Wow. This mom business is frickin’ HARD. One of the suckiest things a new mom will ever have to experience has to be letting your child “cry it out”. It’s heartbreaking really, especially for a soft-hearted pushover like me. Knittymunchkin has a lot of trouble going to sleep on his own and staying asleep is an issue too. We’ve been working on it but both R. Darling and I feel terrible just sitting there and letting him cry himself to sleep. Because, man, do we have one tenacious little guy! I swear he will keep bawling his eyes out for the better part of an hour betting that one of us will go and pick him up. I can hardly take it.
This morning was no different. I laid him down in his bed and he was drowsy, almost asleep. Soon as I took my hands away – wham! – those eyes flew open and the pout was in full force. By the time my shadow darkened the doorway on the way out of the bedroom, the tears and wailing had started up. I gritted my teeth and walked to the living room, steeling myself to the wretched cries of my poor little baby. Knitting saved me.
One of the things I love about knitting is its ability to calm the nerves. Something about the click of needles and the swoosh of fiber over them can soothe my tension like no other. When it comes to letting your little one cry themselves to sleep, knitting is the perfect diversion. You can always lay down your work if your child really does need you that instant. But if it’s a matter of giving them a chance to learn something on their own and dampening your own ability to interfere I say that a simple lace patterned hat or sock will do that like nobody’s business. Because if you’re like me, you always want to get to the end of a lace repeat, or finish one row on the heel you’re turning, before stopping to do something else. Perfect if you are battling with yourself over whether to go and pick up the baby. Wait, just one more row and then I’ll go pick him up. By the time you get to the end of that row he might have quieted down and then you just keep knitting. Mom – 1, Baby – 1. Backsliding purposefully avoided.
So this morning I’m working on a baby hat for our neighbor who also happens to be one of R. Darling’s co-workers. She had an incredibly stressful pregnancy and things are not necessarily o.k. now that she’s had her little girl. I feel for her because I had a very stressful pregnancy too (something I didn’t really talk about here) and though things turned out great for us, the journey was really rough. The kind gestures we received from our neighbors (who I had previously thought of as mere acquaintances) meant so much to us when we brought Knittymunchkin home and I want to make her a little gift so she’ll know that our little family is keeping her in our thoughts. I think it was meant to be since the pattern I chose called for yarn already in my stash in girly pink, and the diversion was just what I needed this morning to “knit it out” while Knittymunchkin cried his way to sleep.