It all started when I was a teenager. I remember filling my ears with earplugs, positioning my eye mask and adhering a Post-it warning on the door: "Do NOT wake me for any reason - including a fire. In the event of a fire, firefighters alone are allowed to disturb me." (Yes, I really did post a note like that. And yes, I realize firefighters would probably not approve of that escape plan).
It's true. I was obsessed. I loved my sleep. And truth is, I still do. I love the restful moments before you drop off into a deep slumber... I love the dreams that I insist could translate into Oscar-worthy screenplays... and I definitely love that refreshed feeling you have upon waking up from a good night's sleep.
Ahh... sleep. Such a sweet memory.
I'd say the last time I had a good night's sleep... was, well, maybe January 16, 2012? As is often the case, the arrival of my darling baby has marked the beginning of a whole new sleep-deprived chapter in my life. Turns out, Isabella is one of those babies who prefers "snacking" to full-course meals during the night. Not to mention, she continues to have her days and nights confused. And that means... Mommy and Daddy have not slept more than a few hours at a time for the last five weeks.
Not that we're unique in that surreal, sleepy state... after all, you can find families with young children on any street, in any neighborhood. (Translation: you can find zombie-like parents on any street, in any neighborhood). No question - others can relate to the challenges of this newborn time. But maybe there are some "benefits" to which they can also relate? Yes... here goes... my attempt at surmising a sleepy silver lining. I present to you the Top 11 "Benefits" of Sleep Deprivation.
11. You suddenly find humor in ALL TV sitcoms, including those on NBC! (Oh no, I didn't! The Office and 30 Rock excluded, of course, as they're ALWAYS funny - regardless of how much one has slept).
10. You're now completely satisfied with (and sufficiently challenged by) the reading level of your toddler's books. (Think Dr. Seuss. For example, Green Eggs and Ham only introduces about 50 words... and many of them have only one syllable!).
9. You remain fascinated by every twist, turn and development in the Republican Primary race. Enough written.
8. Accomplishing the smallest tasks - paying a bill, making a phone call, emptying the dishwasher - now represents a major milestone.
7. Showers and overall personal hygiene suddenly seem so optional. (A "benefit" to you, perhaps... but perhaps not to those around you?).
6. You finally and truly identify with your cats... the nocturnal part of them, that is. Not so much the part that gets to sleep all day (ahh... sleep).
5. Given your "mushy" mind, others forgive your grammatical errors and typos in most any e-mail, thank you note or BLOG (So if you notice sum mistakes in this blog, just remember I'm tyred. Really, really tyred).
4. What others pay big dollars and break the law for (acts involving illegal substances), you now attain completely naturally. Yes, that sleep stupor does indeed put you into a daze or fog of sorts.
3. You don't mind the cold... the snow... or the lack of snow... because, fact is, you're inside anyway... awaiting your next opportunity to nap!
2. Oh this is a good one... the best part of sleep deprivation is... zzzzzzzzzzzzz (Sorry, I fell asleep before finishing that thought).
And the number one "benefit" of sleep deprivation is...
1. No matter how little sleep you get, you instantly forget the exhaustion upon looking into the face of the very one causing the deprivation. It's in that moment, you realize the exhaustion... the stupor... the fog... It's all worth it.
The other night, I set Isabella down on the bed and asked her... "So little one, will we be getting any sleep tonight?" Her response? One of her very first smiles - a crooked little mischievous half-grin. *By the way, in case you missed it last time, please feel free to check out Isabella's first photos with her family.
And there you have it. My life right now. But lest you think my lack of sleep has me wishing for more rejuvenating days (and nights), think again. Exhausted though I am, I know better than to wish these days away. I have only to look at Isabella's big sister, Grace, to realize that five weeks will so quickly become five months and more.
So... from my sleepy state... to our now snowy state. I do hope everyone is doing well and enjoying a long-awaited chance to build a snowman. I wish you all a continued pleasant and mild winter. And of course, I wish everyone pleasant dreams! Until next time, take care. And in the words of Mike Wallace, "do well, and do good."
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)