Around the the end of December, I think it was the Saturday before New Year’s Day, I was watching Elliot play on our makeshift basement playroom, which consisted of a pink yoga mat and his activity jumper surrounded by his toys and some diaper changing supplies, when it suddenly occurred to me that after many months of struggle, Elliot was feeling like he had turned a corner. This was the first time in almost 6 months that it seemed like it might be true that the worst of the time was behind us.
It probably had happened slowly from a combination of many little changes, but each were so significant. I had gone back to work in mid-December and Elliot had started day care. This had given my wife and I precious hours of “alone time” where we frantically tried to finish our adult errands that had been on hold for months. Around this same time he was starting to regularly sleep through the night from around 8pm to 4am (give or take). Not only that, but the whole sleeping process had gone from a extremely delicate procedure, requiring physical endurance and emotional patience to as simple as laying him down in his crib, turn out the lights and close the door! The fact that he could slept on his own without needing to be held was a huge deal. Not only that, but for the past few months, every little noise you made had the potential to wake him up after you just spent 20 minutes rocking him to sleep. This led to a lot of stressful tip-toeing around our house, and cursing the hardwood floors, especially the bastard second to last step on the flight of stairs going up to our bedrooms. I got pretty good at distributing my weight on all fours to make as little creaking sounds as I could when going up the stairs. With that behind us, it felt much more relaxing each night, just in time for us to be working again, and that probably helped with our mood and stress levels.
Elliot was also managing to hold himself better, he could now semi-sit with our support as well as use the activity chair and could hold his head up. Even as simple as putting him down somewhere didn’t spark an outrage of crying for at least a few minutes. We also introduced him to solid foods, cereals at first and then more complex creations such as golden beets and oatmeal or garnet yam purée. Elliot was also bottle feeding formula again and even willing to let me feed him some of the time after several months of going into a panic when I would try. What has been awesome to experience was seeing Elliot finally seem to develop an awareness of us and his surroundings, always curious of wha we do and so happy to see us when he wakes or I come home from work, it’s been a great feeling. All together these made us feel so much better and to see a light at the end of the tunnel and we can’t wait to begin to teach him more.
Still, we have to manage day to day, not long after I had this epiphany about Elliot, he caught another nasty cold, while my wife unexpectedly got ill at the same time, probably all three of us were exchanging viruses, so that was certainly not an easy week. We keep moving ahead and try to keep ourselves occupied, for instance going shopping with Elliot to a super-sized exurban Walmart was literally our weekend’s entertainment (Don’t buy the “Hot & Spicy Chicken Wings”).