I have compiled a list of the ways I coped with sleep deprivation. Missing from the list (but still deserving of an honorable mention) are crying for no reason, eating chocolate, and talking to myself. I hope these will help you cope as well.
“Baby Nina,” I said. “Some things we need to discuss.
“Your Dad and I have talked (psychically because we are too tired to form real words), and we feel that you should sleep through the night now. We agree that you are a very sweet, lovely, beautiful baby, but let’s face it – you are getting older (10 months), and there is no reason to be up at 2:30.
“Now, I do love a smiling baby as much as anyone, so it is nice to see your sunshiny face; however, you need to understand: at 2:30 when I see you smiling and I say, ‘It is time to go to sleep, babe,’ and then you grin and nod YES, YES but don’t go to sleep? I have no choice but to believe this is sarcasm.
“Now, we love sarcasm in this family, but we believe that sarcasm is a power that should only be used for good. It would appear a 2:30 am, sarcastic baby wake-up call is evil. Evil genius maybe, but still evil.
“Please consider the old adage, ‘comedy is all in the timing,’ and rethink your current approach. Also, I will give you all the formula you can eat and any of the toys from your older sister that you have your eyes on. I will do this if you sleep.”
2) Transferring Anger to Spouse
Note to husband: next time you try to sneak the three year old birdie into our bed at 5:00 am (and then leave for work), remember to bring Mr. Binky the blanket. If not, our birdie will have a bird, and I get no sleep.
Also, when she asks for me to get it, she gets answers like, “Binky said he needs some space,” “You are making him a little claustrophobic,” “He prefers to sleep downstairs,” “He told me you snore.”
In fairness, I was up at 3 with our baby, too. Anyway, so … halvsies on therapy?[/nextpage]
3) Pitting the Siblings against One Another
“Dearest Nina, I did not think I could love you more, and then you started sleeping through the night (a couple weeks ago), and I realized I could, in fact, love you more. Much more. Do not ever stop doing that.
“Dearest Sophie, you may want to think about upping your game. This is not a competition, but you are losing. Go to bed at night! Saying, ‘I can’t go to sleep because I’m tired’ was mildly cute initially, but now we’re on thin ice. You unfortunately have a mother who requires a lot of beauty sleep (oh stop…I do too; you guys are too sweet).”
4) Enlisting Help of Others
I kind of need someone to write baby Nina a memo that at her age we can’t be getting up every couple hours. I would totally do it, but she cut a tooth, and since I’m her mom, it would sort of make me seem like an insensitive jerk if it were to come from me.
Understand that when we get your memo and I read it aloud to her, I will pretend you are crazy. I will do like a “Whaaaat? Pssshhh.” (Picture me doing a Will Smith from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air impression).
I’m hoping she would still get the hint.
There you go. Work your way down the list, and hopefully, sleep deprivation will be a thing of that past for you as well.
(Except it won’t. But it’s worth a try.)[/nextpage]