Unanchored Thoughts

Bits and pieces of musings about family, friends, social issues, and whatever else travels through my head without a purpose.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Why there will be no third child

I have long wanted three kids. I'm really not sure why. I've always loved kids and wanted lots of them. Four years of infertility revised my expectations downward to the point where I was overwhelmed with gratitude to mother earth for giving me one. The second was an ultimate bonus. And then I guess I got greedy and started thinking that maybe I could revisit those old notions of lots of kids. Well, this is the official notice that there will be no third child. Along with my idealized notion of three kids being fun was the idealized notion that kids would somehow sleep, or at least conform to sleep patterns that vaguely represented my own or that of any other normal human being. I'm here to tell you that either I have the world's crappiest sleepers or all those people out there with kids are big fat liars and walking around pretending to be well rested. Here's a run-down of the last 24 hours in our house.

Around 7PM, Sunday, July 6: Begin the bedtime routine - bath, stories, songs, bed. It took two years to get to this point, but it usually works well with Graeme. It takes an hour and there's no short-cutting the routine, but it usually works. I've been sleep-training Ian for about 2 weeks and he's a tough-case. I usually begin his cry-fest before Graeme goes down with the hopes that Ian's 30 minutes of screaming is winding down by the time Graeme hits the pillow. It went sort of as planned last night, except that Graeme was wired because of a long nap so Steve laid down with him and somewhere around 9:30 Steve emerged and Graeme was asleep.

Around 9PM: I took a long, hot bath. I get frequent headaches and the bath helps.

Around 10PM: I was out cold in bed.

Around midnight: I vaguely hear Ian screaming (he's 12 inches from my bed, so I must have been in a deep sleep). For the past 2 weeks or so I've ignored his nighttime wakings and he usually goes back to sleep, though it takes up to 2 hours. I just didn't want to listen to him last night. My sleep was so good that I wanted it back quickly. The quickest way to get Ian to sleep is to give him some boob juice. Gave it to him and I must have been making the caffeinated version because next thing I know he is just talking, talking, talking....wide awake and practicing all his consonants. I gave him a bottle in hopes that would help. Nope.

Somewhere around 2AM: I'm still listening to him babble and feeling him kick, kick, kick. I dose him with both tylenol and mylecon and give him another bottle. The babbling continues. Steve and I start arguing about whether or not I can leave him in the basement to work on these babbling skills alone. Steve prefers that I take my own babbling to the basement. I do, but can't settle down either. I return to bed at 4:54AM and everyone is finally asleep.

5:04AM: 8 minutes after climbing back into bed Graeme wakes up. I kid you not. I take him back to bed and lie (or lay) down with him where he proceeds to play with my hair until about 6 when he announces that he wants breakfast. We all get up and start the day.

Amazingly, I can survive like this in the adult world. I can't do kids when I sleep-deprived. Takes too much patience. Thinking like an economist I can do in my sleep. Obviously.

Fast forward to 6PM on Monday, July 7: I return home. Everyone is in a good mood. We eat, quickly, because Graeme wants to go to the pool. Ian is falling asleep in his dinner, which he proceeds to regurgitate as I'm giving him the last bite, so Steve takes G to the pool and I stay back to put Ian to sleep. Ian screams for about 2 hours, which keeps Graeme from falling asleep. So, about 9PM I give up and bring them all downstairs where Steve takes over because I have the "I'm losing it look" on my face (and in my words). I took a break to help Steve and it's now almost 10PM and the kids are still awake. The adults are running on the fumes of fumes.

Were we to add a 3rd child to the mix I am fairly certain that our sleep opportunities would consist of the null set. Ergo, we are done with kids.


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