There are some mornings when the day breaks in front of you, quivering with anticipation of the day’s promise. Happiness. Joy. New possibilities for another fulfilling day on planet Earth.
This is not going to be one of those days.
I have new babies at home. This means that Sleep, which used to come reliably between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., now only visits for two to three hours at a time before moving on, driven away by the need to change a diaper, feed the baby, hold her…
It’s the last part that happened last night. Things were going pretty well for the first part of the night. By going well I mean we slept for a few hours, then woke up, then went back to sleep. C’est normal.
And then, around 3 a.m., the trouble started.
The crying. Not crying, really, but a sort of a straining, grunting noise, mixed with just enough gurgle of milk-in-the-throat to jerk you upright every time to ensure she’s not choking.
This isn’t my first kid. I know the routine. Diaper clean? Check. Hungry? Nope. Time to bring on the magic 3S’s (swaddle, sway, shoosh). This is the nuclear option. Works every time.
But I don’t even need to go there. Once I pick her up, she stops all noise. Eyes wide open, she looks at me.
I try to avoid eye contact. But she’s so darn cute.
She’s totally awake.
About an hour and a half of holding (while walking around, mind you), feeding and changing her clothes, she finally settles down. It turns out she didn’t want to be swaddled tonight. Go figure. Would have helped if she’d made that clear around three.
So in these situations, you have two choices. Go back to sleep and risk the grogginess that inevitably comes with being yanked out of REM sleep when the alarm goes off in 42 minutes.
Or, you can go downstairs, put on a pot of coffee, and prepare for dawn.
I love the morning hours. Rising early has been a habit acquired over the years, and that time I jealously claim as my own. Normally the morning is the time when I prepare for all the day will bring.
But today, I know what’s coming. It’s The Crash. He’s gonna sneak up on me sometime around noon, I bet, and club me from behind. Probably when I’m in a meeting.
Wish me luck.