Thursday, January 13, 2011

Diary of an omniturnal mom

An occasional feature

I have a need to document things. I'm okay with it. Really. As the title suggest, I don't sleep. I'm not nocturnal, I'm not diurnal, I'm just up. All the time. Physically and mentally. I'm omniturnal. I'm not really okay with that, but it'll pass soon enough. And then I'll be giddy at the thought of four hours of sleep in a row.

Maybe one day, when my children are grown, they'll look back on my writings and laugh. Or maybe I'm providing a road map to my children's psyches for their future therapists. Or maybe I'll publish a book that Planned Parenthood can provide to its young clients along with birth control pills. I try to be helpful ...

11:30 p.m. Wednesday: Mommy goes to bed after spending one hour completely alone. It's the only time she's had to herself all day. Even the shower she got to take was shared with a hesitant but curious tot who wandered in and out of the shower.

Midnight: Danny, the oldest, starts squawking in his sleep. Mommy waits it out. He goes back to sleep.

12:30 a.m., Thursday: Mommy is finally tired enough to go to sleep. Her mind stops racing. The baby wakes up. She figures that she better feed him even though it's after last call--which is midnight. She decided about a week ago that it was time to cut him off between midnight and 7 a.m.

12:45 a.m.: Back to bed.

1:30 a.m.: Fiona, the middle child, begins crying from her room. Mommy goes to her, calms her down, lays down in bed with her for a few minutes.

1:40 a.m.: Back to bed.

2:30 a.m.: Fiona cries again. This time, Mommy goes in and rummages through a basket on Fiona's dresser to find the pacifier that she's trying to wean her off of. She pops it in her mouth and gives her a kiss.

2:32 a.m.: Back to bed.

3:00 a.m.: The baby wakes up. To feed or not to feed? A quick calculation: He didn't take his bedtime nursing and was asleep before I returned home last night. But he did eat his macaroni plus the remains of his siblings macaroni for dinner last night. Oh, what the hell ... he'll probably just go back to sleep.

3:30 a.m.: He doesn't. Instead, he sits bolt up in his crib after Mommy puts him down. So it's off to the closet to sleep the rest of the night in the Pack and Play. (It's a walk-in closet, with a window and plenty of room. But I'm sure the sight of women's clothing on hangers will haunt him for the rest of his life.)

4:00 a.m.: The baby is still complaining and crying and whining in the closet. Mommy comes back from trying to comfort and settle him down and shouts about the activity of the past few hours and how she's had about an hour of sleep so far. Her husband gets up for the day--a half hour earlier than normal--probably to get away from the crazy lady who's yelling in their bedroom.

4:10 a.m.: Mommy checks on the baby again, brings him to bed to nurse and detects a familiar aroma. Off to change a poopy, red bottom. She feels pretty guilty that she didn't think to check the diaper.

4:33 a.m.: The baby's crying is tapering off. He seems to be giving up. Mommy drifts off to sleep finally.

7:43 a.m.: Mommy wakes up in a slight panic. All is quiet. Too quiet. It's a preschool morning and all her kids are fast asleep an hour before they need to head out the door. She chuckles bitterly. They sleep in like this only when they need to be somewhere. What a bunch of assholes, she thinks.

Shall I continue? Yes, yes, I should. 

9:30 a.m.: Mommy returns from preschool drop off with the baby and Fiona. Time for baby's nap? Yes, no, maybe ... who the hell knows? One day this week, the baby stayed up all day long, that is, 14 hours straight. One failed attempt and ...

9:43 a.m.: Fiona and Owen are playing happily in her bedroom with the occasional skirmish. Mommy curls up on Fiona's bed, pulls the covers over her head and hopes the kids don't notice her for a few minutes. They don't. Then they do. So ...

10:00 a.m.: Time for a change of scenery. Downstairs we go.

11:45 a.m.: The baby, who has been up all morning alternately eating and crying, falls asleep while nursing.

What time does Mommy have to pick up Danny from preschool?

12:15 p.m.

Right now, they're all asleep upstairs. Mommy didn't even need Benadryl this time. And Danny and the banana-and-dirt-crusted baby are still in their pajamas. (Danny got to wear pajamas to preschool today. There goes that threat .... now he'll want to go to preschool in his pajamas every day. Thanks, Ms. Pam.)

To be continued ...  

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