Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Who needs sleep?

It feels tawdry to complain about our lack of sleep given that your Dad and I got to sleep on our own terms for about three and a half of your first four months of life, but goddamn, Hudson, have I ever come to appreciate the necessity of a good eight or more hours of uninterrupted snoozing. You have gotten into a pattern of waking up roughly every two to three hours - which isn't so bad - but I am such a delicate, delicate flower when it comes to sleep. I need at least eight and a half hours or I am a ditzy zombie. Some interesting side-effects have begun to present themselves in the several weeks we've actually had you for twenty-four hours a day, and I feel that if I don't document them, they are likely to fall prey to one of the following:

#1: I have a short-term memory like a pot-addled goldfish. There are times when I actually forget what I am talking about mid-sentence, which has been hilarious fun while attempting to cram a meaningful unit on the Holocaust in to the last week and a half of school. "Hitler introduced the Nuremburg Laws which had a on...uhm...some people...the Jews, maybe? Sit tight, let me check online..." Grocery store trips are likewise a laugh riot, in that I frequently come out of the store with about six things I didn't plan for, three things that I did, and missing at least two or three truly necessary items (I've been out of conditioner for days, by the way). On the plus side, my long-term memory seems fine, and anything that I write down is generally safe.

#2: Gross things don't phase me in any way, shape, or form. This may be a side-effect of having an infant, but while I might have grown desensitized reasonably quickly regardless of how tired I am, being sleepy makes me react to even the most hideous full-body poo blowout with little more than a shoulder shrug. Even the funkiest teenager funk in my classroom is no big deal, and I don't know why. It's not like I care less about gross things being in my space (or lap, or wherever), I just don't want to bother to spend any energy doing anything about it.

#3: I have inactivity-triggered narcolepsy. For someone who almost never naps, this is a very strange development. As long as I'm up and moving, I can stay up and moving even with virtually no sleep fueling me, but the second I stop...I really, really stop. Many, if not most, parents that I know have told me in a knowing, almost threatening voice: "You'd better sleep any time that baby is asleep, or you won't be able to." It's true, but it's also uncontrollable. Sitting on the couch to play with you in the evenings is wonderful, but there is a very real threat that I might doze off with you on my lap and not notice when you flop over sideways.

#4: My mental filter is gone. I know that not everyone wants to hear about your most recent diaper blow-out, and surely no one cares about the texture of your St. Bernard-style drooling, but somehow my brain fails to get that message to my mouth. Anyone who will stand still long enough is liable to hear something gross and/or embarrassing about you - probably your butt, to be specific - and I utterly lack the social cognizance to know if/when that person is disgusted. Oops. I mean, poops. Heehee.

#5: Task completion is Anything that requires more than a few minutes of concentrated effort, or that takes more than a few simple steps to complete, is probably not happening. I've been working on this one, little piece of writing for days, and I'm not even sure I'll finish it in this sitting, despite you being asleep and not really having anything else I need to do. This definitely harkens back to the goldfish memory issue, but is also probably just a substantially escalated version of my already weak work ethic. As I write this, I'm regretting not already having gotten up to get a fresh cup of coffee, feeling awkward about not having made the number of important phone calls I've been putting off for days, and preemptively worrying about the planning I'm potentially likely to skive off this summer. Yeah. Good stuff.

#6: I move at roughly the speed of a stoned sloth with three broken hands. Somehow, your Dad and I manage to be on time for almost everything, but I think most of that owes to our choice to start motivating to get out the door at least forty-five minutes before we actually need to. When attempting to go anywhere or do anything, I just drag. I'll start something, sort of...wander off...and, er...forget...I should probably go make sure the oven is off.

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