As a child, I routinely slept in until 11:00 in the morning. It’s not that I stayed up late, I just liked me some sleep. When I became a parent four years ago, this thing called sleep became like a Sasquatch: elusive. Mysterious. Rumored. But never actually, definitively seen.
The Preschooler was born a month early. When I came home from the hospital, his crib was right where we’d left it: in the box it came in, propped up against the wall in what would be his bedroom. It turned out this wasn’t going to be a problem, because the child didn’t want to sleep. Or, more specifically, he would only sleep if I was holding him. If we put him in his crib: screamed. Swing: screamed. Pack N Play: screamed. So, for the first three months of his life–let me say it again, three months of his life–The Hubs and I slept on the couch, upright, holding him. Three months.
Don’t be dumb like me.
Our television was on 24 hours a day so the nonsleeping parent–ideally, the parent holding the sleeping baby–had something to do. Along this same time, I started working at Day Job and had no choice but to eek out some kind of responsible sleep pattern. After all, I was driving 20 miles to work in city traffic. I was learning things. I was being A Responsible Adult.
So, I learned how to function on coffee, wit, and charm.
When The Toddler was a baby, I’d sleep with my hand between the crib slats, holding his bottle.
I see this as pre-gaming for my current authory lifestyle: I write when the kids go to bed. So, I usually work on my novel from 10 o’clock at night to midnight or twelve-thirty. I get up at 5:30 for work.
“Sleep? Ha, I don’t need no stinking sleep.” I shake my fist at reasonable sleep patterns. I have coffee! I have college smarts!
Sometimes, though, lack of sleep catches up on me. For example, take this morning. I put my cereal in my cereal bowl and went to the refrigerator to get out milk. The next thing I’m aware of, is the fact I’m holding coffee creamer and am, instead, pouring it on top of my cereal.
Sigh. Oh well, French Vanilla oats and honey Special K it is.
Or, last night. I was falling asleep on the couch and answering The Preschooler’s questions about the show he was watching on television (sample dialogue: “Huh? She’s herding cats. They herd cats in the Wild West. Wait, no, not cats. Cows.”) when The Toddler started babbling about something and gesturing towards his bedroom. Half asleep, I said, “Yes…and…”
He clapped and ran away.
Still half asleep, this vaguely sounded odd to me. I heard a noise from the other room that confirmed, yes, this was in fact odd and stumbled in to discover him, one leg on the bed and the other leg stretched out to the window sill. I scooped him up and said, “No, bad idea.”
He looked at me very seriously and, with his two-year-old high pitched voice, said, “Oh, Dan Flammit.”
Which is, evidently how he says God Dammit.
I just….yes, and evidently I need more sleep.
When I returned to the couch, The Preschooler asked if I was still wearing my boob wig, or if I’d taken it off for bed. I stared at him for several seconds and said, “Yes….ah….what?”
The Hubs later informed me that, for whatever reason, that’s what The Preschooler calls bras. I just…I just don’t get what goes on in the house when I’m at work.
And, thusly, I’ve decided to ask no further questions and just resign myself to the fact my family is as loony as I am. Because frankly, sometimes that’s the best course of action.