You Got the Bronze
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
When most people ask if Declan is a good baby, what they are really asking is - does he sleep?
I can answer honestly and wholeheartedly that is he is a good baby, a great baby. An easygoing, funloving, smiley, happy sweet baby that on the best of nights grants us a solid, five hour stretch - while we are largely awake. So good baby? Yes. Sleep much? Hell to the no.
(I would be remiss if I didn't state here that apparently D, extraordinarily gifted, has read this post (written yesterday at the apex of sleep deprivation and sugar crashdom) and purposely slept from 1:30 to 6:30 this morning. Fool.)
What we need to focus on here is what, exactly, is meant by "sleeping through the night?"
When pediatricians and baby guides say baby is sleeping through the night, they typically mean 5 hour stretches at a time. Now, if your own doctor asked how well you were sleeping and you replied with a "well, uh, on average I get about 5 hours. Mostly in 1.5 hour increments but on good nights 5 hours all the way through!" he or she would doodle CRAZEE on their notepad, cluck their tongue, and write you a scrip for 6 month supply of Ambien. Because an average of five hours of sleep a night over an extended period of time - unless you are Tom Cruise - can turn an ordinarily sane person into an actual undead zombie, minus the dripping flesh if you discount the elephant pouch that was formerly my stomach.
So what I take from this is that we are being asked to set the bar very, very low.
Declan is working back up to five hour stretches of sleep. I am going to sleep earlier and earlier despite the mountains of work, that novel I'd like to read, that husband I'd like to talk to, turning "sleep when the baby sleeps" into a desperate attempt to scrap together little nuggets of sleep that will hopefully make functioning at 6:30 more manageable. Fortunately I married my own Tom Cruise (minus the manic, big eyed, batshit crazy) and he has saved my life on more than one morning by getting up with Harlow so I can try to cobble together a few more minutes of sleep.
To quote Harlow who has turned her entire life into a race, for the moment, I got the bronze. When we race to the car to the door to the toilet to bed she gets the gold. Daddy is typically silver. Mommy gets the bronze! she crows. I try to insist that it's not a race but if it is, bronze is okay because it's not really about winning. And she looks at me like, WhatEVER, loser. Bronze.
So today I got the Bronze. But maybe in a 5 hours, I'll get the gold. Here's hoping.