This summer, I am not teaching. It is the summer of QE (qualifying exam) prep! READ ALL THE THINGS!
It is also the summer of being home with B, while Jake teaches for both summer semesters.
Let’s talk about how those two things are not really compatible.
I’ve been trying to balance all the things I need to do–check email, type up notes, catch up with family and friends, and of course, read–while the baby naps. My happy little juggling act just got a jarring kick in the shin: B flat out refused her afternoon nap the other day.
I just had the horrifying thought, “It begins. We’re starting to go down to one nap.” And then:
“When am I going to read???”
Naturally, I began researching eleven-and-a-half-month-old sleep patterns and how-to-work-at-home-with-a-baby. I found this honest account from a stay-at-home dad, and it made me laugh out loud! I’m still fairly new at this parenting-thing, but generally I’m finding that my anxieties leak out, like air from a balloon, when I just listen to other parents. Knowing I am not alone makes everything much less fraught.
Yesterday, B skipped her afternoon nap again. Fortunately, Jake and I had both been home, and able to tag-team the child-care, swapping turns at the desk and in the nursery. By the time B was “resisting nap,” my notes on the Peter Elbow text I’d read were typed and saved.
I’m honestly not sure how the rest of the summer will go. We’ve found a really nice rhythm, but I’m certain it will be shaken up soon. Wasn’t it Bob Dylan who said that there is nothing so certain as change? The mantra I rehearse to my students over and over again will likely prove true for me, in writing and in life, these next few months: “flexibility is key.”