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Archive for January, 2011

Wee Update

It’s currently 1:26am. I just got Keaton back to sleep about 45 minutes ago and now I’m working on a copywriting project. So much for my promise of my earlier bedtime. Does it count that for the two nights before this I went to bed at 11:30 both nights? Well, it’s a start.

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As most people who know me well know, I’m an avowed night owl, and proud of it. To me, the nighttime is a series of magical, golden hours, just ripe for creativity, fun and reflection. So what does a lifelong night owl like me do when my child suddenly starts waking up before the crack of fricking dawn? (Or, as a few people, including my mother, have gently reminded me, actually quite a normal time for most young children.) Well, I’m not gonna lie to you – after a few minutes of me mumbling, “Keaton, too early!” to my increasingly wiggly and impatient 16-month-old, we get out of bed, I slip on my moccasins, and we stumble into the living room for the next couple of hours. I close the baby gate and provide piles of toys and books for him to play with while I sit on the floor or lie on the couch, moaning. Usually Treehouse TV is on in the background, I’m sorry to say.

I would love to say that we’re in the kitchen all bright eyed and bushy-tailed, baking muffins or something, or out for a morning jog (I only did that once. It almost killed me.), but no. Well, sometimes we do go in to the kitchen when I blearily get us breakfast or make the coffee, but that’s about it. Keaton will usually find something to do at this point, such as feeding almost an entire bag of Temptations treats to the cat. He carefully reached into the bag with his little baby fingers and took each treat out one by one, giggling uproariously when Frieda nibbled it off his fingers. Despite barely being conscious, even I recognized the cuteness.

It wasn’t always this way, the whole early-morning thing. For the first year, Keaton usually got up at the perfectly respectable hour of about 9am or 10am. I totally recognized how lucky I was at the time, but just thought, “oh gee, isn’t that great – he likes to sleep in just like me!” But somewhere around his first birthday, things changed. 10am wake-ups became 6am wake-ups (or earlier). And silly me was still staying up until 2am or 3am like I always have, only to be roused hours later by a little guy who could lose an eye or limb if not carefully watched by a very alert person every single moment. And then last semester, as a new college instructor trying to figure everything out, for a couple of months I was putting in a full workday most nights after Keaton went to bed, working away from 9pm – 4am. He was in daycare sometimes, but I just didn’t have any other time to fit it all in. I think over the past several years in general, sleep deprivation has become the norm for me, but these past months are the worst it’s ever been. Totally self-wrought, of course. Which is why I don’t write this expecting any sympathy for my little pity party. I do wonder all the ways that these months of averaging 4 hours of sleep per night will take its toll on me!

So you heard it here first, friends. I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions, but I am now officially vowing to GET MORE SLEEP. Sleep is the foundation of life, and right now my foundation is a crumbling mess. From now on, it’s bedtime for me by midnight at the latest. I hope I can manage that. Yes, those late hours are golden times for creative writing, responding to emails, and doing other v. important things like blog-reading and status updates, but I’ll just have to find some other time to do that. 🙂 It’ll be hard, but maybe, just maybe, I can do it. I fight going to bed, though, but I love it once I’m in it.

After a few hours of playing, eating and much coffee-drinking by moi during these early mornings, though, a blessed thing happens. On the days that I’m not working and Keats and I are hanging out together, at about 11am or noon or whenever the little man starts showing the first signs of yawning or eye-rubbing, he and I retreat to bed for a nursie and a nap together. And that’s just about the best thing ever. Thanks for the naps, Keats.

On that note, it’s almost midnight. Good night, everyone!

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