Dawning realisation

We are blessed with a child who sleeps through the night and always has done. Even in utero, Katherine understood the concept of “night” and “sleep” and how they should go together. When she was a wee thing, she’d sleep about seven hours straight at night and still go down for a couple of naps during the day. I could never truly empathise at that time with mothers who were up at all hours with night-waking gremlins. Sure, when K had a cold or was somehow out of sorts, she’d have a night or two of misery and then there was that period where she didn’t want to go to sleep, but we always knew that with a little perseverance and time, she’d go back to her somnolent ways.

We have it good, in that respect.

We’re still sleep-deprived, though, but our particular problem can’t be blamed on Katherine (this time).

We have the “parents with child” sleep deprivation of the self-inflicted variety; tempus sine parvulus (apologies if the Latin isn’t as good as it ought to be. It’s been a few years…)

Parents who, after their blessed demon has cast off into the sea of slumber, attempt to cram into three or four hours a full day’s worth of extra stuff, stuff that cannot be done with a child around, requires two sets of hands, or simply didn’t get done earlier. Such things include moving furniture, getting groceries, folding laundry, doing still more of our day jobs, wrapping presents, ironing, working with dyes, planning our attack on the next day and so on.

Most nights we hit the sack at around 11:30 or 12. We actually fall asleep a bit later than that because of our mutual inability to fall asleep without reading something first. So we drift off at around 12:30 or 1 and hit the ground running again anywhere between 6 and 7 the next morning, depending on who has to be where. We’re used to this now, which might actually be a scarier thought, come to think of it.

It finally hit me last night that the really sleep-deprived parents aren’t suffering because their kids were up all night, but because they were up all day.

To those of you whose kids never sleep solidly at anytime, I extend my deepest and most profound sympathies.

To those of you yet to (or about to) have children let me just say that, if you are both working, a periodic housecleaner is truly worth it. Seriously. Tip her/him well.


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