Our new baby, Monty, is 6 weeks old
The longest sleep he’s had so far is 3 hours and frankly that was a blessing. His average snooze is around two hours long.
To cope with this Meagan and I have come up with a strategy.
I say, “come up with a strategy”, more like we’re exhaustingly clinging onto a last resort routine. It’s the difference between barely coping and slipping into insanity, through sleep deprivation.
It involves me, feeding, changing and trying to keep Monty awake until gone 11pm. Then I hand over to Meagan who feeds him whenever he attempts to scream the house down, every two hours, throughout the night.
Eleven O’clock may not seem that late but my alarm goes off at 4:20am so it’s does start to take it’s toll.
As I handed over last night, I noticed Fred’s (our other son) bedroom door wide open and him not in his bed.
Where could a three year old be at midnight?
After a few seconds of heart pumping panic, I saw that he’d sneaked into my bed (Meagan and I have separate beds at the moment to help protect the remains of our sanity).
As I climbed into my bed I said, “Back to your bed Fred”
I didn’t have the mental strength to take on the logic of a three year old, in an argument, particularly since he’d had four hours sleep, to charge him up, against my none.
“Ok but no fidgeting and you must go to sleep straight away, ok?”
“Ok”, he said smiling, surprised he’d won a battle, he usually loses, so easily.
Three quarters of an hour later I found myself barking, “Fred stop singing”, for the tenth time, “Once more and you go back to your own bed”.
I think I finally dropped off at around fifteen minutes past midnight, only to be woken up by Fred banging his milk bottle on the head board, of the bed, along to another of his made up songs.
“Right that’s it! Come on back to your own bed!”
I picked him up and carried him to his bed, as I put him down I said, “Good night, love you”.
“Where’s my take?” he protested. Fred can’t pronounce his C’s so they come out as T’s.
“What? Your cake?”
“Noooo, my tape?”
At this point my head couldn’t focus through the thick fog of fatigue and my eyes were burning as if needles were sticking out of them.
“What? Your tape?!”
It’s then that I realised he was wearing Superman pyjamas with a velcro detachable cape which had become detached.
“You don’t need your cape now”
He burst into tears and screams, “I do I need my tape!”
I go back to my bedroom, with throbbing head, and rustle around under the duvet getting ever more irritable about the increasing lack of sleep I’m getting.
Like an old steam kettle, I can feel the stress increasingly building up inside my skull the longer it takes me to find Fred’s cape.
I look all over for it then finally discover it, in his bed, under in his legs.
In a struggled fumble, I attach my sons Superman cape to his pyjamas whilst constantly thinking about the fact that my alarm going off, is getting closer and closer.
I mean, why on earth does Fred think his cape would come in handy at 0:30am in the morning?
It’s not as if he’s about to fly into action to save the planet from and evil force hell bent of destroying the human race, he’s going to sleep.
I finally get to sleep and it’s only when I wake up in the morning do I find this scenario amusing.
At the time, due to my tiredness, it was a seriously stressful predicament I was having problems coping with.
I learned lack of sleep seriously impairs your ability to carry out simple tasks, like attaching a superhero’s cape with velcro and that superhero’s never go to bed without a fully functioning cape.
There is one real reason to laugh at stress:
Stressful situations are of the moment and can often be laughed at in retrospect.
So if it’s possible, we need to realise this at the time because laughing, is not only good for our health but its been proven that people who laugh more are, generally, less stressed.
Ps – Meagan told me she saw Fred having a sneezing fit this morning and he used his cape to wipe his nose afterwards, so it’s more functional than I originally thought.
I suppose if he uses it for this purpose enough, it will gradually become stiff enough to give the impression he’s actually flying.