Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Gift of Sleep

My wife's birthday is coming up, and I know the perfect gift for her.
But I can't give it to her. What would make her happiest to receive
is a good night's sleep. And we've got two tenants in our house that
that is most dependent on.

Jada actually sleeps pretty good - once she gets herself asleep. But
it's the getting asleep that's the challenge. We had a babysitter
last night, who is quite experienced with kids and yet could not have
possibly known what sort of particularity she was getting herself
into. When we wrote down, "Read Jada stories and then feed her some
milk," how was she to know that Jada actually wanted her milk while
stories were being read, to the point that Jada burst out her bedroom,
and ran down the hall to the kitchen, shrieking, "Milk!" Or that
something as subtle as a drape not pulled down the necessary level
would lead to frantic pointing and crying?

And for all that, Jada is the easy one. For Aaron appears to be in a
growth spurt. How else to explain, after finally going from three
night-time feedings to one, that he would awaken before Amy and I even
got home last night (we had put him to bed at 7, as usual, and got
home at 10:30) and sucked down a bottle at record speed, only to
awaken me at 3:45 this morning to suck down another bottle at record
speed, both times screaming without impunity until said bottles
arrived? This, after awaking at 5 every morning this week to greet me
with three hours of crying before I headed off to work, unmistakably
frayed and with ringing in the ears.

Amy and I have built our whole parenting philosophy around sleep.
Lots of sleep means baby is happy, brains and bodies are given time to
grow, and we are well-rested enough to give our best as parents. But
no one in our house is getting enough of it. So if you know where I
can purchase sleep, save me a couple of nights - one for Amy for her
birthday, and one for me for my sanity.

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