November 30, 2011

Guide to the After Hours

It's 6:30ish and the responsible mother in you says, "Right then, to the bathtub!"  You fill up a whale tub with warm water and place a turtle-shaped washcloth over a watermelon-shaped tummy.  You are trying to sustain optimum baby temperature, you see, and thereby avoid baby disapproval.

You use soap one day and none the next, to prevent dryness and other unfortunate skin maladies, as prescribed by the good Dr. Google.  Then, you wrap your little piranha in a towel and whisk her to the changing table, polish her with baby lotion, wrap up the little bum, and dress her in footie pajamas.  

This informs the baby that it's bedtime, does it not?  DOES IT NOT?  (Or so someone said.)

Then it's rock, rock, rock in the rocking chair and read, read, read the book.  Why, this week a talking donkey told some Balaam dude to bless God's people, not curse them.  I mean, really, does this not invoke the bedtime environment and sleep dust and sheep jumping over fences?  Tomorrow it's blaring trumpets and crashing walls and Jericho, so it seems you're on the right track.

Milk comes next and you've got your fingers crossed for that miraculous milk coma.  You let the feasting continue for a good thirty minutes before breaking the latch and checking out the sleep situation with the light from your iPhone.  Eyes are closed and things are looking golden, until the eyes are suddenly wide open and things are looking rather dark and dreary.

Off to the couch you go, to watch Mad Men while your baby coos at a bumble bee doll for 5 hours, blissfully unaware that it is 2:00 am.  You're not off-duty, though, because you have to settle a few cries every now and again with the following methods:

diaper change 
the boob
vigorous bouncing on the knee
finger pacifier
bouncy chair
500 other things that do nothing to induce sleep

And in the rare event that baby falls asleep and you place her ever-so-gently into her crib...
she wakes up as soon as you get under the covers and close your bloodshot eyes.  

After an hour or so of failed back-to-sleep attempts, you head back to the living room and repeat.  Or, if you're feeling especially sleep deprived, you may try to cosleep, which inevitably begins with, "I love cuddling with my sweet baby!" but inevitably ends with you sleeping on the last inch of the bed while the baby licks your armpit.

Suddenly it's 11:30 am, you're exhausted, covered in milk, half naked, you don't know what day it is, but you somehow know exactly how many minutes you slept and ponder how awesome 4 hours of sleep feels when it's not spread out over 12 hours.  

1 comment:

  1. Found your blog from nat the fat rat. I love it! Your writing is spot-on. I laughed out loud at the baby licking your armpit part, hahaha SO true!!! Here's wishing you less sleepless nights... I have an 8 month old and I totally get this! :)