Fortune Cookie, 3:40 a.m.

As many people in my online writing circles already know, I gave birth to Maverick (that’s his code name, not his real name) early Thursday morning. My water broke a little after midnight, and four hours later I had a new baby! (Like it’s that easy. And didn’t involve lots of shouting and disillusionment and internal requests for a cesarean section and/or lots of drugs. But I didn’t say those out loud. Mostly I said, “Get it OUT!” and “I’m never doing this again!”) (God bless patient nurses.) (Who are probably investing in ear plugs, if they haven’t already lost their hearing.)

Z is doing great with Maverick, she just LOVES him, wants to pet and kiss him all the time. And poke his little eyes – I don’t know what that’s about. (Actually, I have a few guesses. It’s hard sharing Mommy and Daddy.)

For some reason, his cry doesn’t bother me as much as Z’s did. Maybe because it’s a different pitch (he sounds like a baby pterodactyl, or, as Homes said, a Swainson’s Hawk). Or because his scrunchy little face looks so funny when he does it. I feel kinda bad, because sometimes I laugh when he cries.

He’s still learning the difference between nocturnal beings (creatures that are awake at night, i.e. NOT US) and diurnal beings (creatures that are awake in the day and sleep at night, i.e. US), so I’ve been awake a lot at night. Once, on a trip through the kitchen for ibuprofin, I spotted a bag of fortune cookies. And thought. 3:40 a.m. Not a bad time for a fortune cookie. I wish I could say the fortune was something illuminating and dreamy and perfect for my situation, but I think it was actually about riches coming my way next month.

And that’s okay. Because not everything is illuminating, or dreamy, or perfect. Sometimes things scream, and don’t sleep when (or where) they’re supposed to. We love them anyway.

There are nights…

There are nights that sleep descends on me
like a blanket coming down
and I stay in sleep so easily,
disturbed by not a sound.

But then there are the nights
with incidents my earplugs cannot mute
potty breaks and whining,
bed territory disputes.

Driftin’, dreamin’, dozin’,
snoozin’, snorin’, nappin’
Sleep never seems so crucial
until it doesn’t happen.

Cat Poo is My Kryptonite

You’d think, having been a cat owner since I was eight years old, that I’d have been exposed to the toxoplasmosis whatsit at some point. Nope.

No cleaning out the litter box. Cool.

No lifting of heavy objects. As if I wanted to.

No lying on back. Bummer.

No alcohol. What?!

No sushi. Eff!

Must remember: naps, maternity pants, ice cream, no dieting, no cleaning the cat box.

Must also remember: only two months to go.

And then there will be…

No sleep!

This is what I get for being smug.

Yesterday I hit an all-time productivity high. I tripled my page/word goal, managed to do the dishes, and even ran three errands before picking Z up at school and taking her to the park.

I bask in my super-awesomeness cape and matching lip gloss!

I was especially smug about the word count. Not wanting to brag to everyone in the whole world, I saved that info for Homes and Katy, both of whom were duly impressed. I was even contemplating a post for today on Parenting & Productivity, and how I get so much more work done after having Z than I’d ever dreamed of doing before Z. If only I knew what was in store for me.

This morning Homes and I received the 3 a.m. wake-up call. The kind that kept calling, and calling, and calling. “Daddy! Daddy! DAAAAADDDDDDDYYYY! Mommy Daddy! Mommydaddy Mommydaddy!” And then, once the caller was safely established in her cot, and the Ever-Suffering Mother and Homes safely in their Bed of Pain, the whining started.

To make a very long & painful story short, usually I sleep until 7, but today I was too pissed off.

I’ve been awake since 3:30.

On the bright side, I was able to accomplish these things, all before 7 a.m.:

  • fold laundry
  • scrub shower
  • vacuum
  • wash the dishes
  • give Z breakfast
  • pick up Z’s toys that didn’t get picked up the night before (surprise)

On the very dark and sad side, there is no way I’ll triple my writing goal today. My eyes kept closing while I tried to reach my regular writing goal.

I did reach it, though, so there.

And the little one said, “Roll over, roll over!”

[Image from Hyperbole and a Half’s fabulously funny blog. Click here to get to the original post.]

I know what you’re thinking: we brought this on ourselves. The place we’re at, right now, is a natural, predictable consequence of implementing the Family Bed (of Pain).

But that doesn’t make it suck any less.

See, maybe the Family Bed (of Pain) works great when you don’t mind letting your kid sleep there past age 7. I do know parents of twins who have done/are doing this, along with their new infant. They have a Cal King and pushed a twin bed up next to it.

Well, a) we don’t have a Cal King and, even if we were so wedded to the idea of Eternal Cosleeping that we were willing to buy a Cal King, b) one wouldn’t fit in our room and c) it still wouldn’t be big enough for us and a three-foot-tall person who wants to sleep sideways.

Two weeks ago, fighting gravity and the kicking feet of my sweet, cherished daughter:

Ever-Suffering Mother: [eyes still closed, barely able to sit up on couch, resenting being dragged from bed for the morning’s goodbye-to-Daddy-just-one-more-hug-and-kiss-oh-last-one-wait-one-more-and-one-more ritual] I can’t do this anymore.
Husband and Z: It speaks! What is it?
ESM: I’m the Ever-Suffering Mother. Pay attention.
Husband: [realizes  Z left some pointy toys of the couch that the ESM might use as missiles] Yes dear?
ESM: I can’t do this anymore. Z, tonight if you wake up and want to come to our room, you can sleep on your cot. We’ll move it next to our bed. [looks at Husband] This has gotta work. Please let this work.
Husband: [muttering] This isn’t gonna work.
[Creepy music to foreshadow disaster.]

The Cot of Urine after its most recent hose-down.

Husband was mostly right. The cot, from here on referred to as the Cot of Urine, is only partially successful. Z’s diaper leaked on the second night, so after getting cleaned up, there was nowhere else for her to go (or was there?) except into the Family Bed (of Pain).

Henceforth (what a great, underused word), Z seems to have realized that peeing gets her into our bed. Here’s what I think goes on in her head:

Step 1: Wake up.
Step 2: Say, “Oh no! My Pull-Up leaked!” (Whether or not Pull-Up is wet.)
Step 3: Wait for grouchy parent to take me to the potty and change my Pull-Up. (Whether or not Pull-Up is wet.)
Step 4: Climb into the Family Bed (of Pain). (Even if the Cot of Urine has no urine in it. This is where Mommy and Daddy are weak, lazy parents. If they were smart/less tired, I’d be getting back into my cot (if it’s dry) or back into my bed. Mommy and Daddy are sucker parents and I shall sleep in their bed until I’m 25.)
Step 5: Talk and kick for the rest of the night/morning.
Step 6: Screech with glee and happiness and ask for a snack at 5 a.m.
Step 7: Wonder why Mommy looks like a zombie bride.

Now that I’ve analyzed her way of thinking, I see where we’re going wrong: Step 4. Things are going to change around here.

Somehow. If I ever get enough sleep to have the energy to completely shut down the Family Bed (of Pain).