Why oh why does my wonderful daughter want to wake up to practice standing up, jumping on the bed, hand waving movements, chewing on my aunt’s expensive wooden bedhead, rolling over me like i’m the nearest playgym, clawing at my clothes, attacking my breasts like some starved puppy, and then falling asleep for all of 20 secs lying across my pillow 2 millimetres from my head, in a repetitive cycle from 3.30am to ALMOST DAWN????
It went from very dark to sunrise, and i even saw the bat (Boris/Betsy) who has moved into the bedroom, come in from his/her night time jaunt just before light broke. Fun.
This is in addition to being up at 11pm, then again at around 1.30am and finally at 3.30am. Why? my? child? Of course, every single other mother i speak to tells me their baby sleeps through the night: the secretary in my office, the neighbour next door, even the lady in HiLo this morning so said her 9 month old son sleeps right through the night until 9am (!) and she was just telling her mother how she could go out and fete and come home while he is still sleeping. 9am?! Fete!?
My TIBS founder/lactation consultant Marilyn says to give my girl water in the night and she will stop getting up, but when she gets up to feed, she really does feed – 2 or 3 ounces – and i wonder if she really is hungry. others say give her cereal to weigh her down so she’ll sleep but i hear that tactic doesn’t really work, plus i breastfeed in the night so…. Others say leave her to bawl it out but i’m not convinced that’s my philosophy and also we are in the same room, so the infant standing up in the crib and screaming is going to get me up anyway, right?
i got so little sleep last night that i thought i’d be unable to function at work today and wondered what i’d do on nights that this happens and i still have to go in, into the manic craziness of semester time in academia. sometimes when i look at her snuggling right up close and sleeping peacefully with her arm warm and soft on me, and knowing she’s had me up at intervals just close enough to send someone (me) mad, i don’t know what to think or feel beyond i’m just tired.
My friend Di told me to process it like this: My name is Gabrielle. I live in Trinidad. I am tired. Just to keep it real and make sure its the sane me mouthing those words.
anyway, there was no point staying home where i’d get no writing done and still have to look after Zi during the day while my husband, bless his heart, who stays up with her till 3 or 4 am a few nights a week drags himself through the day barely able to blink. As if he breastfeeds, drives to work, pumps, works manically, drives home again, breastfeeds – and then is still up in the night.
His difficult life involves strolling the 5 feet from the bedroom to the studio in his pjs, working at jingles and music stuff (?) in between watching Netflix and Madmen, feeding the dogs, filing some stuff in gmail and watching some sound editing tutorials in his air-conditioned studio heaven. He does do the grocery shopping, dishes and breakfast most days however, let me not misrepresent, but after a few hours up with the baby, my man seems to need to be checked into a spa-sleep-recovery centre, the hardcore kind for Hollywood stars suffering from ‘exhaustion’.
i on the other hand, only have four days of babysitting and need to use those days to get virtually ALL my university and academic work done. Fridays to Sundays when i have my sleepless-in-santa-cruz baby (i mean she hardly sleeps in the day and hardly sleeps in the night, i blame her dad, he’s the same way), i get nothing substantial done. plus, she, the private sphere, reproductive work and the care economy deserve at least two non-negotiated days, right?
So, anyway, here I am, on my way to work. I. must. sleep. No, sorry, what i meant to say was: must. work.
Gotta get that publishing done.