Resisting a Rest

At a play date last week, one of my good college friends asked me if Mabel was sleeping through the night. My response to her was “I don’t fucking know.”

You may now be asking yourself why I would curse in front of a 3-year-old. Well, because I didn’t know he was there. Or more to the point, I forgot temporarily where I was. The rest of you may be wondering why I claimed not to know the sleeping patterns of my daughter, who sleeps in a room 26 inches from mine. And that’s because I don’t fucking know.

Darren Aronofsky's "Pi," 1998

Darren Aronofsky’s “Pi,” 1998

The question “Is Mabel sleeping through the night?” implies there is a pattern of some sort. And maybe there is in the same way that there might be a pattern in Pi. And I’ve thought about drilling a hole through my head at times to find it. The problem is with the word is. Suddenly, I understand Bill Clinton’s defense. Did Mabel sleep though the night last night? That I can answer. No, most assuredly not. The night before? Even worse. The night before that one? Who the hell knows? That’s ancient history.

We slept with Mabel in our room for much longer than planned. Every time we thought about moving her down to her room, there was some reason not to: she was sick one week, we went away one weekend, she fell down the stairs and I didn’t want to let her out of my sight for a month, etc. Finally, at 11 and a half months, we got her to her own room. And she was a champ. She slept through four of her first five nights. It was awesome. Outstanding. Stupendous. The wife and I wiped the dust off our hands, watched an entire movie and went to bed with each other in our own room sans baby.

For a week.

Then she turned one. No more formula, which used to be our bedtime crutch. Instead, she’s now drinking whole milk, which apparently has a ceiling, especially for babies who habitually can’t poo in the morning (Ed note: Oh. So that’s why). I’ve started to give her more prune juice to counteract the milk rather than taking it out of her diet. It’s the equivalent to eating another pizza because you forgot to stop drinking Pepto Bismol.

So there’s no formula and the addition of poo-clogging whole milk. She’s also just learning how to walk. And who wants to sleep with all that going on? When I first learned how to play online poker, I didn’t sleep for three straight years. Probably not an exact parallel, but I get it.

Also, she just started refusing her morning nap. Which will be awesome when she straightens it out, but right now, she’s skidding all over the road. Monday 11-2; Tuesday 12-4:15; Wednesday 9-9:45 and 3-3:25. Which is not so awesome when I’m running on one hour of sleep for the second day in a row. Instead of planning activities like going to the play area at the Mall, I’m organizing activities like learning how to crawl over daddy while he lies on her bedroom floor for two hours. It’s not fun for either of us.

Oh. And she’s getting her molars now. So I guess I’ll sleep next month.

In short, my daughter is trying to kill me. Either by sleep deprivation or the aforementioned hole in the head. This is the real reason why I curse around children.

5 thoughts on “Resisting a Rest

  1. Funny stuff. For the first year of my oldest son’s life, my wife and I worked opposite shifts, me at night and her in the daytime. If he slept through the night, I was fucked. More than one alarm clock took a beating. But we survived.

    What is nighttime anyway to a kid . . .

  2. Ha! As my wife works and I stay home with the baby, my wife and I have come to an agreement that I will always attend to her nighttime woes, since my wife doesn’t have a CEO that lets her take naps in the middle of the day like I do. But on the weekends when we’ve predetermined that she will take over those duties so I can get one good night sleep per week, I kind of root for Mabel to not sleep through the night too. That probably makes me a bad husband and a slightly sadistic dad, but I will own it. Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment.

  3. This might sound cruel, but I am laughing at your pain. Kids and sleep – not quite up to pb&j in terms of a good combo.
    I hope you get that sleep next month. Don’t count on it.

    • I’ve stopped counting on it. Instead, I’ve channeled the Dustin of College Past, who was able to exist – nay, thrive – on 3 hours of sleep a night. Even when Mabel lets me sleep, I wake up after 4 hours on my own anyway. The circadian rhythms have been reset, and not for the better. Oh well. Thanks for the warning.

  4. Pingback: Lesson Learned | Daddy Needs a Nap

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