If you read Blood Memory three times in front of a mirror at midnight…

Omg the Adult Beginner is totes exhausted you guys.
Decided it was time for The Baby to start sleeping in his crib, in his own room, instead of the increasingly-too-small-for-him bassinet right by my side of the bed, and It Has Not Been Going Well.
It’s like an hour, two hours of sleep, then he’s up, and then he’s immediately waking up again while I’m carefully sneaking him back into the crib, like he’s a stick of dynamite and sudden movements will set him off, and then there’s the finally giving up at 4 am and bringing him into bed with me, feeling like I’ve failed at teaching him sleep and still not getting a nice deep sleep myself.
This is me all the timez:
He’s fine of course, he’s all ready to play all day long like, “You tired, bro?”
The other day I actually put him in his doorway jolly-jumper thing and laid down on the floor right by him and totally napped while he jumped.
I got your parental supervision right herezzzzzzzzzzzz.
And I’m totally just spoiled because he’s been such a good sleeper so far, like reliably sleeping through the night for the past couple months, and I feel like I’ve ruined a good thing, but, like, he is way too big for that bassinet! So it’s gotta happen!
So, Gentle Reader, you’re probably thinking, “Who cares?! Get to the ballet part already!”
That’s cool. Here it is:
I’ve been reading Blood Memory, Martha Graham’s autobiography, during these long nights, which is kind of a delirious read already, even if you aren’t all strung-out on the no-sleeps.
She’s pretty fascinating, I mean, I think almost everyone in the world has seen that image of her bent forward into that deep mournful penché with her fist on her forhead and that long full skirt making a big half circle from leg to leg.
But I don’t even know what ballet that image is from.
I just know that severe face and those clothes make such an attractive symbol.
And those clothes! It sounds like, from the autobio, like these costumes were just things she was kind of whipping up for performances, like, oh, you know, maybe for Lamentation I’ll just get some knit yardage and sew it in a tube and dance and stretch inside this tube and Totally Become An Icon Of Contemporary Dance, that’s all.
I asked Smirnoff if he knew her, just ’cause he knows everybody, and turns out he never met her! Whah?
But he likes her moxie. She auditioned for and got the part of The Chosen One in Massine’s Rite of Spring, with, according to Smirnoff, no previous ballet training whatsoever, and he gives her props for that.
According to her autobiography she did have ballet training though, through the Denishawn school in Los Angeles, which I was delighted to read about when I came across that part of the book at 2 am one night.
For some weirdo reason I totally love reading about intense, all encompassing physical and mental training, like for war in Ender’s Game and that one graphic novel I forget the name of about karate, and basically any book about the Bolshoi or the Maryinski or SAB.
So I am totally fascinated by the idea of a school in Los Angeles in, what, the 19teens? Twenties? where students leaned ballet and danced barefoot and, like, trippy zen neo-Indian philosophies.
Smirnoff pointed out that this is the 100th aniversary of Rite of Spring, which I either missed or forgot ’cause that’s pretty awesome, and that there will be tons of productions of Rite of Spring this year, and that I should look “on the computer” and see if I can find Martha Graham’s 1980’s version, which Smirnoff sez is the most authentic because from Graham to Massine to Nijinsky you have a direct link back to the original.
More authentic, he says, than the Joffrey one which was based on research. I think he kind of scoffs at research.
He also likes the Bejart version.
So there.
Does this post even make any sense? Imma go feed the baby,
peace out.

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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18 Responses to If you read Blood Memory three times in front of a mirror at midnight…

  1. odile53 says:

    Oh, it makes sense if you take the sleep deprivation into account. Actually, a good post!

    Just remember, sleep deprivation is so damaging that the Geneva Convention outlawed it as an interrogation method for prisoners of war. That’s an interesting tidbit I found out when I was a new mom.

    Since Smirnoff’s “old school,” I think he would sneer at anything that doesn’t have a direct link back to the past. And LA for ballet training in the 20’s or so–I’m thinking that may be where Maria and Marjorie Tallchief did their training!

  2. b says:

    If you still want baby to have his own space, you could just stick the crib mattress next to your bed – I know quite a few people who have done that in some configuration, both with and without bed frames.

    And definitely check that you’ve got your bed all set up for cosleeping, http://cosleeping.nd.edu/ is a great site with information about cosleeping in general, as well as the safety rules.

    • b says:

      Oh, and the No-Cry Sleep books by Elizabeth Pantley are the ones most parents I know have liked.


      • I read that one while I was pregnant. It seemed pretty sensible at the time.
        But honestly, in the middle of the night, helping my baby back to sleep, it’s those kind of books that come back to haunt me with thoughts of how I’m doing it wrong and if only I had this technique or hadn’t missed that magical window of opportunity or were more regimented/ more permissive/ more intuitive/ more authoritative/ used more charts, then he’d be sleeping like a baby.
        Maybe the trick is to read All the baby books and put them all together in your head and go with whatever makes sense after that.

  3. MM says:

    Get a crib tent and put it in the baby’s crib and cover the top with blankets. You will “recreate the womb” environment for him and help him screen out all the sensory stuff that wakes him.mworked for my twins!

    Thanks for the reading tip! Have you read Twyla Tharp’s book?

    • Haven’t read Twyla Tharp’s book! Bet that’s a good one too.
      Also checking for Suzanne Farrell’s book every time I’m at the library, starting to think it might be out on permanent loan.

  4. When my son was transitioning to his own crib, I slapped a mattress on the floor and rot in the room when he woke up in the middle of the night. I breast fed and he did not sleep though the night until he was –
    almost a year old. If u have an extra bed, I suggest you give it a shot so you don’t go crazy as a result of lack of sleep! I hope this helps!!

  5. Carla Escoda says:

    There is a full-scale WAR over the question of whether Millicent Hodson & Kenneth Archer’s reconstruction of Nijinsky’s Rite, which they first staged for the Joffrey, is “authentic”. Jennifer Homans, for one, is a disbeliever. There is an excellent DVD of the Mariinsky (http://www.amazon.com/Stravinsky-Ballets-Russes-Firebird-Printemps/dp/B0023T9ZR0/ref=sr_1_1) dancing this version that has an interview with Hodson and Archer describing how they went about their detailed research, unearthing the costume sketches and photos, and all the drawings Hodson made of the movement as former Ballets Russes dancers described bits and pieces to her. Pure heaven for anyone interested in ballet history, in the art of costuming, or just in the delicious SCANDAL of it all…!

  6. My own son didn’t sleep through the night until he was 17 months old but he was my second so I was past that whole “blame myself for not getting the technique right” thing. I have no good advice because nothing helped (including keeping a sleep log in preparation for a fancy sleep study at a children’s hospital) but I will say that as long as you get up and try again you are doing great.

    Much like ballet, it gets easier.

  7. Diane says:

    I just want to add my thoughts that it DOES get better, and by the time your kids have left home, they will probably be sleeping through the night. :)
    My own two did not for many years. I think I got my first, real “full nights sleep” about five years after my first child was born. (the second was born 2 1/2 years after the first)
    I eventually gave up and we had both kids in bed with us often, though not at the beginning of the night.
    Do what works for you! There is no wrong or right, as long as it works for you and no one gets hurt.

  8. Katy says:

    Oh sleeping…just think, in about 15 years you won’t be able to get him out of bed and then think of the fun you can have (that’s what’s getting me through)!

    We’ve used a rolled up sheet under the fitted sheet as a way to make big beds seem smaller (it’s helped going from moses basket to cot and cot to big bed) or more familiar. It was moderately successful, or at least made me feel like I was doing something while he got used to the idea in his own sweet time.

    I’m forever astonished that one person could make writhing around in a knitted tube look universal and primal and I’d just look like I’d lost a fight with a large tube sock…

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