Day 64: Perchance to dream

Improve your sleep hygiene by establishing regular sleep time, eating 3-4 hours before sleeping, avoiding doing any work in the bed, not taking caffeine late in the evening, etc.

Haha. Very funny.

Here are the parameters: The two older kids are supposed to wake up at 6.30, but the oldest wakes up before that, around 6 or even 5.30 (he tries to tiptoe unheard down to the living-room to watch cartoons on the iPad, but his toes are seldom as tippy as he believes). They go to bed at around 19 or 1930, but they seldom fall asleep untill 20 or 2030 or 21, sometimes even later. (Daddy! Close the door! I’m thirsty! I can’t sleep, I’m not tired.)

The youngest, on the other hand, hasn’t even got a rhythm yet. He wakes up whenever he feels like it — when he’s thirsty, or wants his diapers to be changed, or when his tummy hurts, or something else entirely. And even if he doesn’t feel like it, even when he doesn’t wake up, he will cry or complain or do something in his sleep to make sure we stay awake and ready to help him out with whatever problem might arise.

I can sleep anywhere and anytime. I can fall asleep during dinner, if they will let me. And I am not a mother, I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night, every night, to feed the baby. I even manage to sleep through a bout of not very quiet breastfeeding at 3 AM if I make an effort.

And yet I feel this task is an insult. Eat 3-4 hours before I go to bed? You mean when I carry the boys up the stairs, brush their teeth, make them put their dirty clothing the right place, read them a book, tell them an additional story, talk about tomorrow and then go up and down the stairs seven times before they finally fall asleep? Avoid doing any work in bed? As if I can do any work in bed, where my wife is sleeping at the moment and the baby is making just enough noise to disturb my concentration? (Even if he doesn’t make any noises, it’s tempting to just watch him instead of working — any newborn father will know the feeling.) Avoid caffeine in the evening? I have drunk half a cup of coffee in my entire life, I never drink energy drinks and I really don’t like Coca-cola.

Improve my sleep hygiene? Yes, please. If you take the kids from 19 to 7, that’ll give me 12 hours to eat properly, get some work done, avoid caffeine, go to bed whenever I want to and sleep for as long as I like.

On second thought, I think I’ll stay with the kids. You go get your beauty sleep and your meticuously planned eating patterns. Improve your sleeping hygiene. Wake up the same way at the same time every day. I’ll choose not to.

Yes, I’ll be sleepy sometimes. Yes, I’ll feel terrible when the youngest so starts to cry half the night, or when all three of them get sick in the same night, or even when I get only an hour less sleep than what I need. But I chose to have kids. I knew some nights are like that. And I know that I’ll get through them somehow.

I’ll yawn? Very well, I’ll yawn. Just grant me this: that my yawns will be tired and not bored.




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