This month’s blog is written by Erica Moore: Writer, Interior designer and mom to two boys. You can find more of Erica’s hilarious work here.
The word tired derives from the old English word tēorian, meaning to come to an end, to be weary. I should probably cite my work, but I won’t because I have come to my end, meaning I am tired. I am so tired. Sleep deprivation is a tactic used in torture, sleep deprivation has been used as a defense in manslaughter cases, sleep deprivation has been the culprit in vehicular collisions, fires, plane crashes, and medical malfeasance. Again, I should be citing these “facts” but I’m too tired to do so – just trust me that being tired is serious business and can lead to catastrophic ends.
And yet, dear reader, sleep deprivation is the very anticipated state that parents are expected to navigate within when keeping a precious, defenseless infant healthy, happy and safe.
Hey Evolution/ Mother Earth/ God/ Darwin/ David Suzuki, what the hell bud? How does this make any sense? Well it doesn’t, and to be frank, I’m a little bit enraged the by whole imbalance of the universe right now.
Some back-story: Otis was born 5 weeks premature in 2017. We were told to expect a difficult baby that would need to eat every 2 hours. Despite this prediction, Otis surprised everyone by gaining weight and developing like a champion while sleeping through the night from day one. He loved sleep. I slept more after he was born than when I was pregnant. Some mornings with newborn Otis I wouldn’t wake until 9am. As he grew into a toddler he would inform me that it was “nap time mama” and would start to make his clumsy way up the stairs for some rest. He slept in the car, with babysitters, in tents, at music festivals and even once at a New Years Eve House Party full of childless hedonists our best friends. We were a family of well-rested people, viewing the world through rose coloured sleep masks.
But then we had Charlie. Fast forward to April of 2019. Charlie was born full term, chubby and beautifully healthy. He looked like an infant version of Rob Ford, but more cute (kinda). Unfortunately, like Ford, he also came wrought with a similar propensity for loud outbursts, privileged demands and selfish antics. He’s a really nice baby- don’t get me wrong (I DO love him) but when sleep is withheld the asshole comparisons are easy to draw. When asked to paint a picture of what Charlie’s sleep patterns look like all I can see is a grey fog – I am unsure when I am awake and when I am asleep at night, it’s a steady flow of ups and downs. The nights are like ground beef slumber, a mashed up assembly of pieces, difficult to decipher when and how it truly fits together.
With Charlie we didn’t need to buy a new crib or new blankets, we didn’t need to purchase new toys or books – our big purchase for baby number two was a brand new 12 cup coffee maker on a timer to keep us alive, I use the word “alive” very loosely.
This morning at 6am I was awake, I had been awake with Charlie in our bed since 3am. He was squirming, whining, stretching, crying and even smiling- and finally I snapped, “Fuck everyone under this roof, something has to change”. I stomped my way to the bathroom, took a hot angry piss and then looked at my face in the mirror and saw what 6 months of tēorian looked like; dark circles under my eyes, eye brow hairs wildly climbing outside of their realms, a gesture on top of my head that had started as a cute messy top bun now only holding a few strands, limp and unruly. I do not recognize this new face; this face has come to an end.
I am officially calling bullshit on this whole state of affairs. My body is craving rest; I don’t know what Circadian Rhythm is, but I’m confident that my rhythm has been hijacked by some kind of angry, adolescent German Death Metal.
And here I will end this manifesto of complaints – in part because the coffee timer has dinged – but also because it’s time to devise a plan to pull ourselves out of this ground beef swamp of sleep deprivation.