Friday, October 7, 2011


My brain functions much differently than it did before I had kids. Now I expend my limited brain power on much different topics. Here's a chart showing the types of things I thought about before I had kids:

And now that I have kids, here's how things stand:

One of the main reasons I spend so much time thinking about sleep is that the sleep that I do get is complete crap. (Would that fall into the "sleep" portion of the pie chart or the "poop" slice?) Despite showing early promise, Baby W has proven to be a very temperamental sleeper, who wakes up at the drop of a hat. In fact, I think it would be fair to say that he wakes at the literal drop of a hat, since the tiniest sound can wake him. The sound of someone dropping a hat in China could wake him, especially if it was one of those bamboo ones shaped like cones, as I imagine those are quite noisy when dropped.

I don't like getting woken up three or four times a night by Baby W, but I am resigned to the fact that he is still very small, and I'm holding out hope that his sleep will improve soon. But I do get quite irritated when Stella adds to the problem by waking me up another time or two. Too many wakeups makes it hard for me to get through the day, and I can only spend so much time dozing at work face down on the keyboard before my boss will begin to suspect something.

After one night when the kids seemed to be in competition as to who could wake me up the most, I staggered downstairs in the morning and wrote out a list of night time rules for Stella. Then I posted the rules on the bedroom door, much the way Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the church door. Or as Martin Luther would have, if he had had access to Scotch tape:

I realize you can't actually read the rules from that photo, so I'll summarize:
1. Don't wake me up in the middle of the night.
2. No seriously, don't wake me up.
3. Look, I'm not kidding. If I don't start getting some sleep around here I am really going to lose it. Do not wake me unless it's an emergency.
4. "My pillow is crooked" is not an emergency.

By the way, when David and I were discussing the new rules, he told me that in school he and his friends referred to Martin Luther's demands as the "95 Feces." David's parents were not well off, but they scrimped and saved and pinched pennies so they could send him to Catholic school, where they thought he would get a superior religious and academic education. Little did they know that he would repay them by thinking up obscene nicknames for important historical events.

As an aside: I have retained very little about Martin Luther from my high school history days, but I do remember the Diet of Worms. "Diet" refers to a type of assembly, and Worms is the city in Germany at which the assembly took place, at which Martin Luther had to defend his habit of eating nightcrawlers. Diet of Worms! Diet of Worms! You know, I could just say that all day long, although naturally I would want to take a break in order to say Imperial Diet of Worms! which, according to Wikipedia, is technically the correct way to refer to the body. I imagine that the sign welcoming visitors to the city of Worms gets stolen all the time. Probably Martin Luther stole the sign himself.

Okay, I feel like I'm getting some blank looks here. Does anybody else remember the Diet of Worms? Anybody? One thing I like about David is that by golly I can count on him to know about topics like the Diet of Worms. Of course, I can also count on him to launch into a comprehensive, not all that interesting description of the Diet of Worms and the effect it had on later...sorry, I stopped paying attention.

Are the new night time rules going to have any effect on improving my sleep? My guess is that I will be able to work with Stella to cut back on the number of times she wakes me up, but I really have no idea as to when Baby W's sleep will improve. Mostly I'm just trying to hang in there and hope that the problem solves itself with time. Until then, I'll continue my over-reliance on caffeine and do whatever it takes to get through the day. And by all means, I'm going to avoid a Diet of Worms.


  1. You know, I'm not surprised that was the takeaway message for you, Conor.

  2. Great post. When I showed CJ the pie charts he thought they were mine at first....we too get some really low-grade sleep around here. The one positive side of allergy season, Sudafed during the day.

  3. ok.. so i am usually up once a night to assist a certain someone walk to the bathroom (because of course his closet is dark). isn't that reason enough? i can't make headway yet on that one... but i do occasionally get an afternoon nap whilst julian watches a video (i know many don't approve. whatever.) but.. the rule regarding my nap and waking me up is: if it is an emergency, and blood is an emergency. pretty much nothing else is, unless you, julian would think it is on-par with blood. [of course there are other rules-- like no answering the door, julian must stay upstairs to resist the temptation to open the door/answer the door/eat. he is quite the rule follower, so this blood thing has worked out well. is blood on your nighttime list?!