...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sleep Deprivation

I love sleep. I fantasize about it constantly. It's one of those things you don't realize how good it is until you lose it. It makes you feel good. It makes you happy. It gives you the ability to focus better, keep your temper in check, respond faster, type out a blog with less typos.

When you have a newborn you expect sleep deprivation. It's part and parcel of the whole package. I don't know if it's everyone or just my way of handling it but before I have a baby I sleep as much as I can. I call it stocking up. And when the baby is born, for the first 2 months I can get by really well without sleep. It's almost like I've mentally geared myself up for it. It sucks but it's not that bad. I tend to find the worst kind of sleep deprivation is when you finally get back TO sleeping a decent amount a normal human mom can handle then have it yanked out from underneath you without any mental preparations.

Soren has hit his 3 month mark and with 3 months comes new developments and milestones. This week he has decided it would be pretty cool if he could roll over. I have other ideas on the subject matter but what I want doesn't count. He wants to roll so he's going to practice until he gets it and no one is going to get in his way! So anytime I put him down he starts to arch his back and push off with his heels. If he's on his tummy he will kick and flail his limbs trying to find a place on the mattress to support him enough to get his giant baby head and torso to face the opposite direction. I'm his cheerleader during the day but I put my foot down in encouraging his antics in the middle of the night. Yet he's decided day time practice just isn't enough.

On a "normal" night (I say "normal" because he is a baby and things change so fast it's not really the right word...but remember I'm sleep deprived at the moment) Soren will pass out after a good meal around 7:30pm and sleep until 11:30-12 am. He'll snack again then go back to sleep for 2-3 hours and repeat the process until 8. So I'm getting 3-4 hours of me/couple time and 3-4 hours of sleep before we start the roller coaster ride of snack and sleep. I've gotten used to it and can deal with 3 kids and a husband with no problem. But the past few nights Sorens decided to switch it up a bit. Now he wants to sleep for 2 hours max, snack, then roll around grunting in frustration and trying to grab my hair to help him roll over. I'm paranoid now I'm going to end up with a bald spot the way he keeps yanking chunks of my hair out at night.

Last night was the worst (so far). He woke up every 90 minutes to snack or be cuddled until 3 am and then decided he wanted to really try rolling until he mastered it. No matter what I tried, be it cuddling, offering food, changing his diaper, rocking, changing positions for him, he was not satisfied. Every time he was put down he decided to try rocking back and forth, arching his back and whining. And whining. And whining, while simultaneously trying to push me out of bed. Add on top of that Ashe waking up 4 times last night and wandering around the house, sobbing and thrashing when I'd bring him back to bed and I was seriously questioning why J and I wanted kids in the first place.

By the time 4:30 rolled around I had had enough. Growling under my breath I threw on some sweat pants and flip flops, tucked Soren into my arms and grabbed the car keys. We were going for a drive. Usually a drive will knock him out cold and it was the final trick in my bag. I HAD to get him to sleep to save my sanity! We jumped into the cold car, kicking myself for not grabbing a sweatshirt but adamant to get out of there, and drove out of the neighborhood, heat blaring. Noticing that my driving skills seemed a bit under par due to my constant yawning I decided to look for a place to grab a cup of coffee. We wandered around Apex until I found a Dunkin Donuts. I noticed the lights inside were off but the drive through sign lit up. I decided to take a chance. If it was closed, at least no one would see me look like an idiot. Everyone else was still asleep as people should be. Fortunately one sleepy voice answered on the other side of the drive through window and I bought myself a cup of steaming hot coffee to keep me sane amidst the wailing from the back seat.

I will admit one of the cool things I like to do driving in the dark when every sane person is comatose is to go exploring. Driving around trying to get my kids to pass out for naps or like nights these is how I learn my way around via back roads. My fog brain pulled out a memory of a playground I had been to when I first moved down and the vague whereabouts of where it was located. We hadn't been back because I had forgotten about it. But with this picture in my mind I started driving. Soren had finally calmed down but was still alert in the back seat and he and I drove up and down dark neighborhood streets looking for the elusive playground. Once I found it I half heartedly cheered at myself and then decided to find other ways to get home. It kept us busy until 6 am when my coffee was gone and Soren was quiet.

I parked the van in front of our house and carefully carried him inside. The moment I set him down he was up and bawling again, this time for food. In resignation of defeat I unbuckled him and brought him in to bed where he ate and then started rolling around again. In exasperation I looked down at his beautiful face and exclaimed "Would you just go to sleep already?!?!?!"

He looked up at me with his beautiful baby blue eyes for a moment, sighed, nestled into me, and passed out cold.

You know, it's a good thing babies are cute.

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