What is it about babies that when you don’t have one, you want one, and, when you have one, you sorta-kinda wish you didn’t?
That last bit sounds frankly ghastly, how can a parent not want his baby anymore?! Well, it comes down to sleep mostly. Once the little one is there you are robbed of large portions of it. No more snoozing the alarm, no more sleeping in till 9 am. In fact, the sleep cycle is curtailed on both ends. Where once you might’ve settled in front of the TV to catch up on Netflix goodness and then hit the sack at 10 pm, by the time baby has fallen asleep you’re too knackered to do anything but fall in a crumpled heap on the bed by 8 pm.
We’re also, apparently, of the lucky few! Our little girl is out by 20:30 and only starts letting out a few groans and grunts by 3 am. A quick tuck of the blanket, popping the soother back in and a change in position usually does the trick and she continues sleeping till 5 am. Now here’s the funny part, I think my brain and body have immunised themselves against these wee-hour shenanigans. We have one of those monitors that measures the babies’ movement and breathing and also broadcasts every little sound to the receiver, normally clamped to my wife’s side. So at night, there’s this hum in the bedroom, typical of radio wave broadcasts of the 1940’s. My wife, bless her, is every bit the new parent and jumps at every sound and in a flash is next to the cot ready to dispense motherly love and CPR, whichever one is in greatest need.
“ready to dispense motherly love and CPR…”
Me? I normally wake up a few minutes ahead of my alarm and say “Wow, she slept through, I didn’t hear her at all”. To which my darling other half would surly reply, “Great, glad one of us got 7 straight hours…”. Now I’m a very light sleeper to be honest, normally the faintest sound will have me rise from the waist up like a mummy from a crypt, eyes wide. For some strange reason, our little girls’ impression of a cross between Cousin It and Lurch doesn’t wake me. I’ve asked my wife to wake me so I can help out, but she feels sorry for me and let’s me sleep. I’m gonna have to be ready to buy some jewelry aren’t I?
I’ve got a teenage sister, she’s 16 years my junior and I love her to bits. We visit my parents quite often, being very close to them geographically and emotionally, and I’ve found that I’ve become very jealous of my sis. I remember sleeping till lunch and then awakening from an oblivious slumber and dive straight into food. That’s the other thing that gets placed on the back burner, cooking. Neither of us have ever been the type to record MasterChef and then try out the recipes, but we could churn out good, wholesome meals. Now? We eat what we can slap together in half an hour and smile and nod our heads pretending we’re enjoying the meal. One of these days I’m going to burst out laughing if I have to see my dearest darling struggling through another dry piece of meat and sorta cooked frozen veggies, with that forced smile on her face. I must look kind of constipated, you know the one, happy that it’s happening but painful as it happens.
Now I can do without the hearty meals, it’s the lack of sleep that gets me. Part of my jobs are to bathe baby at night and then get her ready for daycare the next morning. I know what’s going to happen in the next few weeks, I’m gonna gussy her all up at night ready for daycare and bath her at 4 am ready for bed. Your brain goes numb after a few days and sometimes you confuse surroundings and appropriate actions in said surroundings. At 3 am, no one hears you fart, not so much at 9 am around the boardroom table. Everyone looks at you with a mix of understanding and empathy, until that slapped together meal of the night before hits their nostrils. Strange how those faces, caring only a moment before, can turn into that scene from Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark where the Nazi’s get their faces melted off.
On that note, bazynga!
Follow me on Twitter.