As I write this I am in complete and utter shock. Disbelief. Amazement. It’s 8 o’clock in the morning and Mason is still asleep. He stayed the fuck asleep! This has never happened before. Well, it’s never happened to his mommy and daddy. Let me start at the beginning—when Mason was a super tiny human, fresh out of the womb.
Before Mason was born, we hired a night nurse. Night nurses are like popular wedding venues. They book up at least a year in advance. So when I was three months pregnant, my husband and I met with and hired Nurse Jackie, after her promise that most of her babies successfully sleep through the night by two months. I know what you’re thinking. I was duped. What baby actually sleeps from seven to seven at two months? Silly new mom-to-be. Just wait until that baby is actually here.
The plan was for Jackie to come three nights a week for four weeks. Jackie came after we had been home from the hospital for three days. Obviously those three nights were hell and Mason barely slept. The only place he would sleep was in that Fisher Price Rock and Play monkey chair. We had a beautiful bassinet that my mom insisted on buying us and Mason hated it. He would scream the minute we put him down in it. I should also mention that by three, I was well into the beginnings of postpartum depression. The perfect snapshot of parenthood at our house consisted of me asleep in a pool of my own tears and my husband asleep with his arm hanging off the bed from rocking mason in the “monkey chair” until they both fell asleep.
When Jackie arrived on that third day, life well night-life changed for the better. She took Mason, bathed him, and put him to bed in his crib. In his crib! We had never planned to sleep him anywhere other than his crib, but we obviously sucked at accomplishing this by ourselves. My husband and I became so spoiled by Jackie’s presence. What started as three nights for four weeks turned into seven nights for two months. Jackie and her aunt switched off as Mason’s night nurses. Of course Jackie needed some time with her own family. Although at that point, I would have resorted drugs or prostitution to be able to pay her to move in with us.
When the two months were up, Mason was sleeping through the night, from seven to seven. I know you want to punch me in the face right now. I should make it clear that I had always planned to supplement breastfeeding with formula at night. Since breastfeeding all other times of the day didn’t work out so well, Mason quickly became an exclusively formula fed baby. I think his champion sleep habits are largely a result of that. Not having to breastfeed or pump at night also meant I could sleep while Jackie was there. And as I was suffering from severe postpartum depression, sleep was about the only thing I could successfully do on most days.
So here was Mason, our champion sleeper. While my husband and I faced other challenges, we were very spoiled in the sleep department. I could definitely handle a child who woke up between 7 and 7:30 in the morning, even with postpartum depression.
We switched Mason to a big boy bed at two years old and he slept even better than in the crib. Some mornings he would sleep to 7:45. Again, I know you want to punch me in the face. If he got up early, he would look through books in his room or play with a toy until I came to get him ready for the day. This also meant I could take my sweet-ass time getting out of bed.
Please hold your punches though. Even though Mason can sleep past seven, we have had plenty of sleepless nights where he has woken up screaming. Rarely he falls right back to sleep. Most times he gets out of bed and it takes at least three rounds of multiple books and trips to the potty before he even agrees to lie back down to fall asleep. And parents know better than anyone that having to wake up in the middle of the night fucks up everything for the following day.
Recently, Mason has started falling asleep later (and we still put him in bed between 7:30 and 8pm) and waking up between 6 and 6:30 am, which really doesn’t work for me. If I go to sleep later, I can usually sleep later. Unfortunately for me, my toddler does not possess this skill. I am so used to his rockstar sleep habits that this has been such a shock to the system and I walk around as a zombie most days. I know you don’t feel bad for me at all. I’m comfortable with that.
What makes it even worse, is that when he sleeps for anyone other than his mommy and daddy, he sleeps until almost 8 am. If he sleeps at his Zayde’s house, he wakes up close to 8. Or he wakes up earlier and then decides to go back to sleep. Or Zayde gets him and brings him in his bed to watch cartoons and then he falls back to sleep there. Last week, his Aunt came to stay with him and in the morning she walked into his room at 8 and he said, “More sleep,” and that little fucker fell back to sleep until 8:45.
So WTF dude? I carried you for nine months! I gave up alcohol, sushi and turkey and brie sandwiches for you. I gained over 50 pounds that I am still trying to lose for you. My stomach was sliced open to allow you to come into this world. Why can’t you stay the fuck asleep…for the number one woman in your life, the girl you love the most, your best friend until you leave me for hopefully a nice, not bitchy Jewish girl one day. You have excreted every kind of bodily fluid on me. You have ripped my hair our, scratched my face, head-butted me in the nose, and pinched my boobs until I cried out.
Some nights, I can’t fall asleep until it’s really late because I’m too busy worrying about you, praying nothing bad ever happens to you and hoping I don’t screw you up too much, which means I could really use that extra hour in the morning. Motherhood is no joke. This shit is hard. So I’m asking, begging you, please stay the fuck asleep!