Monday, August 29, 2011

I want to tell you all about last night

Warning, there is mention of breastfeeding in this post. So if you are Bill Maher, or any other douchebag who thinks baby's magically feed themselves at Spago, don't read any further. Also go suck an egg. 

This is a story about one night. Well not really one night. It's a story of many nights run together through, one after the other, bleeding mercilessly into days packed with running here and there, peppered with laundry, occasional application of mascara, and many, many, many insurance, school, and bank forms to be filled out. This is my life. It's not war, and it's not bad, it's, its just endless. We're past long days, short years. We're into short days, short years, short hours. There are not enough seconds in each minute. I can see both of the boys changing daily, and even though I'm here, watching, I am worried I might be missing something. 

I'm not complaining. In the year 2011, this is a very good life. We have a home, a garden, the best swing chair ever, full dental, clean water, organic cotton socks, each other, you know, the good stuff. But I can't help but think that something is amiss. Don't worry, I'm not going to check out, and move my family off the grid to a farm in the ozarks, or anything, but when life's pace faster is than Usain Bolt at a square dance..that doesn't even make any sense. I'm sorry. 

(woah! I know! Shocking!) 

Ok, here's one example from this week and then I'll tell you about night. Yesterday I bought THE BRA. What? You don't know about THE BRA? I was told about THE BRA, by another actress and new mom at an audition a few weeks ago. She's a pilates instructor, as well as a new mom, and an actor, so she does a lot of driving. A lot of times our appointments are within an hour of each other on opposite sides of town. We were discussing when to pump, how to pump, etc... and she said "well you have THE BRA, right?" "NO! I don't have the bra! What is the bra?" and then another woman who had been eavesdropping chimed in "oh yeah, she's right, you have to get THE BRA." 

They explained that THE BRA, was actually a sort of tube top with a zip front, that has cut outs around the nipples (kinky! but not...) so you can put the little cups for the pump inside them, screw on bottles, connect the tubes, turn on your pump, and make milk out of BOTH SIDES at the same time. SO smart. I don't know why I didn't know about THE BRA before. I have a double pump, but I always just pumped one side at a time, and held the bottle in my hand. Now it takes only half the time. But that's not the best part about THE BRA. The pilates/actor/mom tells me: "this way you don't have to pull over to pump, you can just do it on your way to your next appointment". DID YOU HEAR ME? I can make milk out of my breasts while driving. This is the ultimate in mommy efficiency and it fills my heart with both joy and anxiety. OMG! Think of all the other things I can get done in the 20 minutes, I'm saving every 2 hours, from not having to PULL OVER and make milk. I'm sorry I'll stop shouting. I just can't imagine what my grandmother would think about me hurtling down the 101 freeway, milk pump attached under very stylish nursing cover. And I'm happy about it. I think. 

SO about last night. Here's how it went, give or take. Baby goes down around 6:45 after a very short nurseyloo. No problem. 45 minutes later he's up. Normally I'd just send Nipper in to soothe him. But I don't mind giving him a little more milk because he didn't really nurse much, and I'm pretty rested because I got to sleep until 7:45 that morning because my darling husband took both kids downstairs at 6:30, or maybe it was 7. I don't know. So he nurses again, this time for a long time, and I put him back in his crib. Good night Charlie. Now I join Jack's bedtime already in progress. We negotiate who is going to read, (daddy) and who is going to get the shaft with a "you can read tomorrow night" (mommy). We remind him not to suck all the toothpaste off the toothbrush like he does every night. We remind him not to pick his nose or he'll get a nosebleed (again). We say "ok, let's settle down, it's time for bed" 18,000 times. We say I love you, and kiss eyelids and cheeks, and he says cute, funny things, that we think "I have to remember that". One of us reads, and the other one RACES downstairs in order to get a precious 30 minutes to do WHATEVER they want. FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDOMMM! (I usually opt for laundry, the daily show, and checking email. The man's not going to keep me down) All of this takes an hour total. 

During all of this I'm thinking about those awful morning news programs, and magazine blurbs about how you shouldn't just eat the kids leftovers before you scrape them into the garbage, and how you can exercise in your "downtime" as a parent. "Just a few crunches while you bathe the kids! Take the stairs!" Who the FUCK do these people think they are? There should be a law. 

Now it's almost 9 o'clock. We don't usually eat dinner. Just a big late lunch. Sometimes I make us a green smoothie for dinner (racy).  But last night I had cereal instead. He's been asleep 2 hours, so I pump a bottle. Because the milk train NEVER stops. But I don't get very much because it's night, and I had to do that 2nd bedtime nurse, and I'm irritated, that I spent 15 minutes of my "me" time pumping, when I could be sprawled on the couch not thinking about anything. I'm so irritated that I go to bed. Well, I SAY I'm going to bed, and then I spend 30 minutes perched on the edge of the couch watching whatever Nipper has on the tv, and stating every commercial break that I need to go to sleep. At 10 I give in, and go upstairs. 

But I don't go to sleep. I check facebook, twitter, email, read a blog or two. I go over the day in my head, make lists for the next day in my head, try to solve everybody's problems IN MY HEAD. After I come with a solution for world peace, and a good retirement plan, I fall asleep. Moments later, I hear Jack's door open. He trundles across the hall, piles into the bed, lays on top of me and whispers "mommy I want to snuggle you". Fine. All of my daytime fight is gone. "Ok, shhh". We fall back to sleep. This for me is a minor miracle and a sign that I am no longer me. Most nights, if so much as Nipper's toe is touching me foot, I can't sleep. It's like that toe is trying to BURN A HOLE IN MY SOUL. 

I used to read. Books. I used to read books. Before bed. Every night. Now I don't even read magazines. I don't even pick them up to look at the pictures. It's too much information. My brain can not contain any more information than it now contains. Not one more item. 

Because I made a bottle at 9, I assume Charlie will wake up early just to torture, me. But not tonight. He sleeps. He sleeps like a motherfucker. I wake up at 2am TWO AY EM! I slept for almost 4 hours with Jack and his jimmy legs sprawled on me. He's managed to have his 100lb head on my neck and somehow at the same time have his pointy little elbows and knees in my sides. All of them. All 4 elbows and knees are poking into me. I sit right up in bed look at the clock on my phone. I grab the monitor in a panic and watch for signs of life. He's breathing. Ok. I pee. I'm up. I just slept for 4 hours. Longer than I've slept in months. I'm going to pay for this. I am wide awake. 

Charlie wakes up at 2:30 and I go in his room to nurse him. I go back to bed. Jack has noodled all the way over to my pillow, and so now I must wedge myself 1/3 of the way down the bed on the side. I check facebook. I check twitter. Why? I don't know. I look at pictures of the kids on my phone. Charlie wakes back up at 3:20. He slept too long. Now he's up too. Fuck. I nurse him again and he goes back to sleep. Jack wakes long enough to mumble "mommy I want to snuggle you". Tomorrow we are going to have a talk. His head is on my pillow and the rest of his body is sideways across the top of the bed. His little behind is right in front of Nipper's face. He farts. LOUD. And for about 4-5 seconds. It must be like a nuclear cloud over there, but Neither Nipper nor Jack wake up. Serves them right for sleeping through all of Charlie's fussing. I'm laughing, trying not shake the bed. It is now 3:40. 3:42. 3:51... At last I sleep. 

At 5:40 Charlie cries again. I drag my carcass out of the bed. I want to pee, but it's early, and if he cries too long and it get's louder, he's going to wake Jack up, then Nip will be tired, and Jack will be tired, and everything will be TERRIBLE, ALL DAY LONG. So, I hold it. Charlie is sort of wide awake when I put him back in his crib, but I give him his pacifier and his eyes roll back in his head. I go back to bed. I go through Jack's room (we have a Jack and Jill bathroom) so I don't walk on the creaky part of our bedroom floor and wake anyone up. This is the kind of information that is now in my head, replacing other important information. Sigh. 

Jack is now starfished, kitty corner across my entire half of the bed. I'm mad. I'm not going to lie. What the fuck kid? You've got a bunk bed in your room, A BUNK BED! With a shark nightlight, and stuffed animals, and a moby light, and a feather bed! My 4yr old has a feather bed, because I'm aiming to make my kids as poncy as possible. I'm sure they'll get roughed up by the world. Why not expect a comfortable bed? So that's TWO beds, and he doesn't even have to nurse a baby, or wear mascara. I contemplate going into his bed to sleep, but I know that's not going to work. I'll just lay there pissed. SO, I pick him up and move him 12 inches, into the middle of the bed. I know it's a mistake, but I'm fed up. He wakes up. DUH. I know he's going to wake up the moment I scoop him up, but I can't help myself. My brain is scrambled. 

He rouses a little, rolls over onto my pillow (does this thing have a gravitational pull?) and says "mommy I want to snuggle you". It is 6:04. Good morning Nipper. 


  1. LOVE the pics in this post! Your writing is great - as usual. Reminds me of the "good old days" when my 3 were similar ages of your 2. Thank God time passes! At one time, I thought I would not live long enough to see Sara turn 5 (Rachel 4 and John 3), but I did! I was so tired I wondered if I could shift the manual Peugeot Diesel station wagon we had then. I made it! Kids are 39, 40, 41 now and thriving. ;0)

  2. I feel your pain. i hate when people say this...but, I gotta say, it's true. It gets better. It gets easier. You will sleep for longer than 3 hours at a time. You will sleeeeeeeeep. thank you for sharing your not so sexy evening! I still may not be reading books either...but, I am reading your blog! ; )

  3. I was crying with laughter at your wonderful post- not in a mocking way but in total solidarity! You are not alone!! It sounds very similar to many of my nights! Hang in there it does get better. My grandmother used to say "Smile-it fools the brain!" I have only recently understood what she meant! X

  4. Wow, good for u for writing all that! I can relate to each and every word, keep riding on.
    Lindsay (of Jason Silas and arlo Lindsay)

  5. I love u! I love your writing and your realness. I'm so following your blog from now on. I have a 4 yr old girl and a 4 month old baby. I'm so glad your out there somewhere! It makes me feel a little less insane knowing you exist:-)

  6. Love your sense of humor, but not some of the language.

  7. Oh my! Something so delicious to read this morning after a night up with my nearly 4 year old who likes to talk with me about colors of the rainbow, wigs, and laundry at 3:30 am until the morning. I blogged about just that two days ago. I love, love, love your writing. Ggigled myself nearly awake.

  8. I know your try adding a seven year old and a five year old to the mix on top of a midwifery degree! 0.o I think I'ma go insane!!!

  9. We had four kids. All 28-36 months apart. I wasn't going to survive if I didn't try something different from what you describe. I just got a bigger bed so I could move away from them a bit and still sleep. At one point we had two queens side by side filling a whole room, we just crawled into bed from the end of the bed. Later it was a king sized futon on the floor plus extra mattresses when needed for the older ones. The older ones did have their own beds (from age 3ish).. and eventually they stayed there on their own. But the more we pushed the more they pushed back so we just didn't push. They are 19, 16, 14 and 11 now. Its all a distant memory. They all sleep well on their own, have for many years now. I'm glad I didn't waste those years pushing them away when they wanted to be close.
    Good luck figuring out what works best for all of you.

  10. I have a 3 yo and 7 mo twins - I can totally relate! May we both get more sleep tonight than last night (I was up 5 times between 10:30 and 5 last night)....