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I'm Not Complaining, But...

Pluma Cubic Round 1 Wait a minute. Scratch that. That's exactly what I'm doing. Complaining. Yup. Here goes.

{First order of business. Yes, this is the same picture that I posted yesterday when I so eloquently debated the virtues of feather balls. Yes, I intended to post it again. Because I have an important point to prove. Stay tuned. Patience is indeed a virtue.}

Yesterday afternoon around 2:30pm, something amazing happened. I hit send. Yes, that's right. After weeks months years of editing and polishing BLACKBERRY GIRL, I sent a final(ish) copy of my new and improved manuscript to my editor. This was a big deal, friends, because I've put so much heart and sweat and soul into that story. More so, because I absolutely love that story because it is authentic and compelling and delicious and generally just rocks. But we will have to see if you agree next summer. Anyway, I celebrated this monumental key stroke by wandering aimlessly around the sticky hot Upper West Side, buying a few trashy magazines, scarfing a senseless amount of gummy candy, and then penning a delectable post about ahhhh, feathers. The party was underway indeed.

And that party would continue. At around 7 p.m., Husband and I gathered our girls and bags and headed out the door to meet up with Mom and head to my in-laws outside of Philly. A weekend away! Sure, the rain was mean. Sure, the rental car was the size of your washing machine. Sure, we didn't even have room in said vehicle to bring the utterly unnecessary stroller for our Baby who can't yet walk. So. No, I was a in a good, sugary mood and nothing, NOTHING, was going to change that. Nothing. Except everything that happened next.

Well. An hour and a half later, we inched our way to the entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel. My angel Baby had dutifully nodded off within the first few minutes of our trip only to be awakened by her very loud sister Toddler who crooned an original song about goldfish and thunder. So, the Rowley girls' choir was in full concert mode; screeching a splendid backseat symphony. Then Mom turned and asked me an innocent question, "Why did you do a post about a feather globe chandelier and put a picture of a bird?" How dare she. Mom, it wasn't a picture of a bird. It was a picture of two feather ball fixtures and there was a counter with a bird under them. "No, it was just a picture of a bird." Promptly, I plugged my own blog address into my BlackBerry, pulled up that glorious picture of those two vast feather balls and the eensy little bird and showed it to her. Because I was right and not going to let this slide. "Well, on my computer, it was just a bird."

Well, the trip took almost four hours and the kids were so excited that they decided not to sleep. Until the last fifteen minutes because then we'd have the good fortune of waking them. But we made it. We walked in, hugged Grammy and Dad-Dad. Good girl Toddler went right to sleep. But Baby had other plans. Bedtimes are for amateurs! She sat on my lap as we ate a late dinner and to appease her, I fed her about three thousand tiny bits of mango which just so happens to be the fruit with the highest sugar count. At 11:30pm, when Husband and I took her up to bed (for the eleventh time), she wriggled and screamed. Now this kid is usually snoozing by 7pm, so this was a shred odd. But we went with it. After all, she's so stinking cute.

At 12:08am, 12:37am, 3:37am, 4:08am, when Husband and I had the good fortune of seeing my darling babe, I began to rethink this legendary cuteness thing. Maybe she was scared. Maybe she just missed me because we are mad tight these days. Maybe she is jealous of her new cousin Bulldog and his newborn ways and thought, hey, I can do this sleepless bit too. Watch me. Who knows. But what I do know is that I am a rational creature, a doting mother, a reasonable being, and I was willing to let this anomalous night slide. Back in bed each time before she woke up again screaming bloody murder, I looked at my watch and took note of the ungodly hour and reminded myself that once upon a time when I was young and cool and in college I was always up at that hour and that I survived.

And then I reminded myself of those spunky truisms that always help me in my darker mommy moments. "She's a baby!" "Babies do these things! Expect the unexpected!" Fine. She is indeed a baby. And, yes, babies have been known to do such things. And I love unexpected things. Adore them. Fine.

But then. Today, her first nap-time rolled around, and a few feet from her bedroom door, she kicked me in the gut and screamed like someone had just given her a vaccine. But I wasn't fazed. She is my baby. I know her well. Yes, she's big and she's strong, but I outweigh her by at least forty pounds. So, I stayed calm. Retrieved her ever-soothing comfort objects: her pacifier and her pink giraffe blanket. She took these things, looked me in the eye, and hurled them across the room. And what did I do then? I looked at her sternly, eyes full of tough love and discipline and then I made a statement by... going to pick them up again. Because parenthood is all about calm perseverance. We played this little game, oh, about sixty-three times before I surrendered and brought her back downstairs. It is now 4:37pm and we have been up and down countless times. The upshot of this long, dragging, not-so-interesting post: SHE WILL NOT SLEEP. SHE HAS NO USE FOR SLEEP. SHE IS OVER IT.

As I writer, I am tempted to delete the aforementioned words and pretend they never existed. To chalk them up to exhaustion and a concomitant deep dip in creativity. And then to whip up a fascinating and snappy post on something genius like why all baby cribs should be recalled because when I am lowering my robust infant into them over and over, those wooden rails fit perfectly between my ribs. Which is not my idea of late night fun.

But as a mother, I feel compelled to keep this just as is. Because this is what happens to mothers whose babies don't sleep for more than a few odd hours over a twenty-four hour period. A mother so afflicted will, say, write 1101 dreadfully mundane and soggy words about a series of events that are not at all interesting or unusual. A series of events that are in fact so common that there are probably very few of you still reading. Because, really, you have better things to do like, say, let your infant run your life or drink that eleventh cup of coffee or maybe that first glass of wine.

So, yes, I'm complaining. Because I'm tired and outmatched and confused and human. And, Mom, it's not just a bird. See??!!

Look No Further

Feather Report