The number one question I get asked lately is “Are you getting any rest?”
“No,” I always reply, “I am exhausted.”
The asker always gives me a sympathetic smile, “New babies are draining.”
New babies? They have crappy schedules, but they are simple creatures who sleep the majority of the day. New babies alone are a cakewalk. Toddlers, on the other hand, are energy-sapping little humans who sense weakness and can not stand it when you exhibit any sign of weariness.
That whole “sleep when the baby sleeps” thing that worked so well for me when Annabel was a baby is impossible now that she is a toddler. When James is down, Annabel is:
a) Touching him
b) Trying to touch him
c) Climbing on me
d) Singing loudly
e) Asking for something (usually food)
f) Touching him, again
Annabel hasn’t reliably napped in well over a year. That means when she wakes up in the morning, she’s up until bed time. BED TIME. That’s twelve hours when she’s awake, and usually James is sleeping during ten of those hours. The other day, I offered Annabel a million dollars and a bowl of ice cream if she would lay quietly next to me on the couch for an hour while James and I napped (she declined, but then spent the rest of the day asking me about ice cream).
The thing that makes me the most tired? The early wake-up. Normally Annie sleeps until 8am. Lately, however, if James wakes up to eat between 6am and 8am, Annabel hears him and is up for the day (because the second she can see the tiniest bit of sun outside her window, she thinks the day has started). And when she’s awake, she needs food, play, stimulation, more food, a drink, no not a drink in this cup, a drink in THAT cup. Any hope of catching a few more hours of sleep is dashed.
There is one special location where both children will nap: the car. Of course, since I am driving the car, I can’t take advantage of the dual sleeping.
And as cute as it is to see them both sleeping and holding hands, all I can think is “I WANT TO SLEEP TOOOOOO.”
New babies should come with mandatory rest hours that the entire family must abide by. Also, they should come with chauffeurs so I can take car naps.