Wednesday, September 21, 2005

What's so Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and a Good Night's Sleep?
(With apologies to Elvis Costello)

I admit it. We watch Reality TV in this house. Survivor, Amazing Race, and even that most guilty of pleasures, "The Apprentice" (starring Donald Trump's hair). One of the ways that Mark Burnett gets the most drama from his contestants is simple - sleep deprevation. Make people sleep under the stars on a bed of rocks for a few nights, and watch the sparks fly!

All it takes is one night for me. One night of staying up too late, followed by the alarm bell of a crying infant. I get cranky, and it takes more than a good hot shower and a strong cup of coffee to break the spell.

I thought that with Maggie it might be different. She was quiet, and slept more than Sophie, right from the start. We were lucky. It was baby karma - while Sophie was the cranky baby who kept us up all night, Maggie would be the "quiet" one - and finally we would be the ones who could proclaim that our baby slept four hours(!)

It's not meant to be. My shift ended at midnight, and I just finished giving Maggie a bottle. Ahhh, bedtime at last.

Of course, the night has just begun for Betsy. Maggie wakes her up at 1:45AM, and decides to keep her up for the next two hours. We know the drill - try feeding, try holding, check the diaper, try burping, try the music on, try the music off, try the mobile on, try the mobile on with the music off, try the pacifier, try another pacifier, etc etc etc.

They were both back to sleep around 4AM. Just in time, since Sophie wakes up at 5:30, which is when my shift begins again.

What does that mean for the family dynamic? In our "reality" series it means a lot of stomping around by me (a skill I still retain from being 4 years old), and Betsy goes around cleaning things up (a skill she learned from...well, you can guess). I guess her "coping" mechanism is more constructive - at least it means the house is neater.

If there is one hting we learned from Sophie, it's that this sleep deprivation can last only so long before all the stomping and cleaning comes to a head. So, we'll be getting a night nurse this week, and it won't be soon enough!

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