16 July 2008

Sleep is wasted on the young

You know what I'll be doing from now on as soon as J- gets up on my days to sleep in, regardless of the weather? Turning the fan in the air conditioner on Turbo and relishing the complete whiteout of all sounds of our cranky, mirthful, and generally volume-control-challenged children.

It's the electronic equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting "La-la-la-la-laaaaaa!!!" over and over again. And I love it.

But doing this before one of us gets up with the kids means, we found out, that M- has to wail and cry before we can hear her in our seemingly drunken stupors.

And for some reason, she isn't happy with that arrangement, any more than when she has to wail and cry for 20 minutes(?) though the wide-open bedroom door with no air conditioner running, just because Daddy somehow got stuck in D- Mode, with all her 50 decibels bathing his ears like an underpaid in-home geriatric nurse.

D- Mode, of course, refers to the fact that whenever this happens, her oblivious brother sleeps away right next to her, somehow totally unaffected by her performance each morning, as if he's some kind of robot (an upgraded version of the girl from Small Wonder, perhaps?) who powers himself down for a set period of time each night, coming back online only once he is fully recharged.*

What wouldn't I give for the ability to just sleep each night until I didn't need to sleep anymore? Absolutely everything important to me, I think.

Except for my sleep. Precious, precious sleep.

* And believe me, he wakes up overcharged, if anything.


Anonymous said...

I should check how many posts are tagged mockery and how many as bad parenting. I love that you deal in mockery to the extent that you tag it and we can go back and see all that you mock.
And I like that you give us a record of your bad parenting to compare with our own records. Maybe we could have a bad parenting contest with our stories of pretending to sleep or pretending not to hear them or ...

Anonymous said...

Oh, I hear ya brother--it does get better when they get older, but somehow the kids still(min anyway) seem to be wide awake a good hour before I would like to be. And I haven't mastered the ability to ignore them & continue sleeping while they trash the house. Maybe you can train yourself to be better at that.

unmitigated me said...

No, no, no. THIS is bad parenting: There was a day, when 18-year-old-Girl was a wee one, and Husband and I were seriously sleep deprived. One morning, Husband woke to see me lying next to him, staring at the ceiling. The time? About 7:30 a.m. "Is the baby up?" he asked. "Well," I replied, "I don't know. Either she slept through the night for the first time, in which case I am NOT going to go in there and wake her up, or she's dead, in which case I can't do anything about it, so I'm still not going in there." "Oh," he replied, and went back to sleep.

Pamela said...

I stopped over from BHJ after I read your comment about me innocently mocking him.

I enjoyed reading you. Hope you have a great day.

Leslie said...

Once . . . I found my husband snoring peacefully on the baby's bedroom floor while said baby stood in her crib and screamed like a pained banshee. I still haven't forgiven him.

Kori said...

None of my kids wake up when the toddler cries anymore. Hell, I don't even wake up unless he is SCREAMING. In self-defense, he learned how to crawl out of the playpen and come wake me up. At least he does it sweetly, smart kid.

Mrs. B. Roth said...

I've got the opposite problem: every time there is white noise, like my blow dryer or the vacuum, or the TV gets too loud, I hear phantom baby wails. I KNOW baby girl is screaming so I turn whatever off and everything is mysteriously silent. I check, and baby is sound asleep. White noise makes me freakin' crazy.

TerriRainer said...

Once they are old enough to not deprive you of sleep, they start WHINING! OMG, not sure which is worse (as my 6 year old whines in my ear about being bored). Hang in there, some day they'll be teenagers, then the REAL fun begins!!!

:) Terri

Anonymous said...

My kids never sleep so I could totally relate to this post. I cannot imagine what it would feel like to wake up naturally and well-rested in the morning. And my 3 year old seems to be getting up earlier and earlier as the weeks go on ... she used to sleep until 9:30 AM on a Saturday. Now it's 6:30 AM.

Swirl Girl said...

How I look forward to the days that I give them a hard time for sleeping late and being lazy bums.

But- they do wake up all sunshine and happiness with bright eyes and rosy cheeks ....what the hell happened to me?

Natalie said...

my kids have learned to take care of whatever they need in the mornings without waking me up. and thankfully 2 of the 4 are now late sleepers so during the summer months i get to sleep in!

LiteralDan said...

Mary: Mockery plays a big role in my few good parenting skills. I think a bad parenting contest is a great idea, but I've got a lot on my plate what with mocking and then ignoring my kids.

Christy: I think that's an important part of being a kid-- making sure to keep your caretakers in line.

Middle Aged woman: Don't tell anyone I said so, but I've had that exact same thought process before, at some very dark times. There were multiple nights with less than an hour of sleep, back when I was still working, and let me tell you that's a time when not worrying about what you don't absolutely have to at a given moment is just a survival tool.

Pamela: If you have to use the label, you're not innocent. But don't get me wrong, I respect that. Glad you liked what you saw-- come on back anytime!

Laggin: Oh come on-- the baby made it, didn't she? I think he's a minor modern hero, and you should tell him so.

Kori: I'm jealous-- can you send him over to school my daughter?

Mrs. B. Roth: I've had the same experience, too. Specifically, I recall a level in Super Paper Mario (I just realized I never got around to beating that one-- it's been many months since I last played it) where there was a weird distant crying sound in the soundtrack and I almost lost my marbles pausing it over and over listening to hear the phantom sound, certain that the baby was awake and calling me away from my selfish games.

Only after I started listening for it and hearing the rhythm of its occurrence did I realize what was happening. Thank god for deja vu.

TerriRainer: I'll take the whining when well-rested over the insomniac torture. But I definitely sympathize with you, based on the glimpses I've gotten already. D-'s old enough now at four to really start understanding the world around him and what he can affect in it through sheer persistence.

Tierd: 9:30 is nice when you can get it, man. Have you tried tranquilizers?

Swirl Girl: That's a vision hardly worth dreaming of at this point, I tell you. My kids are the same way, with all the sunniness, or at least a few minutes after waking up. Whereas I didn't even open my eyes to speak of for 20 minutes yesterday morning, starting around 7:20. It bothered D- to no end, but hey, I've got our place memorized pretty well, so who needs eyes?

Natalie: I continue in my consistent jealousy of you, but at least you deserve gifts like that, from what I can tell.

Mrs4444 said...

Poor thing; I'm WAY past those days...I'll never forget the thrill I had when my kids were finally able to get up in the morning and turn on the DVD player without assistance. SWEET!

LiteralDan said...

Around what age do you not get in trouble for leaving your kids to fend for themselves for hours at a time? That's all I need to know.

I'm asking on behalf of a friend...

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