Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Mind over matter

I changed the furnace filter today, a long overdue item of business.

But, like, honestly, the furnace/AC is in the attic and the filter for the furnace/AC is at the back end of the unit, requiring a body to crawl through the attic on their hands and knees, over and under ducts and wires, along a narrow spider-frass-covered plank balanced across the crossbeams. Oh, and it's dark. And you will get spiderwebs in your hair. And probably bang your head once or twice.

It was...not pleasant.

Nobody wanted to do it. We actually bribed Miriam to go exploring up there ($6 was her price, for the record (we offered her $5, she countered with $20, Andrew offered her $6, she took it, and then spent it all at the Lego store)) but she wasn't able to find the furnace filter so I had to go up there anyway. No one gave me $6.

Turns out you have to remove the cover (which is screwed on) in order to access the filter, which I wasn't expecting at all because we've lived lots of places and haven't ever had to unscrew an access panel to find the filters. In our Durham house the filter was actually right in the living room wall, which was handy! Our current house actually has two units and the one in the basement has a super accessible filter—it's just right there when you look at the furnace, slips in and out, no screwdriver necessary.

It literally took us an hour to change the darn filter in the attic. But, next time it should take just a few minutes to get over the initial feeling of not wanting to do it.

"It's really not so bad once you're up here," I told Andrew, as I crawled through some spider webs.

And it wasn't. Like, once you actually start doing it it's just a thing that you're doing and not the horrible nightmare you imagined.


"I'm not saying I want to move in," I said, flicking a palmetto bug carcass aside, "But it's really not so bad."

It was pretty bad...but not so bad.

Alexander only got out of bed once last night and he readily agreed to go back to his own bed (if I'd tuck him in and turn on his fan (which I did)). It's his second night on his "sleep in your own bed" sticker chart. The first night he got up eight times (but every time went back to bed). The second night was obviously much better.

And now I wonder if Alexander's biggest hurdle in life will be starting things and then realizing that once you start doing it, it's not so bad.

Like, he wouldn't walk until he absolutely had to (because he broke his wrist) and then he had no problem picking it up. He flat out refused to go to nursery until one day he just waltzed in there. He potty trained super easily once he decided diapers were uncomfortable and he didn't want to wear them anymore. And now he's basically decided that he can sleep in his own bed and...he's doing it.

I feel like he used to wake up so often because he knew I'd eventually cave and let him climb into bed with me, so he'd just wake up and wake up and wake up until I said yes (or at least didn't say no). He belonged in my bed. He was, in his words, my "sleeping buddy."

But now that he's working on filling up his "sleep in your own bed" sticker chart he's a new man. He doesn't need to check on Mommy fifty times a night.

I don't regret co-sleeping with my babies. It made raising babies a whole lot easier (for me; I just like having my babies right there). However, it does eventually reach a point where it's just annoying because instead of being a sweet little baby who will snuggle wherever you put it, it's this whopping big toddler with flailing limbs who takes over your pillow and kicks your back and pulls your hair and somehow manages to take up 90% of the bed. Alexander has reached the annoying stage of bed-sharing so I'm glad he's finally making an effort to stay in his own bed.

All he had to do was decide to do it.

I see plenty of attributions to Mark Twain for saying, "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter," but I remember my dad always saying that things are "an issue of mind over matter. If you have no mind, it doesn't matter." 

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