No more breaking night… and other changes


The Puerto Ricans–well, at least the Nuyoricans–have a saying I’ve always liked: “Breaking night.”
It means staying up so late that you’ve broken the night and passed into day.
Though it generally refers to people who are partying, as in, “‘Chacho, you can see on his face that guy really broke night yesterday,” Francisco and I have always thought the saying to be sufficiently funny to use it when talking about our own strange hours. Since we both work from home and set our own schedules, we used to break night practically every night. It was our habit to go to bed between 2 and 4 AM and wake up at 10 or 11. Now, we look like we’ve broken night, but by 8 PM our heads are nodding into our dinner plates.

There are other changes, too. We don’t watch movies anymore. We used to watch at least one film a day, often more, usually in those last break-night hours. Now, we can’t stay awake for the title and opening credits. We have three Netflix movies on our bureau, but I’m not confident they’ll be seen anytime soon, especially since they’re about the economy, a real snoozer of a topic.

Interestingly, our dream lives have changed, too. Mine is more tortured, with dreams revealing 1,000 ways I could drop the ball as a mom. Happily, though, Francisco’s dreams have become decidedly cheerier and since he’s always had disturbing dreams, I’m happy for him. The night after we brought Mariel home, he dreamed we all took a trip to Mars and she was very joyful.

How about our fashion? Well, I’m rocking a sea glass green robe most of the day, not because I’m lazy or not feeling up to getting dressed, but because it provides quick and easy breastfeeding access. We’re both sporting my old cloth diapers as spit up rags, thrown nattily over our shoulders. Francisco’s hair is out of control–but neither of us has felt like sitting down for three hours to work on it.

The morning routine is a bit different, too. Coffee and cleaning the inbox have been replaced with pumping breast milk and reading last weekend’s New York Times. I rather like this change– by the time I get around to the news, last week’s problems have been resolved, forgotten, or have gotten worse, but at least I know the outcome.

We both communicate with our families more, which is good for everyone.

We have new, fun routines, too. Diaper change is a shared duty, when we come together to laugh at researchers’ classifications of newborn poop (there’s lots of different kinds) and to give Mariel a massage. Formula prep has all the flash and excitement of cocktail hour at a really good bar- Francisco pretends he’s a bartender, mixing formula and water and performing dramatic bottle tosses. We’ve also started reading time, which Mariel seems to like. Her first book was Frida, by Jonah Winter, and Grandpa just sent her A Mountain Alphabet from Colorado. Today is Pat the Bunny, the soft cloth version, from Granny.


7 responses »

  1. Loving this transition, this evolution of priority and feeling quite honored to be sharing it along with you guys.

    Call it preliminary research too…before we even think of conceiving.

    All I have to do is make baby sounds and you should see his horrified look šŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Lola! Enjoy your “you” time with Urb– it’s so special and important, too. And when you’re both ready, I’ll be here with loads of advice! šŸ™‚

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