Starting with Maddie, Heather and I have always been pretty good about sharing the misery of nighttime feedings. With James, we’ve come up with an arrangement where Heather feeds him around midnight before she joins me in bed, then gets up at the crack of dawn to feed him again. I have just one night shift, but it comes somewhere around 3:30 or 4 in the morning.

Even though I’ve done this twice before, I have to say that getting up in the middle of the night is still not fun. I force myself out of bed, sleepily change James’ diaper, then head to the kitchen where Heather has left me a bottle of milk. This will sound crazy to some of you, but lately I’ve been so tired that I’ve started to down a Diet Coke as I feed James. This wakes me up (which is much preferable to fighting to stay awake the whole feeding), and when it’s time to put James back down I’m usually tired enough that I get back to sleep in no time.

James at 4 a.m.: “You think you’re tired? Try being a freakin’ baby!”

The crazy thing I’ve found is that, as hard as it was with the girls, it’s worse now because we also have a toddler in the house. That means that – in addition to dealing with James – Heather and I have to get up in the middle of the night when Annie has a bad dream or needs to go to the bathroom. Oh yeah… and she’s an early riser, too, so there’s no sleeping in even if James is up for it.

It’s not all bad, though. There are a couple definite perks being up this late, the first of which is getting to watch whatever I want on television – not Sophia the First, not Grey’s Anatomy, but guy TV! This week I watched a documentary about Charles Bukowski on Netflix and then a show Heather refuses to be in the room for, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman. Funnily enough, this flashback post to when I fed Maddie at night says that Bizarre Foods was one of my shows of choice even then!

“I love this Bizarre Food show… but hey, all the food you people eat is bizarre to me!”

The biggest perk of all, though, is the guy I get to watch TV with. During the day I’m pulled in a lot of directions – with work, Annie, etc. – and James obviously spends most of his time with Heather. But during our four a.m. feedings it’s just the two of us. I love getting to bond with my little buddy, to hold him in my arms, to gaze at his cute little face and kiss his cheeks. It’s pretty special.

Still… I won’t cry once he starts sleeping through the night.