June 18th, 2010

Rip Van Winkle Was Clearly Not a Mom

Becca Sanders

When I was a kid, I was a very heavy sleeper. We lived in a neighborhood with inadequate storm sewers, and occasionally when it stormed we’d have to bail water out of the basement. Sometimes all the neighbors would form a bailing party, then make a big breakfast. I slept through all of it: the thunder and lighting, the people calling to one another, and the sounds of boots tromping up and down the stairs. I’d hear all about it the next morning, and smell the bacon that lingered in the air.

These days, I awaken if I hear my son’s sheets rustle when he turns over in his sleep. I knew that I’d get less sleep when I became a parent, but I didn’t know that what little I did get would be so unsatisfying. Most of the time, I’m only half-asleep, and half attuned to what might be happening throughout the house: did one of the kids just cry out? is that a raccoon in the garbage? and is the dog throwing up again?

It’s a cut-rate, factory-seconds kind of sleep.

My husband J., on the other hand, sleeps like a corpse – that snores. Often he’ll fall asleep while reading, surfing on his computer, or in mid-conversation. I’ll feel the bed jerk, and look over to see his head tilting back and his mouth open, drifting off into some velvety cave of restful silence to which I am forbidden entrance.

I should have seen this coming. Only a few hours after H. was born, as I lay in the hospital bed, waiting for him to be brought to me for nursing, J. passed out on the pull-out couch next to the bed – a blue vinyl contraption that not even a cat could sleep on. But J. was out cold. Finally H. arrived, and I nudged J. to wake him. “The baby’s here!” No response. Harder nudge. “The baby’s here! Wake up, J.! It’s the baby!” A good swat. Still nothing. He was out until morning.

Even as I write this, J. has gone from upright-and-reading to downright-and-sawing-wood in the space of 1.4 seconds. The kids are slumbering away, and if in the middle of the night any sound of concern should drift down from the kids’ rooms (was that a croup-y cough?), I’ll be the one to respond to it.

I’ll be the one bailing out the basement.

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This Weeks Tip

We did a review a while ago of dry shampoo. Here’s an alternative when you don’t have time to wash, but want to get rid of the oily-ness. Sprinkle some baking soda on your hair, comb through then quickly fluff your hair with a blow dryer. (note: You can also add a little scented baby powder to keep your hair smelling clean!)