I used to make fun of bloggers who disappeared once they had a kid. I used to do a lot of things. I don’t anymore.
A couple months after Kayleigh was born, my Mom asked me what caught me off guard the most. When it comes down to it, those questions can be such a paradox. I mean, I totally knew that raising a kid was going to kick my ass even if I wasn’t sure how. But does knowing that you don’t know mean that suddenly you know… Wow, I think I forgot how to write in English… So let’s just cut to the chase.
More specifically, the lack thereof. Whether you have kids of your own or simply experienced what it was like on Mad About You, everybody is familiar with the concept that new parents don’t get to sleep much. I was prepared for that. Hell, you could say that I’ve been preparing for it since junior high when I pretty much stopped sleeping normal hours. The Woman is well familiar with the notion that I would go to sleep after her, wake up before her, and yet still be more alert. So it seemed like I would be able to cover nights with a little less difficulty than most.
Yeah… right. Two things pretty much killed that possibility. First, during the months leading up to Kayleigh taking over our lives, I suddenly became tired – even though I was sleeping more than usual. This probably had something to do with the fact that I was involved with a huge relocation at work, demolishing the kitchen, demolishing and rebuilding what became the nursery, and generally running around like those proverbial headless chickens. Nevertheless, it threw off my body’s natural disinterest in sleep.
Second, once Kayleigh did arrive I found out that sleeplessness due to a baby is completely different from sleeplessness due to work, video games, horror movies, or moderate levels of alcohol. Our “night times” became ridiculously long – heading to bed by 7 PM and getting out of bed around after 7 AM – yet we only got a couple hours of sleep each night. Pretty soon we were scheduling our own naptimes with rather limited success, seeing as how she did not want to cooperate.
Of course nothing is constant with kids – babies that sleep well for months can suddenly start getting up every 2 hours – and as time went by Kayleigh learned to sleep through the night… wait… no. This has been pretty constant. She doesn’t like to sleep. At least not unless she’s in our arms. Otherwise it’s a bit of a struggle. We’ve had her in a bassinet, in a pack ‘n play, on the couch, in her crib, with us in our bed. It’s just not her thing. She wants to be awake and hanging out with the ‘rents. On the one hand I’m flattered, but on the other I’m tired. Actually, both hands are tired.
And so we continue to fiddle with her schedule, musical accompaniment, rocking rhythms, and chloroform dossage to take another step closer to that mythical being known as the child that sleeps through the night. Sigh. Actually, these days we’ve got her back in her crib after taking about a month off from it, and now that she can stretch out without headbutting Daddy the first half of the night is going much more smoothly. And that means that we can now take advantage of the time to get some sleep of our own. Or, you know, watch some TV, read message boards, and take stupid quizzez on Facebook. Yeah, now that Kayleigh is learning more about the wonders of sleep, maybe it’s time we get back to it, too.
I’ve rambled enough with no real point, but at least I’ve broken the seal again. Maybe I can figure out how to get posts in regularly during the 10 minutes that I’m not at work, taking care of Kayleigh, or sleeping. Well, maybe sleep really isn’t that important…