Maddox in the Dirt

Maddox has been having trouble sleeping at night if he is not very near Vida. It has pretty much always been this way with his daytime naps but it’s new for nighttime. It’s gotten so that he wakes up every hour or two pretty much all night long and will cry until Vida gets him back to sleep… For another hour or two. We end up giving in and bringing him into our bed in the wee hours every night where he will sleep for longer stretches.

Sleeping difficulties are common and part of being a parent, but it’s gotten to a point where we had to break the cycle or none of us were going to get a good night’s sleep again!  So, last night we decided Vida would refrain from going into his room to soothe him after first putting him to bed and I would try to get him to sleep myself.  We knew it would not be easy.

Maddox was very worked up and crying fiercely for over an hour with me going in to try to soothe him frequently.  Most of what I did had little effect at first but gradually he started to calm down a bit and would occasionally be quiet for a moment to listen to my off-key singing of made-up lullabies.  His crying didn’t stop completely for awhile, but it drifted into sobs with occasional whimpers and cries, and then eventually he did fall asleep in my arms with his head on my shoulder.

It was a ‘success’ in that I managed to get him to sleep, but it’s always hard to see your little one so upset.  It was a bit of an ordeal for both of us, and it made me feel even closer to him.  As I comforted my baby and tried to soothe his cries for his Mother, it made me also miss her even though I knew she was right in the other room.  His emotions just run right to his core and they pour out of him uncontrollably and you can’t help but feel them as well.

The obvious has really hit me in the last few weeks… the Internet has changed everything.

We don’t have very many friends with babies near us geographically, but we do have friends with babies in other parts of the country. Email and Facebook have become Vida’s primary way of trading baby stories and tips, and it’s how she’s staying connected at 3am.

Similarly we get a lot of our baby info from websites like babycenter.com and answers.yahoo.com when we probably would have relied almost entirely on books and advice from friends and family just 10 years ago.

And that’s only how it’s affecting our own lives. I can only imagine what it be like for Maddox as a kid of hyper-connected parents living in an urban setting. He’ll never know things any other way. Socializing through networked Nintendo DS games will feel as natural as trading scary stories under a blanket by flashlight. Social networks will be as familiar as the playground down the street, and long distance friends will live a lot farther away than just the next town over.

None of this is new information to me, and of course nothing will replace face to face friendships or swinging on monkey bars, but somehow thinking about this is different now. I guess maybe Maddox has changed everything, too!

Maddox, my first child and son, was born almost 6 days ago now. Just a day or two after he was born I was listening to Buzzsaw on Sirius in the car (we have a free trial that seems like it should have ended by now…) and when a Motorhead song came on I thought to myself, “I need to introduce Maddox to Motorhead. He can’t miss out on the awesomeness they are.” Then I started thinking I need to come up with a list of all the great things in life that Maddox simply can’t miss out on… And then I realized that would be entirely impossible. We’ll try to give Maddox the experiences to shape his life, but ultimately it’s his life and we can’t be there every moment of every day. Even if we could, he might find the corral itself more interesting than the pigs inside.

Anyway, there’s no way he’ll miss out on Motorhead, or Aphex Twin, or My Bloody Valentine, or ahi tuna, or the assorted works of David Lunch, or gummi cola bottles with the fizzy sugar on the outside, or driving at least halfway across the US, or the pacific coast highway at sunset, or house music in the desert at dawn, or …