one myself as CJ prepares to fly around the world on a scary plane.

I feel like I've already lost him a little...but then I remember that that's what we raise them to do - leave the nest and fly.

I miss my little Shmoops. Good thing I still have teenage Squeeky Muffin to keep me company. :-)

Hallie

Kellie said...

Morgan has a bunny that is her best friend for sleeping. She, too, has woken in the middle of the night when Bunny gets lost or falls out of the crib. I don't let her bring Bunny out of the house (unless we're going to be gone for the day/night) as I'm TERRIFIED of losing her.

random_mommy said...

Oh my... that boy of yours has your heart of gold.

Daphne said...

sweet =)

Morgan Leigh said...

I know how you feel.

lisa's chaos said...

It's great that he loves his frog so much. :) I remember when my oldest son was 2 I had a nightmare that he died and in the dream I carried him everywhere and people kept telling me he wasn't alive and I wouldn't believe them. I've spent the rest of my life fearing that scenario.

Haphazardkat said...

I remember one night being so exhausted when my son was a week old..that I placed him in his crib and told him he was going to have to cry for a bit (if he woke up in the next 2 hours) cuz Momma desperately needed some sleep. I woke up 5 hours later and the house was deathly silent. The paralyzing fear as I ran to his room...omg...
I stood outside his door with my hand on the knob too scared to open the door. I was terrified he had died from crib death.
When I finally willed myself to open the door he was laying quietly blinking up at me, happy and healthy.
The relief took all the strength from my legs and I plunked down by his crib and cried.
It's amazing isnt it? how such a little person completely takes over your soul.

Mommi Tutu said...

I still have dreams I'm holding the baby in the bed and wake up and can't find him or her . . I search frantically in the covers, completely sure I have smothered them or lost them somehow, but eventually I find they are safely in their cribs, sleeping like good babies should. I feel your pain babe!