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Katy England Katy England
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Sleep, perchance to WAAAAAA!

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she fought the nap, and the nap won (photo by Katy England) she fought the nap, and the nap won (photo by Katy England)

I wouldn't describe myself as a morning person. It's not that I slept until noon or even was a night owl; it's just that I used to only formally recognize the number 4 as a p.m., and had only passing occasions to look at the 5 on my clock in the morning. I know some of you will sneer at considering 6 a.m. early, but I did at one point in my life. I have fuzzy recollections of that. Now, the thought of being able to 'sleep in' to 6 a.m. seems like a pipe dream.

Getting up at 5 is something I've basically been doing for most of the past year. Sometimes it was 4:30, sometimes it was 3, but it's finally crept up to a fairly consistent 5 a.m. wakeup call. I get up, pump for a half hour so they'll have food, warm up their bottles and simultaneously make their pureed breakfast/finger food buffet (baby-led weaning is for people with slightly less baby than I have).

From bottles to baby-wipedown takes about an hour and a half. So on a good morning we're looking at getting down around 7 a.m. Then I have to answer a question: Take my own nap or stay up?

So much factors into such a simple question. How much can one get done in two hours? How much sleep is physically possible? Will the kiddos actually nap, or will they just mess with you? Messing with you involves waiting until Mom or Dad is in that warm, blissful pre-sleep and then letting loose with a gut-churning howl of sadness and rage that causes a huge adrenaline dump, making said parent jolt out of bed at a speed that is illegal in most states. You rush to the kids' aid only to find their plastic keys have fallen from the crib. Really? That's your emergency? You know it's a crime to dial 911 for non-emergencies? You don't?! Ignorance is no excuse!

The whole process is a gamble because you never know how much actual sleep you can get. Sometimes, when I just say, 'Screw it! I'm taking a nap!' I'm up 10 minutes later changing three diapers and goofing three babies who won't take their nap. Or, I decide to stay up and have all three of them conk out for two hours, which thankfully is more of the norm than the former. And when it happens, I can get something that resembles actual work done. Work can be work for my job or housework. Naptime housework can be sublime. There's nothing like being able to wash all the dishes and fold all your laundry in one sitting.

And naps don't just mean you, as the parent, are happy because they, the kiddos, are unconscious. A napped baby = a happy baby. Many parents have seen the frenetic signs of the un-napped. Wild eyes, giggles that run up the raggedy edge of tears, angry yawns. You don't know what an angry yawn is? You are so lucky. The kids will fight sleep like it's a burglar.

Me: 'Want to take a nap?'

Kids: 'No! Look at all my toys. I love my toys and will play with them forever!'

Me: 'You look sleepy.'

Kids: 'The hell I do! I'm plaaaaAAAAAying. Where are you going! Don't leave me here alone! I hate this crib and everything about it! You can't legally do this! I will call my ---- ZZZZZzzzzZZZZ'

That's pretty much how it goes, but with less talking and more screaming.

Last modified on Thursday, 19 July 2012 14:36

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