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To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Sleep deprivation is a nasty business. Weeks of interrupted, restless nights punctuated by the persistent cries of a child with a mouthful of pain have left my wife and I in sorry shape. I find myself constantly exhausted, falling out of bed in the morning and dragging myself to work only to sit in a zombie-like trance while my co-workers look away in pity and/or disgust. I’m irritable, quick to anger, and have on several occasions had lengthy, in-depth conversations with The Man in the Yellow Hat, despite his fictional status. It’s been very rough here.

I’m not looking for pity as I pen these words, sitting in bed hoping beyond hope that Justine may sleep through the night and provide us with an oasis of sanity in what has been a sea of nightmares. I only seek the relatively comforting knowledge that we are not alone in our childhood sleeping disorders – something that the Internet seems to confirm in spades. But still I wonder – where have we gone wrong? Or even IF we’ve gone wrong?

Some look down upon us, admonishing us for not following ‘advice X’ or ‘Plan Y’ or even ‘Dr. Z’s Can’t Miss Strategy for Sedating Your Kid.’ Truth is, we’ve tried many of those ideas, with varying degrees of success. But kids are different, and even the same infant can change radically from one day to the next. Justine will sleep well for a few weeks, then her incisors come a-knockin’ and we’re screwed. The pain subsides, sleep resumes until Johnny Molars suddenly appearscomes. Or a growth spurt wracks her in pain. Or one of a billion other childhood milestones pegs her brain awake. And then we find ourselves back in the middle of the night, watching the minutes tick by as her torturous howling continues unabated.

‘This too shall pass,’ is what the knowledgeable, ‘been through it’ parents silently offer, and I do believe it to be true. I just hope for my sanity that it passes soon. And for good.

Although I will say the Man in the Yellow Hat is a wonderful conversationalist, and a great storyteller. Perhaps something good HAS come from our plight.

Posted in Curious George, Day to Day Baby Living.