“If I wanted things to be easy, maybe I should have gone to graduate school instead.”
This is what I was thinking as I lay on the couch rocking Miss Fussbudget at 3 am two nights ago. She has recently decided that fussy time needs to be from 11 pm to 3 am.
As it turns out, newborn fussiness is probably the most frustrating thing I’ve ever dealt with. Even more frustrating than cutting through bureaucratic red tape on the phone (something at the top of the list of things I hate and find frustrating). At least then you can rail against stupid rules and incompetent phone techs. But fussy babies? Who do you rail against? She’s communicating in the only way she knows how, and heaven knows why she needs to fuss through the early morning hours. I certainly don’t. She’s eaten, she’s got a clean diaper, she’s burped. It’s not even that hot in the apartment anymore by midnight (our A/C consistently can’t stand up to 110+ degree days, so it gets hot in our apartment in the evenings).
But no snuggles, no rocking, no singing, will get her to calm down.
So I was lying on the couch, clutching a crying three week old, contemplating my abilities. I am supremely confident in my ability to do well in graduate school. I graduated with a 3.85 GPA at a high quality institution. Standardized tests like the GRE never scared me. I was being recruited by BYU’s Masters in Art History program. And I was seriously considering doing it and studying Maya art, then getting a Ph.D. I was capable of going and writing an awesome-sauce thesis on Maya art that had never been studied before, brand new stuff coming out of Guatemala.
But I didn’t want to. I felt compelled to do it because I was capable, but I was tired of school. And so I decided not to.
I had a baby instead.
And it turns out that while I am supremely capable of writing an awesome-sauce thesis on Maya art, I am supremely less capable of comforting a fussy baby in the wee, dark hours of the morning.
So it’s appearing that my decision has unwittingly turned into me stepping away from what I’m good at and comfortable with–scholarship–and stepping into some things that I am really, really bad at. Maybe it’s time I learned things like patience. And putting my needs behind the needs of somebody who is incapable of articulating her needs. Interacting on a regular basis with a person who can’t reason or be convinced through rational arguments.
You know. Things like that.
But dangit, she’s really cute. And I love her. And she’s mine. So I guess I’ll trying learning this patience thing.