Saturday 26 April 2014

Wake me up before you ..... zzzzzzzzzzzz

For those too young to get the reference
Sleep. Who can honestly say they get enough of it ?

I know when I was a callow youth it was a competition to live on the least sleep. This was in the days when the PM apparently ruled on only 4 hours. This explains why she was such a callous dictator. It wasn't actually government policy it was that she'd been sleep deprived for so many years having had twin babies that she never slept a full night again and was permanently cranky. See Meryl Streep didn't pick up on that little character point did she ? Oscar back please. Thank you.

Anyway, I digress, I know shocker. I survived on very little sleep at Uni partly because I didn't want to miss anything. I'd stay until the end of a party or be with the last to leave the bar and work into the small hours then wake up early to go for a swim or to get books to the library. It explains why I regularly nodded off on a Monday morning during Trevor's 4 hour history lecture - to be fair it was about the crusades - I'm yawning thinking about it even now. Since then I can't sit in a lecture or speech without the heavy lidded spectre of narcolepsy hanging over me. Essentially I've survived on little sleep most of my life and taken a perverse pride in the achievement.

Until I had a baby that is.

Now competitive sleeplessness is a thing amongst parents. Not in the same, "Oh man I was so smashed did you see that last encore the Pixies did after midnight ? What, you left ? It was amaaaazing..." etc. way. No. It's the one topic that causes so much consternation in parenting circles as once sane adults try to outdo each other in the, "I haven't slept in .. days... weeks... months" stakes. I just can't partake in that nonsense.

Maybe I was especially good in my last life or something. I didn't have that. Our boy has always been a great little sleeper. He was two weeks over his due date as he wasn't in a rush to be born - chilled out as he was in there. Then as soon as he was born he promptly had a pooh on the midwives and went to sleep. I had to wake him up to feed him and took photos while he was awake.

This is how most people saw our boy
There are friends who never saw him awake for the first 6 months of his life. When I went to visit my lovely NCT teacher Wendy the boy nodded off in the pram on the way to the bus stop and stayed asleep all the way there and while I enjoyed two cups of tea, a homemade cupcake and a sit down. No one knew what colour his eyes were for months and they never heard him cry. Of course as soon as the wheels of his buggy touched the front steps of our house he woke up, but he had a feed and pretty much nodded off again. It was like living with a student.

During the night we co-slept so he took up the entire bed and I didn't really sleep much as we discovered early on that he slept on his front and as we're all told that is a no-no I would lie there listening to him breathe. We worked out he was being a cat and as his head was to the side he was fine. Of course poor Hubbie was back at work two weeks after the boy was born so he was the one who needed sleep. At times I'd send him to the spare room so he'd get some rest before going to work. He didn't want to leave us though.

In fact during the 2010 baseball season I'd breastfeed the baby then Hubbie would take him downstairs to watch the baseball on TV so I could sleep. I told you I must have accumulated some good karma that's been paid back in this life to get so lucky. The boy was clearly also a good luck charm as they watched the SF Giants romp to their first World Series victory in over 50 years.

With the exception of the colic months - that period of time when we took it in turns to rock the baby and soothe him while he screeched in pain - we've had it pretty good really. Which is why I'm a bit surprised at the turn it's taken in recent months where I wake up completely exhausted. Our boy goes to bed at a sensible time and sleeps right through until at least 6am which is later than Hubbie gets up to go to work. I, however, am welded to my pillow feeling like I've got a hangover. This isn't helped by a toddler running in shouting, "Mummy, I want to get dressed. Shall we brush our teeth ?" and so on.

I realise it's hardly the middle of the night or anything, and we're so fortunate to have a child who sleeps as well as he does. I'm just hoping that it's going to rub off on me too. I'd love to wake up with that level of enthusiasm first thing.

For now I'm going to take my cue from the cat and nap during the day to make up for it.

Night night.
Chilling with my cat

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