Why sleep deprivation sucks for everyone

 Sofía tricked me.

She behaved admirably this past week, reliably sleeping three 3-hour stretches each night and, dependably, a nap from 2-4 every afternoon. This behavior lasted just long enough for me to call up my parents and friends and brag about it last evening. Needless to say, she then felt no pressure to maintain her good, already established reputation. She and I spent an “exciting” last night.  And morning. And afternoon.

It’s all right, I thought, as I rocked her screaming, rigid little body. And rocked. And rocked, and rocked, all night long. We’ll take lots of naps tomorrow.


She did get sleepy a few times, but only for about 8 minutes at a time. Here’s a typical sample from around 3pm this afternoon:
Remove sleeping baby from breast. Stand up. Stumble from tiredness. Hold my breath while baby flails. She goes back to sleep.

Walk baby over to crib, realize I haven’t laid out her blanket, hold her in one arm while trying to arrange the blanket with the other, look over and realize I’ve been holding her below the mobile such that all the dangly bits are banging her in the face. But she has not awoken.

Set baby in the crib, misjudge the distance and bonk her head down. She grunts. I hold my breath. I flip one end of the blanket over and accidentally slap her in the face with it. She grunts. I hold my breath. I flip over the other side, misjudge again, and punch her in the nose. She still seems deep asleep.

I turn off the light and tiptoe out of the room, stumbling blearily into the doorjamb on the way out. I make it down the hall and into the bedroom, stub my toe on the bedstead, crawl into bed. I have time for one deep sigh before the baby starts screaming.

I am never bragging again, at least not within her earshot.

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