I feel like I’ve neglected the PU this week. I am on zero sleep. For the past six nights, James and I have been locked in a fierce, all-night game of Whack-a-Mole. While it may sound fun and even a little dirty, I assure you it is neither. The kids are the would-be moles -- as one falls asleep, the other one pops up. Throw Vito into the mix and you get the idea. All three of them have us by the balls.
Caroline has been roaming around the house in the middle of the night since she could walk. Unfortunately Paulie started following in her footsteps this week. Each night has been almost identical:
1 a.m. I go to bed.
1:55 a.m. I fall asleep.
2 a.m.-ish For reasons unknown, Paulie wakes up and starts barking out unreasonable requests: Mama, can I go downstairs? Mama, can I have some juice, Mama, can I watch Max & Ruby? Mama, can you hold me? James and I take turns changing his diaper and giving him a watered-down Madras (Paulie will only drink orange & cranberry juice mixed together) and get him back to sleep.
3 a.m.-ish In all the commotion, Caroline – of course – wakes up and starts demanding some milk. If we deny the request, *she knows* all she has to do is start crying. *She knows* we’ll do anything to keep Paulie asleep so we can go back to bed. So I get her some milk. It’s 3 a.m., I’d get her a beer if she asked me for it if it meant she’d go back to bed without incident.
4 a.m.-ish We finally get Caroline back to sleep and Vito starts whining and scratching at the door to have a wee -- his Pavlovian reaction to the diaper-changing, juice-fetching bustle that normally happens much later in the morning. I head back downstairs and let him out. I stand shivering in the doorway, watching him, just in case I have to chase away any coyotes with a hockey stick.
4:15 a.m-ish As I head back upstairs, Caroline is walking downstairs. I bring her back to her bed where she proceeds to cough and toss and turn for the next hour.
5:15-ish - 6 a.m. SLEEEEEEPING.
6 a.m. Time to get up.
So, we’ve averaged about 30-45 minutes of sleep a night and the mental and physical effects of sleep deprivation are really starting to manifest.
Earlier today, I caught myself staring into space for I don’t know how long. I think I actually fell asleep sitting up with my eyes open.
On Tuesday, I decided to warm up the car before taking Caroline to school. When we were ready to go, I proceeded to tear the house apart looking for my car keys for at least 20 minutes before realizing they were already in the ignition.
Yesterday, I was heading to the post office but ended up at Whole Foods.
James, who refers to this week of all-nighters as “a kick in the teeth,” is not faring much better. He just proposed that, starting tonight, we take turns sleeping on the couch in the cellar. He figures at least one of us would get a good night’s sleep. So, this is what it’s all come down to. We got through the round-the-clock feedings and diaper changes, through teething and separation anxiety and now almost four years later we’re taking turns sleeping in the cellar. A small price to pay, I guess, for one’s sanity. Either that, or my family is totally gaslighting me.