Sorry to beat a dead horse, but about this sleep thing: I cannot handle myself AT ALL (let alone another small, dependant person) when I have not slept well. This will probably end up being the main reason that we have one child.
I am truly and deeply afraid that I will become some sad news story that people cluck their tongues at if we subject our family to the additional sleep deprivation that a second baby would bring. I used to shake my head and marvel, “What was that woman thinking?” Now I know the answer: She wasn’t. She was just completely out of her head with exhaustion. There have been times when we have only made it through the night unscathed because I am not a single parent. I have no idea what would occur at 2:30am if I didn’t have another person to lean on, complain to, and sometimes even blame, for my utter misery. (Sorry Rich, really.)
Maybe the news tragedy was a true accident? Perhaps this tired mom mindlessly forgot to secure the baby gate, or push all the sharp knives beyond reach? In my overtired state I’ve done both, and have merely been fortunate enough to catch my mistakes in time, keeping disaster averted. You and I both know this stuff happens in a heartbeat.
I’m mostly recovered from last week’s three day fever and several nights of co-sleeping—though it surely addled my brain. I tried to see the humor when Josh literally used my head as his pillow in the middle of the night. But I was terrified that he was burning up through his dose of (generic) Motrin and I definitely couldn’t laugh when I saw that my Tylenol had been recalled. Later it seemed so absurd, like a comedy of errors, but I still griped bitterly to Rich the next day about how it had been The Worst Night Ever.
“You think so? Nah, you’re just forgetting all the other bad nights. What about puke night?” he inquired.
And I wondered how I could have possibly forgotten puke night! Every time we’d gotten Josh and ourselves cleaned up, he’d thrown up all over everything again. At one point we all sat, reeking, in the middle of the living room in nothing but our underwear— and I was sure there was no point at all in getting dressed ever again.
But there was, and we did. And he’ll surely have another stomach bug someday.
When Josh first arrived, during those first tenuous months, Rich announced our success often: “We’ve managed to keep you alive for two whole weeks,” he’d declare. Now we’ve managed to survive an entire two years as a family. But I’m not planning to tempt fate. I don’t think it has a lot to do with our stellar parenting skills, we’ve just been lucky.