Sat 24 May 2008
every morning since last Monday, Oscar has slept past seven o’clock.
this is a first…a sort of shocking, oh sweet merciful Jeebus thankyou kind of first, one his father and i – mostly me – have spent the last two years sacrificing small imaginary goats to the gods for. Dave will say he’s something of a morning person, but this comes from growing up in a crack-of-dawn fishing family, where copious amounts of coffee and silent focus on the task at hand were hallmarks of early morn. babies do not provide their own premade coffee when they wake you up at ungodly hours…a design flaw that somebody should really rectify soon. and they tend to like to be, erm, talked to and engaged with, activities requiring a level of consciousness neither adult in this house aspires to before seven bells. or nine, if you’re me.
but i’ll take seven over five-thirty any day, and thank you for it.
parents whose small children have not naturally or easily fallen into sleep rhythms copasetic with the adult body clocks in the house are easy to spot. they have a frayed look, and tend to guard their kids’ sleep fiercely, dragons at the mysterious magic cave from whence peace comes. hyper-alert to all threats, they will cheerfully smother small neighbourhood puppies whose barking threatens to shave fifteen precious minutes off their already uncivilized wakeup. they unplug phones, and shout curses at early-morning garbage collectors. and at those odd times when Junior does miraculously slumber like a civilized human, their jubilation is matched only by their desperation to replicate whatever happenstance of weather, blankets, and tea leaves marked the occasion. they will happily strangle themselves so as to avoid interference with the blessed event.
or, erm, at least i will.
so it is that i have noticed, this past week, that gods willing to accept small imaginary goat sacrifices have a rather ironic sense of humour. Oscar has been sleeping, yes. quite beautifully. Dave too. but i have, you see, a wretched, hacking cough that has – combined with antibiotics i am on to rid me yet again of some skanky and insistent parasite that may increase risk of premature labour and must thus be vigilantly and regularly flushed from my system – made sleep sketchy and woken me almost every hour on the hour all night, every night for the past week. and it is worst in the morning. so about 5:30 am – or earlier, on lucky days – my body bolts awake, trying to rid itself loudly of a lung or two, while my trained mother’s ear harkens like a hunting dog for the sound of my offspring. since his usual peeping is not forthcoming, i panic, sure that i am about to wake him and thus destroy this fortuituous pattern of decent sleep that i just know i’m going to enjoy if i can ever actually shake my own pestilence, so i chug water and stuff the entire pillow down my throat in hopes of muffling myself. and then i lie there, utterly awake, eyes wide, listening for telltale “mama!” that will break the spell and doom me to never, ever sleeping in again.
do your kids sleep in?
do you drug them? do you know why? do you let them get up by themselves, and from what age?
and…out of curiosity, do you have kids who share a room? did the transition impact the older child’s sleep significantly? do you need a non-cry-through-the-night baby in order to make this work? would having said baby next door in an utterly unsoundproof house be any better? tips? advice from those who have survived two early morning creatures in one house?
i can’t believe i’ve used this many words before seven am on a Saturday. shakes head. coughs. swallows tongue and cocks head, listening.