Monday, November 26, 2007
To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
Whoever coined the phrase "sleep like a baby" must not have had kids, or had a very sick sense of humor. I say this because I have kids and currently have a baby, and sleep is not an activity I am familiar with. I haven't had a full, uninterupted eight hours since 1994. June 29, 1994 to be precise. (For those of you unfamiliar with my family - that particular date would coincide with my oldest child's birthdate.)
I've read that not sleeping for long periods of time can lead to hallucinations, slow response time, spaciness, delirium, among other things - that in fact, sleep depravation was akin to being inebriated. This could explain a lot. No, I'm not drunk - just tired! Very, very, very, very tired. I'm cranky and tired. I love my baby - I really do, I just really wish he could sleep for more than 30 minutes at a stretch. Now, in his defense - he has a lot going on right now - teething, a cold, constipation . . . Personally, I'd rather sleep all of that off, but that's because I am an adult now and I can fully appreciate the value of sleep. In fact, as I am sure any teenager will attest - sleep can cure anything. I tell my kids to take a nap - I wish I could. They want to bounce on their beds, they want to watch tv, they want to run around in circles and yell and re-enact the Battle at Bull Run. Me? I want to examine the insides of my eyelids. I've forgotten what they look like. I don't dare lie down and sleep myself unless they are sedated and tied to their beds. If I close my eyes - who knows what disaster will lay before me when I open them again.
One of my children would only sleep in his carseat or on me. If he was in the carseat - the car had to be moving. Fortunately he outgrew that after about 13 months, but every now and then, I have to be careful where I step in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom. I might step on him, or his brother sleeping on my bedroom floor . . . then there is the other brother, the aforementioned teething, sniffly, constipated baby. He started sleeping through the night about a month ago. I was so happy! Then he started teething about 2 weeks later. Then he got the cold a few days ago - about the same time the pooping ceased. I fixed the latter with a little banana and yogurt juice - yay! We have poopage! A little baby acetaminophen for the teething and fever and . . . . I . . .. think . .. he's . . . . going . . . to . . . sleep . . . .. . . shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Tiptoe to the bedroom, carefully slip him into his bed. Make sure the pacifier is in place. Make sure the back up pacifier is in his hand. Make sure the back up, back up pacifier is in his other hand. Make sure the spare emergancy binky is next to the bed so mom can grab it in the middle of the night. I slide into my bed. Close my eyes . . .. SCREAM! Wait a minute, see if it will go away . . . nope, not happening. Get up, shush the baby, plug the baby, bundle baby in blankie. Baby is drifting off again . . . . wait a minute. Tiptoe back to bed, climb in and get comfy. Close eyes and . .. . SCREAM! Repeat this 5 times every 30 minutes until 6 am. At 6 am, the baby will fall asleep and stay asleep and you will finally find your bliss in time for the alarm to go off.
I'm too old to take a nap, and too young to not still need one . . .
***Originally posted September 21, 2007