Saturday, 22 September 2012

The Wide Awake Club

If a sleep barometer existed, mine would be on the scale of delirium.

One of my best friends came to visit us in 'week 2', 'So, is he sleeping through the night?' asked her boyfriend innocently. I nearly choked on my tea. 'Are you joking? He is a new-born' came the sarcastic reply. Realising he was only trying to make polite conversation, I then tried to backtrack and make light of it, underneath seething with sleep depravity.

Patience was the first thing to go. The second was my judgement - my husband popped to the supermarket one night for essentials and on his return he found a bug caught underneath a clear plastic pot:
'I see you've caught a spider for me to take out?' He said.
'I think it might be a slug or a beetle or something but it was crawling towards me in the hall' I shivered.
'It's a bit of black plastic,' he said, deadpan, picking it up.
'No it's not, it was definitely crawling,'
'Look it's just plastic!'
'Get it away from me!'I screamed.
After that I was frog-marched to bed.

The sandman doesn't visit me much anymore. I can't remember the last time I had eight hours of unbroken zeds. At first I compared getting up at silly-o'clock to doing an airport run - you know those red-eye flights that you book for your holiday because they were cheaper? The ones where you have to force yourself to get up and you feel like someone has winded you? That's how I felt at each wakening. Now it's just a way of life. It's certainly getting easier, or maybe I'm simply adjusting to it...

My friends' little bundles seem to be in slumberland for long glorious stretches. Then there are the stories (fairy-tales?) you hear that their angels sleep from 7pm-7am. The health visitor reassured me all my baby's frequent night awakenings were 'normal'.

One solution? To catch forty winks in the day of course. But as a relative recently said, 'He doesn't nap for long does he?' and coupled with the fact that it takes me a good twenty minutes to get relaxed, by that time he's up again and ready for round two.

The other wide-awake talent I seem to have acquired is I rise when our little one stirs, even when we're not together. I'm suddenly in super-alert mode at 2am - this then turns into absolute panic-mode; where did I put our baby? Before realising a second later he's with his daddy and the whole reason I'm on my own is to actually try and hit the hay.

So tuned in am I, Timmy Mallett would be proud, we could bring back the Wide Awake Club and instead of the hand symbol, the Wacawave would now be a hash tag and it would be trending within hours. If only I could be like my dad who can doze anywhere; he once fell asleep on a family friend's shoulder...

Yet despite these nocturnal necessities, nothing in the world can beat those huge, magical gummy smiles that greet you as the sun rises, along with the morning 'chats' and cuddles.
It's just each time the baby alarm rings; it would be nice if our little pea had a snooze button.


  1. Oh my word - I nearly fell of my chair laughing so much! just read back through your entries, seeing my sons first few months from someone else's eyes. Though admittedly he did sleep through from the start of eastenders (the theme tune sent him off) all the way through til about 4 by the time he was 6 wks !
    Hysterically funny - I shall enjoy reading !
    K.P. xx

  2. Darling, I feel your pain. I looked lobotomised during the first god-knows-how-long of my daughter's life. Saying that, she's four now and I still do...