The Babies!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

No Rest for the Wicked (or Me)

I want to blog, but I find myself staring at a blank screen with not a single coherent thought in my head. All I can think about is sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep.

Patrick is, in fact, sleeping and I should probably try to lay down and sleep a bit, too. But I know he will be awake again in less than 2 hours, probably less than an hour, and that just isn't enough time for my insomnia to let me fall asleep. Plus, I'm downstairs on the couch and he's in his little rocker next to me and that's all fine and well for his napping, but I have a hard time sleeping on the couch and prefer to be in bed. But going to bed entails turning off the lights and television, covering the bird's cage, letting the dog out, carrying Patrick upstairs to his crib so I can hear him when he wakes up, taking my laptop, cell phone, a glass of water for me and a bottle for Patrick upstairs, brushing my teeth, washing my face and taking my meds. And probably doing two or three other things along the way. All of which will take close to an hour, at which time Patrick will be awake again. So sleep is but a wishful dream on the horizon because I'm too damned tired at this moment to do everything I need to do to actually go to sleep.

I'm not alone, though. Mary Anne blogged about being tired this morning. She has a new baby and a toddler, so I weep for her. Of course, she also has a partner and child care, so perhaps she should weep for me. I suspect we are both too tired to waste tears for each other when we can simply weep for ourselves. But I'll quote this part in place of offering anything creative or new or interesting of my own. Because, dear readers, I'm simply too tired to be original:

People keep asking me how I'm doing, especially this week as I see lots of old friends in concentrated doses. And I say terrible and they laugh uncomfortably and I say no really the last six months have been pretty much sheer hell and they say but at least your children are adorable and I admit that this is true but how is that relevant? Cute and hell are not measured on the same axis. My children, you are overflowing with cuteness, your adorability quotient is sky-high, especially when dressed in the little butterfly and alligator outfits that aunty and grandma got you for Christmas but that has absolutely nothing to do with the hellishness. Which also has nothing to do with your personalities, I must note, which are, as children's personalities go, pretty good. (Oh look, my commas have come back, how I love, them.) It is really all about the sleep, or lack, thereof. Comma, stop.

I know new parents are supposed to complain about lack of sleep and we are all supposed to nod and smile and change the subject because that is the social contract but this is truly maddening. I read an article although probably it was just a summary of an article now that I think about it because I can't remember the last time I had the time to just read an article for fun but anyway I read an article about how new parents and interns on call had similar sleep patterns -- being woken up at unpredictable intervals far too often and for far too long. The article said the human brain was not well suited to handle that kind of unpredictability and given that maybe we shouldn't be so quick to put patients' lives and fragile babies into the hands of those who are being slowly driven mad by the interrupted and inadequate sleep. Which all makes total sense to me but doesn't appear to be stopping this from happening.

Now I will begin the slow process of making my way to bed-- hopefully by midnight or 1 AM, depending on how long it takes for sweet, drowsy Patrick to eat when he wakes again shortly-- for my two (maybe two and a half) hours of sleep before he wakes yet again. Tomorrow when someone asks me how I'm doing I will say I'm tired (I don't say terrible because I figure it could always be worse) as I have said every day since he was born (and before, since pregnancy was also exhausting, but in an entirely different way) and I will try very hard not to think about how much actual sleep I got because that only makes me more tired. And I will be grateful that Patrick is a good, sweet, cute, easy baby, even if I'm so tired that I sometimes forget his name.

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