Answers, Part I

Of course I don't think your questions are stupid. I just really miss MAD. I mean, it's still around and all, but...

So I had this idea.  And now I’m following through.

I didn’t know how to go about it, which question to answer first.  But one was a little more time-sensitive than the others, so I’m going with that one.

From my dear, sleep-deprived, yet somehow elated friend Martin:

“How would Ginny get a hypothetical kid to reverse the demonic screaming at 4am and peaceful slumber at 4pm?

Please. Sniffle. Please.”

While I giggled a little (Not at you Martin.  Just near you.) when I read that one, it still took me back to a really ugly place.  To that time when most of the people who were so excited to tromp through your house, to hold your baby in their germy hands, are now back to their own lives, and it’s all on you.  And you haven’t actually slept in a long while.  And one of you has some crazy ass hormones coursing through their system (Owen was such a bitch, for like, a month!).  And you’re expected to lead some semblance of a life.

I can’t speak for Martin & Mrs. Martin, but for me?  That was some pretty crazy-making shit, right there.

And I’m going to say something now.  Something that might make people unlike me.  But here’s the deal:

Babies are fucking dictators.

When they’re sleeping (or when other people are around), they are magical, sweet, lovely smelling nuggets of perfection.

And when they’re not?  Sweet mother of God.

They sense when you’ve gotten comfortable.  They know when you’ve just started to drift off.  They can tell when you are feeling almost normal.

That’s when they strike.  Screaming, squalling, exploding poop from what has to be more than one orifice.

It’s no coincidence that my son’s nickname for the first couple of weeks was Benito.

As in, Mussolini.

And what do you do with a terrorist?  Well, you sure as hell don’t negotiate with them.

Seriously, though?

I know nothing.  My first baby slept through the night at 6 weeks (and I know, right now, you’re like “6 WEEKS?  I CAN’T GO ANOTHER 6 WEEKS WITHOUT SLEEP!  ARE YOU YANKING MY CHAIN, WOMAN?”, but really, it’s gonna go by, relatively quickly), and I don’t know why.  It sure as hell wasn’t anything I did.  My second baby never slept.  The longest stretch she would go, ever, was 2 hours.  For the first 14 months of her life.  No matter what we tried.  (It is no coincidence that she is our last baby.  Guaranteed. Surgically.)

So basically, no matter what happens, or when it happens, you will sleep.  Consider this your birth as a parent.  And the bags under your eyes your battle scars.  You’ll never forget this time.  But the horror will diminish.

And then you’ll think about starting on baby #2.


12 responses to “Answers, Part I

  1. In my mind, reality appears to be the best birth control there is.

  2. 2 hours?

    I feel lucky already.

    Heh, I enjoyed this, thanks 😉

  3. this answer would have helped me greatly when i was playing “pass the screaming football” with my husband during every night at 2am the first 6 weeks my first kid was born… “I don’t know what’s wrong with her, you take her.” [punt] “I just fed her and changed her diaper, why is she screaming?” [punt]… all i can offer is that somehow, we all survived. they are now in their 20’s and never got to play the scarier game of “baby in the airport dumpster”.

  4. I’m laughing my head off at the truth of this! I have four, and love them all dearly, but, oooohhhh….those nights of no/insufficient sleep…. Gad. It was awful during all the parts that weren’t perfect and wonderful. Good luck to you, Martin!

  5. LOL Celebrating that my boys are grown and happily awaiting the day they travel that road.

  6. This is one of the (many) reasons I never had kids. I love them, but only when they belong to someone else.

    This should be required reading for every high school student! Anything to keep that teen pregnancy rate down!

  7. We only turned ours over onto her stomach after a month. When all she wanted was a sleep. All these people with their “good advice” all of a sudden seemed kind of cruel then.

  8. Martin, here’s a bit of advice from a derelict, Kid A was a lousy sleeper and after many nights and arguments about who’s getting up we devised a plan… who sleeps better you or the Missus? split the night in shifts with the better sleeper or the one better able to function on little sleep with the late shift… my son was born in July and i’d be sleeping before the sun went down and the wife handled all duties till 11pm and from 11 til 6am it was all daddy, the main point being that if i went to bed at 7 or 8, 1700 or 1800 euro time i would most likely get 4 or 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep and not be nearly so delirious, other than that just wait, cuz someday the boy will start sleeping through the night and you’ll still get up to check on him and i bet you’ll be smiling when you do thinking, wtf i should be sleeping he’s fine. good luck mate.

  9. After 4 months of marginal “sleep”, I had to be medicated to get through a day without spending half of it in sloppy tears. Good times. Hang in there Martin and if someone offers you babysitting and a weekend away, even if it’s a creepy neighbor, take it.

  10. I haven’t slept properly since our second boy was born and my partner has slept even less. I think we’ll dub number 2 Benito in your honour.

  11. How can anyone not like you for that statement? Babies are totally manipulative fucks. Think about it. They spend their entire lives figuring out how to get what they want without saying it out loud.

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