The first night we brought Archer home from the hospital, my husband asked if we could please put him on EBay. Archer had been crying for five hours straight and we were both at wits end.
“I just can’t live like this,” he said. “I think we should put him up for adoption.”
I would like to say that he was kidding. He wasn’t. So I cried. (“How could you!”) And Archer cried (for hours more) before falling asleep at my failed tit. (Breastfeeding was not my strong-suit. But that’s another post for another day.)
As the weeks went on, Archer learned to sleep like a champ. The six-week point marked his sudden breakthrough. He slept from 8pm-8am. At first I thought he was dead. Then I thought I must be dead or dreaming because twelve hours? Twelve glorious, triumphant hours? It was a miracle! I cried out in joy!
Archer went on to sleep twelve hours every night. Like clockwork. 8 to 8. And every parent I know wanted to kill us. (Jealousy.)
And then? Fuck. I don’t have a clue. Let’s just say the under-the-eye circles have returned. The acne. The emotional wreckage. I think I have even managed to gain ten pounds… Because when your child doesn’t sleep you have no energy. And when you have no energy, even taking the dogs for a walk is pushing it. So I sit. On my ass. And feel sorry for myself. And I ask Archer why. WHY? And he runs around in circles like an insane person with all the energy in the world. And once in a while he stops to throw a puzzle piece at my head.
Archer’s best sleep in the past six weeks has ironically been at a hotel in
Boulder, Colorado, where we stayed for Thanksgiving. We’re still trying
to figure out if it was the altitude or the very plush King-sized bed that knocked his ass out. (Either a bigger bed is in order or we’re going to have to move to the hills.)
I have been designing mathematical equations to solve these sleep-issues. For instance:
Up@2am+ 1 cracker (8 minutes of Tivo’d Sesame Street) / 2 1/2 lullabies = A good hour of sleep
10:30pm Scream-fest = 10 minutes of cry-it-out = another hour of sleep
5am Wake-up call + 1 cup h20 – 1 dirty diaper (three kisses on the nose) + Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See? in bed = Happy playtime in crib for >1 hour.
There are a number of scientific equations for Archer’s wacked-out sleep schedule. Do they work? Sometimes. In fact, it’s amazing what a cracker and a cup of water can do. We have also been keeping spare pacifiers in the crib and that seems to be working well, at least until 2am. The only problem? I work until 1:30.
Last night I slept an entire hour before Archer woke up and wanted to
party. We pulled him into bed with us where he promptly began
bitch-slapping me into the wee hours of this morning. I managed to
somehow fall asleep during an extreme eyeball twisting session and
woke up, just like I did the night before, with clumps of hair on my
pillow. This morning, as the son rose and Archer played my belly like a drum, I looked over at my husband who was shaking his head with his hands over his eyes. He looked back at me and said, sadly, “Bec, I’m sorry but I just can’t live like this. Tomorrow I’m putting Archer on Craig’s List. I’ll need you to email the cutest photo of him you can find. Preferably one of him in his crib so people will think he spends time there.”
I cried. I called him insensitive. Then today I took this picture:
…And just like that, we’re back to
week square one.