Testing the Limits of Sleep Deprivation

(With apologies to ClumberKim, who coined that term long before I did.)

I’m there. At my limit. I’ve hit the wall, and I now I just stand leaning into it wondering if I am still and quiet enough I will fall asleep because even standing with my cheek pressed up against this theoretical smooth, cool wall and sleeping is preferable to dragging ass and tension headaches.

When a coworker pointed out this story about sleep-deprived new parents on NPR, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I probably opted for the former, albeit ruefully. Because, really, it’s just embarrassing to cry at work.

But when I popped awake at 1:30 last night I wasn’t laughing.

Michael has had his sleeping ups and downs, and last week was a lot of… up, in that he was up at night. Probably because of teething, probably because he’s getting ready for a big developmental leap — which on the third morning of 1:30 a.m. wake up calls I was thinking had better be LEARNING TO FLY because OMG TEH TIRED.

But Michael waking up because of teething or learning to fly or separation anxiety or whatever is to be expected. He’s (nearly, only) 9 months old.

What is harder — actually, two things that are harder: Popping awake for NO reason and not being able to pop back to sleep, and the 4-year-old having bad dreams and coming to bed with us. Which is now going on two weeks in a row.

My nights were looking like this: Go to bed at 10:30, be woken by Michael at 1:30 a.m., get him back to sleep by 2-2:30 a.m., be woken by Kate climbing in bed at 4 a.m., at which point getting back to sleep is a crap shoot. Although I was usually successful only because OMG TEH TIRED.

And now they are looking more like: wake up for no good reason, get invaded by the little person with bad dreams AND separation anxiety, and not be able to sleep because said little person snores, thrashes, and/or cries.

So again: I have to reclaim my bed. Which is hard to do when I’m worried that a certain 4-year-old is going to wake up the household with her crying, and when my husband — who likes sleep even more than I do if that is possible — just wants to keep going along the path of least resistance.

The path of least resistance isn’t working, not for me, not anymore, and the it’s showing in the rest of my life. Plus, Kate has become impervious to the bribe. What is the bribe of a new Zuzu Puppy in the face of bad dreams in the middle of the night and the warm bodies and protection of Mommy and Daddy.

Which, I see her point. But I still kind of want to lock my bedroom door, because, and I know I’ve said this: OMG TEH TIRED.