The Difference A Day Makes

February 3, 2007

It’s hard to think, let alone write, on no sleep. Which is why, I think, it just so extraordinary that there are so many parents out there producing such good writing – we’re all so frequently sleep-deprived. How does any parent manage to think coherently on those long, foggy, sleep-deprived days, let alone spin thought into word and weave prose?

I’m currently sleep deprived, but it has nothing (ok, little) to do with being a parent. WonderBaby has gone back to her regular 13-hour stretches, for the most part – she does still occasionally rise early and request a transfer to Mommy and Daddy’s bed, but this is never at any obscenely early hour, and it always results in an hour or two of drowsy cuddling that is undeniably soul-restoring – and so the nights are full of the promise of sleep. But only the promise of sleep. And this promise has, of late, been going unfulfilled.

I’m a long-time insomniac; I suffer from an insomnia that results from being both a very light sleeper and having a very busy brain. If I wake in the night – which I do most nights – I need to sink back into sleep pretty quickly, before my brain takes over, before I start thinking about stuff and becoming ever more alert (Are the curtains closed in WonderBaby’s room? Am I going to be able to get back to sleep again? Can we really afford our current childcare arrangements? What if I can’t get back to sleep again? Should we have a second child? Oh sweet jesus I am never going to sleep AGAIN…) until I am laying on my back, eyes wide open, staring – defeated – at the ceiling and trying to remember whether the Law and Order reruns on cable start at 3am or 4am. (3am, in our part of the world, FYI.)

It is, I think, complete and utter perversity on the part of the gods to damn my sleep just when I’ve begun to recover from WonderBaby’s stretch of 24-7 wakefulness. But we’ve been through my troubled relationship with the gods; I won’t bore you with my recriminations and fist-shaking. (Note, however, that fist is shaking, furiously, at Hypnos and his dratted family…)

I just wanted to note, for the record, that although it was a long, wakeful night for me last night, as it was the night before that and the night before that… today was a good day. WonderBaby and I took a long walk in the bright cold sun and ran errands (happily running into friends along the way) and then spent the better part of the afternoon sprawled out on the floor of our living room visiting with more friends (the bigger of us sipping – yes- red wine) and I didn’t feel the ick of the tired at all. Not one bit.

OK, so the small people didn’t sprawl. The small people were a blur of tiny handbags and scarves and bling and pimped-out stroller-rides. It was the mothers who were sprawled out on the floor. With their liquor. Good times.

It was nice. Really nice.

And now I am going to go to bed and sleep the sleep of the only-somewhat-dead until about 3am, at which time you will most likely find me, again, awake – but maybe not minding so much, this time.

**Follow-up posts to posts with big words and involving big thoughts are on hold until semi-regular sleep returns and brain cells recharge.

**WonderBaby didn’t really Bratz that doll, did she? She really only kinda glammed it up a bit, no? And not half badly, really, if one goes in for that sort of blingy, mismatched accessories look. But it wasn’t really Bratzy – there was no cropping of tops, no baring of bellies, no donning of thong, no spackling of eyeshadow. So, there. I can cross one more thing off of my long-dark-teatime-of-the-soul list of things to think about at 3am.

She DID try to Bratz Bumper, but Bumper preferred rockin’ it like a lady. Which Bumper would have carried off, had she not also insisted upon wearing shiny hot-pink rubber boots (not shown.)

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    { 42 comments }

    Awesome Mom February 3, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    I think a lot of us have sleep issues. My problem is that I do not want to go to bed. The time after everyone goes to bed is such a nice and quiet time since it is the only time in my day when I have no one else to please. Nobody wants anything from me and I can do whatever I want to do.

    Mom101 February 4, 2007 at 12:02 am

    If I had a garden full of magic poppies I’d send them all to you right now.

    NotSoSage February 4, 2007 at 12:12 am

    Oh, I feel for you, sister. I am totally that person…‘Why, oh why can’t I fall asleep? I have so many things to do and I have to get up early tomorrow and I can’t be tired…I really need to fall asleep!’ Aargh! Here’s wishing you a wonderful, dream-free night.

    crazymumma February 4, 2007 at 12:30 am

    They totally trashed your joint! And they look so good in all their finery. An old Bowie song springs to mind, with the words ‘satin and tat’ and ‘frock coat and bibbity bobbity hat’ in it. I’ll have to find it ’cause it totally applies to this mayhem.

    ps. Not that it. like. matters, cause i’m not like small like that and all but my url is http://crazymummasays.blogspot.com/

    Thats another crazymumma.

    kittenpie February 4, 2007 at 1:00 am

    I was thinking the same about the Bratz – I see no hint of mini, thong, or come-hither about it, she just ghetto-glammed her, that’s all. Now Bumper just needs a pimpin’ ride! Sorry to have missed more fun mama goodness. Soon, right?

    Kyla February 4, 2007 at 1:55 am

    I am SO jealous! Small people, wine, socialization, adult conversation, sprawling out on the living room floor! Sounds perfectly glorious!

    Lady M February 4, 2007 at 2:01 am

    I’ve never understood how insomnia feels, because I generally drop off when I’m exhausted. However, my husband is dealing with it right now, and boy, it’s doozy to get sleep. Good luck.

    I have lots of sparkly costume bits if Wonderbaby would like to come visit.

    mimi February 4, 2007 at 8:36 am

    Personally, I think she was helping the doll express herself by helping her develop an eclectic personal style. She looks somewhat like my sister did when she was going through her crunchy granola child-of-the-earth phase. Please pass the tofu. ;)

    Her Bad Mother February 4, 2007 at 8:52 am

    Anne! Fixed the link!

    And, Mimi, that’s exactly it – electric hippie.

    Exiled to Canada February 4, 2007 at 10:22 am

    Am dealing with same insomnia at the moment…the little guy also has a hellish cough which he sleeps through but wakes me everytime…have had maybe 10 hrs sleep in 5 days and have deadlines looming….brain won’t shut up….I feel your pain

    Jezer February 4, 2007 at 10:59 am

    First of all, I cannot allow Al to look at the photos of WB and Bump because I KNOW that he’d be all “Mama, you betta be booking a DFW to YYZ right NOW, woman!”

    Secondly, we should try to arrange a 3am chat or something, because after Al wakes at 3am and demands “Duice!” (=Juice!=Tittyjuice! NOW!) (Yes, he STILL wakes at 3am demanding the boob.) (Yes, I know it’s my fault, but anyway.), after his demands have been met, I stay awake for at least another hour.

    It’s a good thing noone told me about this part of motherhood, because I would have just kept on taking that pill.

    BOSSY February 4, 2007 at 11:34 am

    Just when Bossy has manipulated her universe for a good night’s sleep, something unforeseen will interrupt the plan – like a feather may drop from the bird perched on the branch two miles from Bossy’s house. Something totally disruptive like that.

    Julie Pippert February 4, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    In the play last night, they are playing a game of “The Worst Thing You’ve Ever Done” in a whole part of this “what is evil” weirdness of this play that really I can’t explain beyond telling you it’s a play called Subject to Fits.

    Anyway, the point is, one character yells out, “I’ve drunk WINE in front of my KIDS!” and I STG I snapped to in my seat. Ad libbed? Coincidental? Maybe.

    I can’t see a Yale Drama grad in the 1970s writing that line in a response to Dostoevsky…but maybe. I certainly wondered!

    In context, it was TOTALLY mocking.

    Sorry about the insomnia. That stinks.

    Your kid sleeps 13 hours at a stretch?

    I have been so gypped.

    T. February 4, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    I knew I lived on the wrong side of the damn country…

    Bumper and WB look adorable. And safe, and well adjusted while their mommas were knocking back the mommy-juice.

    Take that Ms. Viera.

    TB February 4, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    We are bosom sisters in this regard. I’ve had insomnia as long as I can remember, with the earliest bouts at five or six years old. I am a waker, like you and once the wheels start turning it’s all over.
    The last three nights have been particularly rough because of the negotiations for purchase of a house. You’d think impending motherhood would be keeping me awake but it’s this instead.
    I figure it’s great practice for having a newborn though.
    I hope you get some sleep tonight.

    Beck February 4, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    I found that being an insomniac AND the mother of small kids was (is) just an awful combination – when I finally CAN sleep, there’s the baby!
    For me, Bratzing something up is more dressing something up, um, whoreishly. Holly Hobby was more dressed up like the Queen Mother on a bender and less like one of my husband’s cousins.

    ewe are here February 4, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    Fellow-insomniac here. And I’m ‘forced’ to sleep next to someone who can fall asleep within two minutes of his head hitting the pillow. Seriously! How do men do that? Why can’t he hear my brain going at a hundred miles a minute over thinking every little thing to death?

    Anyways, sounds like you had a lovely time. Love the pictures of the girls.

    Lisa b February 4, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    Those babes are stylin
    nothing like some wine to take the edge of parenting

    Dana February 4, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    I seem to get no sleep at all. My husband snores loudly and it wakes me all the time. I usually trek my way to the couch and it takes me hours to fall asleep again. :(

    PunditMom February 4, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    She really does have quite a good fashion sense for someone so young! ;)

    MotherBumper February 4, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    Insomnia? Ugh, I’ve had that when emotionally stressed out (as opposed to motherhood stressed out which is my daily face) and I remember many a night doing things like reorganizing my papers, cupboards and closets with no sign of sleepiness anywhere to be found. It doesn’t take much to help me remember those times. Now a days, it’s not so hard to fall asleep but I’m sure those days will return. Anyhow…

    Bump had a blast yesterday, chattered all the way home and fell asleep right after dinner. What a perfect day. Bumper was thrilled to have a worthy comrade and she didn’t feel any threat of being bratzed. Mind you, B has consulted her stylist and wardrobe planner who agrees she really needs to add gold evening gloves to her look. A bit of Holly Golightly for the toddler set.

    jen February 4, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    oh.
    man.

    wine with CrazyMum. And you.

    I was jealous a week ago and am moreso now. hmmmpf.

    Nancy February 4, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    I am sorry to hear you haven’t been sleeping well. It’s particularly frustrating when the kid(s) get back into a regular sleep pattern and mom is still wide awake.

    Sounds like you had an excellent time with good friends, though. And the pictures make me swoon with their girly beauty.

    Christina February 4, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    Oh, I miss the days of college, when I slept in until noon. Well, except the year my dorm was next to the clock tower, and it started every day at 8am. I hated that year.

    I’ve always been a light sleeper, although now even the slightest noise from Cordy’s room wakes me up. It takes forever to fall asleep, too, and now being pregnant, I’m awake every hour or so to switch positions. So going to bed with the intention of getting 8 hours of sleep usually results in about 6 hours of sleep on a good night.

    Jenny February 4, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    Using “Bratz” as a verb. This is why I love you.

    Anonymous February 4, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    seriously, you must explore some sleeping pill options. i take ambien for short periods of time when i can’t sleep (after fighting the problem for years and years). i was a wreck without sleep, though – emotional, irritable, just a nightmare. it has helped me sooo much. anyway, not to push drugs, but it is non-addicting (at least physically) and as a mom, i felt i owed it to my kids to be at my best (a drink or so while taking care of them not withstanding!!). best to you.

    mothergoosemouse February 5, 2007 at 12:34 am

    Very light sleeper + very busy brain = Dizzy dreams for my childhood self.

    Really, if you aren’t waking up feeling as if someone is shaking you, and then puking at regular intervals, you’re in pretty good shape.

    That said, I think I could have another child if it weren’t for the sleep deprivation. Oh, and worrying about money. Must always worry about THAT.

    Hello, how jealous am I that you ran into not only Crazy Mumma, but Mother Bumper and Bumper herself? Can I move to Toronto?

    lildb February 5, 2007 at 2:54 am

    Sleep is an evil master. I’m so sorry sleep (or, that is, the suggestion of it) has plagued you of late. I really hope you get some, no, LOTS, soon. :)

    Mamacita Tina February 5, 2007 at 9:00 am

    I hate listening to everyone else sleep, while I lay there waiting for a miracle. If only there was a button on the back of my head to turn my brain off.

    MsPrufrock February 5, 2007 at 9:30 am

    I write all of my blog posts in a drowsy haze. I reread my posts from pre-baby times and wonder where my wit has gone. I guess it’s hanging out with my well-rested self in an alternate universe.

    Jennifer February 5, 2007 at 10:32 am

    I’m sure that you’ve tried this before, but I read when I wake up and can’t go back to sleep. However, since starting Effexor for anxiety it hasn’t happened as often. Insomnia sucks and I’m feeling for you right now. Hang in there.

    Elizabeth February 5, 2007 at 11:25 am

    I really need to start a dress-up clothes box for Kaitlyn, like now. That photo of WB and Bumper in their finery with the strollers made me feel all mushy inside. The innocence, the unadultered imagination, it makes me happy.

    The Mama February 5, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    To CUTE! I just started blogggin, I don’t have as much readership but I wanted to say Hi!

    The Mama

    joy February 5, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    I don;t have a consistent insomnia problem, but it rears it’s head from time to time–and it’s the brain spinning that’s the killer. Normally, for me, it’s a good sign of stress and anxiety. I’ve discovered tylenol Simply Sleep is actually pretty good for stopping the 3am brain whizzing (i.e. you wake up, but you can fall back asleep). 1/2 a pill does it for me. (that’s if I’m not wasted on alcohol, of course)

    Here ends the most boring comment I’ve ever posted. (!)

    The girlies look edible…!

    Rock the Cradle February 5, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Yet another insomniac here. Though my 3 am awakenings now additionally involve kids songs playing over and over and over in my skull…

    We need some new music. Badly.

    LOVE the gloves. She is such a little beauty!

    qofS February 5, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    Did someone say liquer???

    the weirdgirl February 5, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    I hear you, especially today. Ditto light sleeper, ditto busy brain. I almost never get a “solid” night’s sleep; it’s always broken to greater or lesser degrees. Except my deep sleep cycle starts after 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. If I get interrupted in the middle of it I’m screwed for the day.

    nomotherearth February 5, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    I’m not an insomniac, but I am constantly sleep deprived because of the myriad of things that have to get done before I go to bed each night. I end up getting two bed two full hours after Mr Earth most night.

    Your playdates sound like fun. Give me a shout next time you’re partying – The Boy and I will bring the vino…

    Heather February 5, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    I feel for you in the sleeplessness department, between the 3 & 5 y.o.’s, my snoring husband and my own busy mind I don’t sleep nearly enough. Between 3-4AM I am up nearly every night (or is that morning) even if I slept during other parts of the night.

    Her Bad Mother February 5, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    NoMotherEarth – absolutely! Would love to meet you!

    Anonymous February 6, 2007 at 11:59 am

    oh i so hear you catherine.i wake up at night a lot and then if i get some stupid thought in my head thats it i can’t get back to sleep.i have gotten up and done dishes, read ,watched tv ,gone online,paced,had showers,drank hot milk or tea,wrote lists,oh its endless the things i will do to go back to sleep…LAVENDULA

    Domestic Chicky February 6, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    The pictures of the girls are scrumptious. That’s how a long nights sleep sounds to me too…simply scrumptious.

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