The phrase sleeping through the night is a relative term. As a parent, that line of when it’s acceptable to be woken up is dependent on the sleep pattern that your child has trained you in. For us, until a few weeks ago, we got up at like 6:30ish. Totally fine in isolation, but when put into context that this followed 1-3 wakings, varying in length from 10 to 45 minutes, it was truly maddening. So it should be a huge victory that our youngest now sleeps straight through. It’s not. Because the world at 5 am looks vastly different to me than 6:30 does. It’s dark, quiet, and soul sucking. The only sound I hear is my sprinkler system rhythmically watering the various zones in our yard. And when is the best time to water the lawn? That’s right, when it’s fucking dark out and no one is awake. And so I wake up at 5:00 now when it’s my turn in the rotation, give or take 15 minutes on either side of that number. I’ll admit it though, the other day he woke at 5:30, which netted a fist bump, extra milky, and cut my coffee consumption in half for the day. How sad is it though that I’m celebrating sleeping till right at dawn. But on normal days, when I do get up, there’s rage, and grogginess, but mostly hate. And it’s not directed at little B. No, my scorn is channeled to other mortal enemies which make up my list of top 5 things I hate at 5 am.
As my friend Deepak said, spelling is important on this one, so I’m underlining the u above to eliminate any confusion. If it were up to me in B’s room, forget darkening shades alone, I’d eliminate his tiny nightlight, the small beam emanating from the baby monitor, and any light that could dare pass through into his room from the hallway. But, we live in a republic and our supreme chancellor favors no blinds and so we compromise with lovely handmade curtains that are translucent and pretty much invite the sun in to have a fucking party. So each morning I go in there hoping to shush and pat him on the back because obviously he doesn’t want to get up, but creeping in like a stealth ninja in the background is the aforementioned sun telling him it’s time to f with dada. Yes, the sun is a tricky foe that I’ve yet to defeat, but I will not give up.
It’s more the concept on this one. There’s a fleeting thought that runs through my head at night and then again each morning at 5 where I’m already in my workout gear, I grab the baby, gently place (chuck) him in the Bob, and just start running to see if he’ll go back to sleep. There are several problems with this idea, starting with the fact that it’s still dark so I’d need reflectors, so there goes that seamless transfer. More importantly, the last thing I want to do at 5 am, besides getting up, is run. My mom by contrast is a machine. For the first 18 years of my life she was up at 4:00 am and walked the boulevard in Providence with her friend Barbara. Every freaking day, up at 4:00, with 3 kids at home. The kicker is that my dad was somehow never woken up during that extended period she was gone. Damn, I’d never even considered that until just now. I’m sure it feels good to get the workout of the way blah blah blah. You know what will feel better? My couch, where I’ll lay semi motionless from 5 to 6 while B watches Blues Clues and I fade in and out of consciousness.
Everyone in my house who’s sleeping:
There are times I hear a sound from upstairs at this hour, invariably the dog, and I start forming the outline of a smile/smirk thinking the suffering will be shared. The boys roll down at like 6:30-7:00 and at that point, they’re off my shit list, but that means 90 minutes of hating prior to their descent. And sorry to say honey, but I detest that you’re sleeping in (full disclosure, Emily and I have a great rotation in place so she goes through the same pain I do on her 5 am days). And what’s worse is that I feel like you don’t even do it right. I get angry with you that there’s no white noise shutting out the sounds coming from our first floor. I know it’s irrational but truly, this is your only zen sleep time because moms are trained in the art of active listening, even while sleeping. Well guess what, they’re up and one of them has been awake long enough to have watched Blues Clues and two full cycles of Sportscenter and yet you refuse to shut it out.
That I went out last night:
On the rare occasion where we both go out together, such as for the killer 40th birthday party we attended last week, one of us invariably gets shafted the next day. It’s all well and good that someone is watching the kids at night, but where’s the babysitting service that watches kids at 5 am. Shit, I’d give time and a half for that action. You know why there’s no Uber dark for early morning babysitting, it’s because the only people up at 5 am are parents who have kids with bad sleep hygiene or college kids who still haven’t gone to sleep yet. But honestly, just throwing it out there, if someone is interested in a weekly 5 am gig, I’m open. I’m looking at you Jyoti. You said you wanted to be in the blog. Tell Eric of 6 Oak Aged Arrogant Bastards fame that he has to be up with the girls because you have to be at the Roseman house for Blues Clues with Bennett.
Opening my right eye:
I don’t wear a patch or anything or have astigmatism, I just can’t fully commit to the day this early. From the time I stumble into Bennett’s room at this time of night, let’s be real, it’s dark therefore still night, to the moment I finally relent at some point and brew that pot of coffee, I walk around or lie down or stand, with one eye closed, like an idiot. The other day, after the aforementioned party we went to (shout out to Kevin and Danielle), my right eye remained shut from 5:10-8:25 at which point Emily mercifully came down. Typically, that’s not how this scene plays out, but you know what, miracles do happen. And on that Sunday, head hit pillow, white noise was blasting, and the next thing I knew it was 10:45. Glorious. But if that eye had been open, I would’ve been two coffees deep by the time 8:30 rolled around with no hope for a nap. Emily, you were my hero that morning.