Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Well, folks, things are not rosy here in Dictator-ville.

I am currently doing battle with the breastfeeding-born bacterial infection known as MASTITIS. And it blows.

The fact that I developed said infection during the same week that I had to travel cross-country and husband-free with my two head-cold-ravaged children has lead me to the firm conclusion that in a past life I was likely either an overly-aggressive telemarketer or perhaps a professional puppy assassin, because NOTHING ELSE could possibly explain the epic level of personal misery I have been enduring.

As the great Madeline Kahn might say...

..."I'M TIRED."

You know how they say that Eskimos have over 40 words for snow? By this same logic I would suggest that new mothers should have something like 19,000 words for tired.

It starts with the 'I'm so pregnant there is no possible way I can get comfortable so I'll just lay here until I finally fall into a desperate sleep only to be woken ten minutes later by the overwhelming need to pee' tired. Then it evolves into the 'Oh My God I had the baby and I'm so elated/freaked/busy with feedings that I can't shut my eyes' tired. This is followed by the 'week after week of night feedings' tired (augmented, in my case, by the always lovely 'my older child is distressed by the arrival of the baby and chooses to express this by refusing to nap' tired).

At the risk of stating the obvious, I've always been someone who really liked my sleep. The moment I slip under 8 hours-a-night I transform, Incredible Hulk-like, into a monster of terrifying proportions. When David and I first started talking about having children I solemnly laid out my two greatest reservations about the idea:

NUMBER ONE: Having do deal with other people's vomit.

NUMBER TWO: The lack of sleep.

And, I have to say, I am a GENIUS, because both of these things are, in fact, UNBELIEVABLY TERRIBLE! Leaving behind the vomit stories for the moment (oh, don't worry, they'll be back!) the interrupted sleep, lack of sleep, and constant threat of not sleeping has been my greatest challenge of being a mother.

When my Dad was young he had some sort of surgery, the result of which was that he was not allowed to drink anything at all for several days. He remembers that when people would come to visit him he would just stare at them and think, "Why aren't you drinking? How could someone who was ALLOWED to drink just sit there not drinking!?!" It's a form of crazy that I can totally relate to these days because it is the same way that I feel about sleep.

I think about sleep all the time. Despite having never been all that great at math I find myself during night feedings able to calculate exactly how much sleep I am losing each time I glance at the digital clock on the nightstand. It has become an obsession that colors my perception of everything. When we were flying back last week I was looking through the in-flight magazine at an advertisement for some exotic resort. All I could think of while staring at the frolicking beachgoers was, "Those folks should head into that nice looking hotel there and get some rest, that place looks really nice. And why isn't anyone using those hammocks, they look so comfy?" These days when I hear stories of people beset by dread illnesses, my first reaction is often, "At least it sounds like they are getting to lie down a lot."

Look, I'm not asking for a whole lot of sympathy here. I get that it's not exactly a groundbreaking revelation that a woman with two children under two might be a tad bit fatigued. All I am trying to do is express the simple fact that I'm tired, and talk a little bit about sleep.....delicious, delicious sleep....

...because, folks, as you may have already deduced, it is all I can think about.