I haven't figured this out yet . . .
So, today was drastically different from yesterday because of long naptimes and no meltdowns, due largely in part, to a good night’s rest. I think the happy face below illustrates what a glorious day today was compared to yesterday.
I’ve thus far been blessed with relatively good sleepers for children. Though, I will admit that last night’s bedtime was just as difficult as the day had been, probably because I was not the one to put them to bed.
While my wife is awesome in just about every possible way, I surpass her only in my ability to put the children to sleep. She finds this frustrating because she likes to be better than me at everything, but I honestly think it’s just because they like her more, so when she’s around, they don’t want to go to sleep. She is the fun one after all, while I’m mean, grumpy daddy.
Or, maybe it’s because when I’m around, they know I mean business. Oh, who am I kidding, that’s just me being delusional. For whatever reason, the kids respond to me better at bedtime, which I guess works out since I’m home with them all the time. Better sleeping babies means a better chance for the parents to get a good night’s sleep. That is, unless, your babies wake up in the middle of the night; and they all do at some point.
There’s only one major flaw in our bedtime system, and the breakdown occurs when I fall asleep. Unfortunately for my wife, I’m a heavy sleeper and she is not. When I first became a dad I couldn’t understand how so many parents were tormented by a baby who woke them up every few hours while my sweet bundle of joy basically slept through the night. I was blissfully ignorant of the fact that my child was no different than other people’s kids, until my wife started asking me how I couldn’t have heard the shrill newborn screams coming from our son, only feet away from me every night.
To perhaps better illustrate what a heavy sleeper I am, I will tell you a true story.
Shortly after I’d graduated from high school, when I could sleep in every day of the week, our house was broken into early one morning when we’d all normally be on our way to school and work. Now, I didn’t grow up in a terribly dangerous neighborhood, but our house got broken into a lot when I was growing up, so we weren’t new to the experience. What was different about this time, was the fact that I was still in the house sleeping when it occurred.
Imagine my surprise early one morning, when my dad comes bursting into my room, screaming something about the house being robbed, and how could I have not heard them come and go. At first I thought I was dreaming, then I thought he was joking until I saw him scrambling around the house looking for what might have been taken. In the forty-five minute period that my dad was absent from the house, the thieves managed to walk away with our brand new computer, and some other smaller stuff that I don’t really remember. They likely opened the door to my room, saw me sleeping there, and decided to leave. I didn’t hear a thing.
But surely I could hear a screaming baby two feet from my face at three in the morning? Not so. I’m basically useless once I’ve fallen into a deep sleep and there’s no shot at waking me up, no matter how long and intense the screams.
I’m sure I have some kind of sleeping disorder, but why would I investigate a sleeping disorder that allows me to sleep through anything? That’s like having a sleeping super-power. If I happen to die in my sleep because there was a fire, and I didn’t wake up, wouldn’t that be better than dying in a fire while I was trying to escape?
While I think the adverse effects of my heavy sleeping are debatable, it sometimes makes life difficult for my wife. Particularly, when the kids wake up in the middle of the night and she has to try and put them back to sleep.
I’m not proud of abandoning my wife when I go to sleep, and I’m concerned about the likely years of her life she’s losing with all the sleep deprivation she’s had the last few years, while I’ve had virtually no loss of sleep; but that’s just how it is. The woman is a saint for dealing with it.