Sleep Studies and Parenting

I feel like I have so much to write. My blog functions a lot like my brain; nothing and then rapid fire thoughts. Although I can control when to publish my posts unlike my thoughts. If only my brain was that controlled. Anyway, I digress.

The two big kids were in a sleep study. Everyone asks, “What’s wrong with their sleep.” The answer is nothing. We just happen to live semi-close to a university that does research. The gist was to spend the first seven days (which turned into 13) with the kids on a strict sleep schedule in which they woke up and went to bed at the same time. They also wore light meters. The last three days included college students coming into our home, covering all of our windows and lights with tarps and tape and not exposing the kids to light above 10 lux (nightlight level.) We had 5-7 college students in our house entertaining our children in the dark from 6:15AM – 10PM all three days. They also took saliva samples every 20- 30 minutes throughout the evenings. It was intense. More for me, less the kids.

I’m always shocked at how often my identity as a mother shifts. Like any identity, I often don’t “feel” it. Sure, I’m gay but I don’t think about it most days. Same with being a mom. Until I have a bunch of “young” college kids in my home. Oh, to be young and in college. After Noa was born my PP Anxiety made me want to go back to college.

Here’s the thing, the mom identity is a moving target. I’m really good at being a mom to a one year old. I have no idea what I’m doing as a mom to a (soon to be) five year old. Am I old enough to have a five year old? I’m pretty sure my vision of 31 included suits, a briefcase, an office, and probably some pumps. Fuck Cosmo magazine.

And yet, here I am. Navigating parenting three under five. Having a bunch of college kids in my home probably judging my parenting. Feeling my motherhood identity under a microscope. And I care. Why do I care? Who gives a shit what they think? Apparently I do. They see lots of kids. And lots of parenting.

They asked if they could come back and study Atticus again next year. And Cal in two years. Several offered to babysit. I’ll take that as a mom win.

The watch is a light meter. 
Her light meter watch and necklace. 

Faith in Humanity #2

Jordann and I have decided we need to build a playhouse for our kids. This way, when they’re teenagers, they’ll have a place to smoke pot and feel like they’re super sneaky and rebellious. Today, I went to buy all of the lumber we would need for the platform/deck of the playhouse. Once I started piling 2 x 6 x 10s on the cart I realized our Outback was not going to be sufficient in hauling it all back home. Our friend was coming over to help so she drove our SUV over as backup.

While we were loading the boards into the SUV and trying to figure out how to make it all fit, a guy came up to us that looked like he walked off the set of Duck Dynasty. (I know. Duck Dynasty doesn’t have an actual “set”. But you get the metaphor.) This guy had a mustache that hung to his collar bone with perfect ringlets, a camo cowboy hat, a camo sleeveless shirt that showed off his faded military tattoos, the biggest belt buckle I’ve ever seen that was holding on a belt that was holding the pistol on his hip, and wearing cowboy boots that looked like they’d seen their fair share of work. We’ll call him Duck Dynasty Guy (DDG) for now. I was all ready for the “you little ladies need some help there?” conversation and I already had my snarky response ready. HOWEVER, the following conversation ensued:

DDG: That’s not gonna fit in there.

Me: I know. We also have the Outback over there. (Noticing how small and insignificant our Outback looked sitting amongst all the big kid pick-up trucks.)

DDG: Yeah… It’s not gonna fit in there either. Y’all live close by?

Me: Yeesssss….

DDG: I’ll go get my truck. We’ll load it all up in there and then I can just bring it to your house.

He brought up his giant pick up truck (complete with Marine Corps license plates) and we loaded it with all of our lumber. After we got it home and everything was unloaded he told us his name was Bear. He also told us that he grew up in this area and we had a nice little chat before he took off to complete whatever project he had put on hold to play lumber delivery guy.

As much as I think I’m non-judgemental, it’s moments like these when I realize that I still hold judgements toward certain people. I try not to. And this will just be one more lesson I store away next time I start judging someone based on appearance. Thanks, Bear.