Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Nights are Forever Without You…"

The sleep-deprived brain is a funny thing. At least — if you live a relatively safe modern life it is. I don't know how funny it would be if you had any particular fear of sabre-toothed tigers or huns showing up in your quarters. Fortunately, we do not. Beyond typical American wage and class fears, we're reassuringly safe. Which gives the brain free reign when it comes to sleep deprivation.

Slumber Fencing  or ATNR if you prefer.
Every night is an adventure for Team PJ (Points-Jeffries) and sleep is available but not in the chunks to which Lucy and I have been accustomed for most of our lives (dating back, one must suppose to our own infancies). Overview: Two hours is good; Four hours is grand; and 25 minutes isn't out of the question. Woe upon those 25 minute sessions, punctuated not by an explosion of crying (ok — sometimes by an explosion of crying) but rather by this volcanoesque gurgling, burbling, twitching, stretching… volcanos can take a long time to erupt and so can Miss Libby Lee. And you can know the symptoms, the portenders, but still not be able to predict what's coming.

Increasingly, that's okay with me.

I know lots of the things to do to calm the seether, to sedate the simmer. Lucy and I both have found a new love for our super-soft matching bathrobes that previously hung neglected in our respective closets. Mine is now thoughtfully tossed onto the floor beside the bed each evening as I quote-unquote retire, a concept that's taken on ridiculous dimensions. Stretching, yawning, getting "ready for bed," climbing in and knowing that the whole thing make go down in flames in — what was that? — 25 minutes? It could happen. It often does.

Libby sleeps with us. It was one of the early head-scratchers and hand-wringers. We've got no less than three amazing cradle-bed type contraptions, all of which are absolutely divine nests — a series of condos, if you will — for Mr. Mustard, who we cannot keep out of them. And why not? It's not like Libby Lee has spent a second (yet) in any of them. No, she sleeps between Lucy and I and if you disapprove, keep it to yourself. We're done debating it.

I remember probably the second night we were home and I slept on my side, my arm wrench-wrapped around my baby girl, my shoulder wrenching out of its socket, weighing the relative discomfort of my position to the wonder of my sleeping daughter — and the threat of her waking. Or: would I roll onto her and smother her? Better just to stay exactly like this and not sleep.

The next night I got my another taste of her charm. Sleeping between us now, she would squirm, while fully swaddled towards me, gazing longingly — and inaccurately — upon me as a food source. Smack smack smack… squirm squirm squirm. I'd doze off for just moments and open my eyes to her … nearer and nearer. The next time I wake up, it's to a peculiar sensation of Libby Lee latching on to my shoulder. Uh-uh, girlie! You've got the wrong one!

We'd heard the worst. You'll roll onto her. She'll smother. It's dangerous. (Not unanimous, but still…) One night, with my wife asleep and our daughter slumbering, squinched up to her side, my hand resting on the impossibly perfect curve of the Little Shoogie, I found some strange resolve and defiance inside me that said: She's fine. We're fine. We're all going to sleep together and be fine, and anybody who says otherwise can go to hell. This is great, the best. 

And it is. Sleeping with the Little Shoogie cleaved up against my collarbone, her impossibly perfect legs tucked up against her belly in a way that only Bikram can really pull off, is the best — the very best.
Considered with my daughter bouncing in the bouncing seat beside me to the strains of The Free Design Sing for Very Important People and Stewart Copeland's Rumble Fish soundtrack, which is a record I've always always wanted to play for a baby.

No comments:

Post a Comment