Bumby has been refusing to sleep lately (as in, lying awake happily cooing and/or nursing while perfecting his double clutch downshift (or something, it’s hard to tell exactly what those frantic arms and legs are doing) until FIVE AM last night).
Also, Meg the dog has recently recovered from a few-week long intestinal issue which I am pretty sure originated with the consumption of four or five poopy diapers. Note to dog-owning new moms – get a trash can with a lid in your bedroom for those late-night diaper changes or you will live to regret it, although your local emergency vet will be happy to charge you thousands of dollars to hold your dog overnight for observation and re-hydrate the poor thing after those disposable diaper crystals soak up all the liquid in her intestines. This means she is back at work protecting our house from passing neighbors, rabbits in the yard, and children who refuse to play tug with her for hours at a time.
Also also, the kids are on spring break. Boo is currently working on her role in the musical produced by our local children’s theater. The Big One will loudly declare any perceived injustice (“I was calling you from the bathroom! Why did you just pretend like you couldn’t hear me?!” she asks of her sibling who was outside of the house at the time.) And the Child Formerly Known as the Boy Child, now that we have two of these, well. He’s a nine year old boy with two older sisters. He’s bound to be loud also.
All of this has me feeling like the Grinch, constantly yelling about all the Noise Noise Noise Noise! Screaming baby, barking dog, shouting singing children. All on two and a half hours of sleep. Today, nearing the end of my rope, I plopped the crying Bumby in his swing, and got in the shower. I thought he could suck his fingers or something for the five minutes.* Bumby quieted, and I could not hear any of my other dependent creatures over the water.
A miraculous thing happened. Bumby fell asleep in the swing for the first time ever, and my mother in law took the kids and went somewhere. I have no idea where, and frankly, I don’t care. With no one around to bark at, the dog curled up in her bed and went to sleep. So when I got out of the shower, the house was silent. Well, other than the clicky click of the swing, but that noise I can live with. I put my soaking wet head down on my wife’s pillow (that is what she gets for leaving me and going to work every day) and took a nap.
This seems to be the pattern in my parenting since Bumby’s arrival. Sanity steadily degrades, sleep gets worse and worse, household conspires against me. Then, just when I think I can’t take any more, the stars align and I can pull it together.
The dog is barking again, and the kids woke Bumby and me returning from wherever they were, oh-blah-dee oh-blah-dah. At least I had my 20 minutes of silence and a nap to get me through the day.
*Bumby had recently discovered his hands. He cutely inspects them regularly to make sure they are still attached and functioning as desired. He also slurpy-slobbery sucks on them whenever he is able to get them in his mouth on purpose. It’s adorable, if a little bit loud and wet in the middle of the night.
Who needs these fancy toys when there is a perfectly fascinating hand to inspect? Also note the blur of his clutch-foot practicing for his racing days ahead.