I left the house without my keys this morning. I walked out the front door and stood in front of my car for a full minute, trying to process the problem facing me. Finally, it occurred to me that since the car was locked, I should find someway of altering that situation. I went back inside and promptly forgot why I’d done that.
Back in college, we used to joke that, “Sleep is a crutch!” We’d stay up until the wee hours of the morning talking, then drag ourselves – bleary-eyed – to any class that had the audacity to take place before noon. For two years, I participated in Children’s Theatre. This class required me to be present at 7 a.m., before we costumed up and went to perform teachable lessons at school assemblies around the Bay Area. That is the full extent of my memories of the program. I may have even slept-walked through a couple performances. (I do recall dressing up as a mama bear and a gypsy…)
Then I landed a job that required my tushy to be in my chair at my desk by 6 a.m. (NYSE hours). I still occasionally stayed up through the wee hours – but my definition of “wee hours” rapidly changed: any point on the clock involving double-digits. (In hindsight, I don’t think I’ll even specify between standard and military time.)
Interestingly enough, the muppets have been sleeping far more these days – practically through the night. We even had a stint from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. this week. But the stress and sleep deprivation of these past five months is starting to catch up with me. I am now fully aware of why they call it “mommy brain.”
A recent Yahoo! Health article points out some of the most common sleep misconceptions. Number one is that people can be “short sleepers.” The article goes on to say that the majority of adults need at least 7-8 hours of sleep, per night, to remain healthy. These scientists obviously do not have children.
According to BabyCenter.com, most muppet-aged babies (I’m averaging actual and adjusted ages) sleep a total of 12 to 15 hours a day, including nighttime sleep and naps. And, around three months, little ones begin to develop more of a regular sleep/wake cycle and no longer require as many midnight snacks.
But in addition to sleeping more at night, Search and Destroy are far more alert during the day. It’s awesome to see them looking around, wide-eyed, as they take in everything new to the world for them. I may complain about the exhaustion from being “on” 24/7, but their discoveries certainly put a new perspective on things.
I have no idea what I’m doing as a new mom. I’m sure being on high-alert in anticipation of their next adventure is what makes me tired – well, that waking up at their every movement to make sure they’re okay. But that absolutely must pale with the exhaustion from trying to learn how to live.
Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure their wonder of learning all things new and exciting includes the genetic predisposition of “Sleep is a crutch!” Why sleep when stuff might be happening?!