Wednesday, August 27, 2003

8 Hours of Sleep

8 hours of sleep and life is good. In the past week, I have been averaging a couple here and a couple there. Not enough for optimum performance. I wish I could be one of those super achievers who can get by on four hours of sleep like Bill Clinton and Martha Stewart. "She stays up until 4:00am, but still can make a perfect souffle for the Morning Show!" "And make a few stock trades at the same time."

Ian has been seriously cramping my sleeping style. It started off with him getting the flu, and us bringing him into our bed. "Poor thing is miserable and needs some mommy hugs." "OK, let him in." "And he needs a little milk in a bottle. A little treat since he hasn't eaten anything." "OK, I'll get it." So, baby get the comfy spot in the big bed between mommy and daddy and a nip of the bottle. "Hey, this is pretty good," he says and tries it again. The parents are patient, until the patient starts to feel better. And then there is the contest of wills.

A couple of nights ago, he kept me up all night. I would let him cry for a little bit, but then break down and bring him into the bed where he thrashed about. Several times I tried to sneak Ian back into his crib without luck. Without Steve working as goalie on the other side of the bed, there was danger of him falling out, his large head smacking the wooden floor. Enough of that. So last night, I let him cry and cry and cry. And finally he got the clue. No more bed for you, sucker.

And, yes, Steve and Jonah have been gone for four days, and it is FREAKIN' ME OUT! I'm not used to the quiet around here. I still have Ian, so I can't turn into a total degenerate drunk. I have to get up in the morning and feed him cherrios. But it is very, very quiet. At first, Ian spent a lot of time waiting by the front door for his big brother to come home. He has never known life without a big mouth brother who sucks up all the attention.

It is a bit hard without Steve, too. Not only do I miss his company, but I also miss his muscles. Thank God Angela was here to help, because there are all sorts of things that I can't do in four floor walk up without Steve's help. With Ian in my arms, I can't carry the garbage to the alley or bring up heavy groceries, like milk and juice. We leave the stroller hidden under the stairs in the lobby. Steve usually takes it up and down every night. But I have had to leave the $200 MacLaren stroller there the whole time hoping that some drugged up, hoodlum boys don't take it for a joy ride down the block.

I know at some point, the kids are going to sleep peacefully through the night without nightmares or other flimsy excuses to gain entry to the warm spot in our bed. But it might take a few more years. In the meantime, it is very difficult to be all professional and write articles and give lectures without eight hours of sleep. Things have improved since they were newborns needing to be fed every couple of hours. I went back to adjuncting four months after Ian was born. He was still up every three hours and, occasionally, up all night. Several times I gave an engaging lecture on interest groups or federalism with only two hours of sleep. But, I have to say, it hurt like hell.

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