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September 15, 2013 / ginavoskov2013

Things you probably shouldn’t do.

Last night was one of those nights where everyone in the house was sleeping except for me. I couldn’t shut my mind off starting from the moment Dennis WOKE ME UP around 11pm to ask me whether or not the cat should sleep in our room.

Rule #1: Never wake me up.

Just never ever ever wake me up. ESPECIALLY to ask me a question that you can probably figure out the answer to by yourself based on the fact that for the past month the cat has not slept in our room. (Once, when Edith was 3 weeks old, Dennis woke me up in the morning to show me that he had put pants on her. My response was so violent that I thought he’d learned never to wake me up. Apparently not.)

From that moment on, I couldn’t get back to sleep. My mind was racing with thoughts ranging from the lyrics to this Brazilian song that was stuck in my head to what exactly is Ester C? I got up to drink a glass of milk at midnight and knew in about an hour Edith would be up for a snack. So then I had to weigh the benefits of trying to sleep for another hour (and we all know when you try to sleep, you don’t) or just riding it out until I was sure she would wake up.

Rule #2: Never be sure about anything.

But of course, OF COURSE, she didn’t wake up at 1. And as Zen as I was trying to be about staying up until she woke, I could feel myself crumbling. Melting is more like it. Or boiling? The Thoughts started creeping in. The Bad Thoughts.

Exhibit A–a glimpse at my thoughts anywhere between 1 and 3am:

Okay, fine, cool, just be cool about this. Dennis is sleeping, Edie’s sleeping, everything’s fine. Just be still. Be calm. Don’t think about sleep. Breathe deeply…

Maybe if I put a pillow between my knees I’ll feel better. Ahhhh…yes. That’s what I needed. What are those lyrics, anyway? “La vem a Baiana, something, something, something…” I wish I’d kept up with my Portuguese. That’s the only song on the CD that I can understand and it’s probably because she sings it slowly. I wonder if Kendra can understand lyrics to fast songs sung in Portuguese? It was great to see Mandy today. Remember the name of that dance place I went to? Cooperativa? That was a fun night. Was that the night I came home and passed out on the dining room floor and thought I’d lost my earrings? Which earrings were those–the ones from Anthropologie. I still have that gift certificate Sam gave me. I wonder when I’ll use it? Damnit, I wish Dennis wouldn’t breathe through his mouth when he sleeps. I hate mouth breath. Oh–was that Edie? Was that a sleep noise or a waking noise? Ugh, I’m hot. Why did I go to sleep with socks on? I never sleep with socks on. Jesus, he takes up so much fucking room in this bed. Pillow flip time! Nice and cool. I wonder what time it is? I bet it’s 2. Don’t check the clock. If you check the clock, the light will make your brain stop producing sleep hormones and you will have sealed your fate. Don’t check the clock. Don’t check…shit. It’s 2am. I knew it. Fucking hell. When is she going to wake up? If she wakes up now then I’ll be able to feed her and then fall asleep. Wake up, wake up, wake up. I can’t sleep on my stomach because my boobs hurt. If I could only lie down on my stomach I’d be able to sleep. Dennis get your pointy fucking elbow out of my side. Don’t touch me. Why in Christ’s name would he wake me up to ask about the cat? Seriously? He can’t use logic to figure that out? I sit up. He rubs my back. I let him. He lets his hand fall to my side. He’s asleep again. Too much touching. Get your hand off me. And another thing–why can’t he do some research about raising a baby? Why am I the one who has to tell him everything? Why does this all fall on me? He’s got the internet all over the place. Figure out how to thaw breastmilk, buddy. Why do I have to tell him the answers to all his questions? This is just like the birth preparation. I did all the reading and he did *some* of the reading. And in the end, it didn’t go as planned. I don’t think he took that seriously. But parenting is a whole new ballgame! He has to take this seriously! We have to be on the same page about everything. Why doesn’t he know what I know?

 

Rule #3: Never say anything out loud.

“Dennis.”

“Huh?”

“Dennis, wake up. Stay up with me please.”

“Okay.”

“It’s 3am and I’ve been up since midnight. I can’t sleep. Stay up with me.”

“Okay.”

[silence. silence. silence. silence.]

“Dennis.”

“What?”

“Are you awake?”

“Yes.”

“Why aren’t you saying anything?”

“What should I say?”

“You’re sleeping.”

“Okay.”

“You know what? Fucking ENJOY YOUR SLEEP.” [Grabbing a book that I have zero intention to read, I storm out of the bedroom to the living room, where I proceed to call him an asshole, but very quietly so as not to wake everyone up. After a few minutes of quiet rumbling to myself and feeble attempts to sleep (with my glasses on. Really, Gina?) I go back to the bedroom.

I fumble around with the bedsheets, making a big production of getting comfortable. The Bad Thoughts start again, this time about Noise. The construction site across the street from our apartment begins making noise Monday through Friday at 6:30am. Saturday mornings, the new low-flying (read: directly over our building) flight pattern at LaGuardia airport gets going at 6am. Sunday, therefore, is the only day of the week when my mornings are quiet. Factor in that Saturdays and Sundays are the only days when Dennis is around to allow me a couple extra hours of precious sleep in the morning and when yesterday was Saturday and the planes were going and going…well, my only hope for *any* sleep is on Sundays.
Suddenly, it is 4am and in the distance I hear the familiar rumblings of an airplane. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. I push Dennis awake and sob that Now I hear planes and it’s 4am and I’ve been awake since you asked me about Otis and why in the world would you ever ask me about Otis? I get out of bed, flop myself on the floor in Child’s pose for several minutes and then flop back into bed. When I am certain (See Rule #2) that Dennis is asleep and that I’ll be awake until the end of time, I whisper, “I hate you.”

For the record, I whisper this every time he is able to sleep and I’m not. Even before Edith was in the picture, I hated him for mouth-breathing the night away while I lay awake, my mind a boiling mess of evil thoughts. Also for the record, and he knows this, he is the last creature on Earth whom I hate. There is not a second that goes by when I am not grateful and full-on in love with him and feel completely lucky to have that man as my husband and father to my little girl. But sometimes I hate him, and them’s the breaks.

Somewhere around 6am, Edith wakes up fussing for food.

I hear from Dennis, “Do you want me to take her?”

“And do what?” I respond.

“I don’t know.”

I feed her. The sun is up. I give her to him. I sleep.

 

Rule #4: Never stay mad.

I hear Edith wailing. It’s nearly 10am. She must be hungry. I take her from Dennis, feed her, watch her fall asleep. I smell crepes coming from the kitchen. Dennis walks in with a sample of crepe that he’s improved upon from yesterday’s attempt. I eat it silently. I do everything silently for the next hour, unless it’s talking to Edith and then I am joyful and happy. But with Dennis, I answer him in one-syllable grunts, or shrugs. He cuts fresh fruit. He puts on Ray Charles. Asks me if I want maple syrup for the crepes. Asks if I want tea. I make coffee.

Slowly we begin to warm to each other, or, rather, I warm to him. What was I mad about last night? Is it something I should talk with him about? I should let this go. I can’t even remember why he was the target of my frustration. More than frustration. I look at a magazine he’d shown me yesterday with a rug he was interested in getting. I consider it. I tell him I want to go to a store today to get another outfit for Edith. We talk about the consistency of the crepes. Indeed, they are better than yesterday’s. We look at Edith. She’s asleep in her swing, finally. He’d had trouble with her morning nap. I can empathize. I have trouble with her naps all the time. I’ve had three months of feeding her myself, putting her down for naps; he hasn’t.

And then, as I’m browsing baby outfits online, adding them to my shopping cart, Dennis starts to laugh. He bends over to kiss me on my cheek and he is still laughing. I ask why he’s laughing, but he’s laughing too hard to say. Is it because I’m shopping for $8 onesies with the same amount of seriousness I’d previously shopped for Anthropologie clothes? “Don’t laugh at me! Why are you laughing??”

And before I know it, he’s whispering: “I hate you” in the same tone I’d used just a few hours before when I was certain he wouldn’t hear me.

What can I do? What can I do but laugh and say it again: I hate you. And he is kissing my cheek and laughing and I am laughing and so thankful the tension is gone. He’d heard me. He’d heard everything. All the swears, the groans, the cursing, all night long. He’d been awake the whole time, just like me. Talk about the strong silent type.

 

Rule #5: No one said this was going to be easy.

 

 

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4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. meeshie / Sep 16 2013 7:48 am

    So I was gonna pop through here and ask if you were sleeping yet but.. umm.. nevermind. Yeah. *backs slowly out of the blog*

    • ginavoskov2013 / Sep 16 2013 8:04 am

      Ha! She only woke up once last night so we all got a little more sleep than usual. Now it’s morning nap time! Yay!

      • meeshie / Sep 16 2013 4:06 pm

        Mine is starting to teethe, I think. Sleep is getting a little wonky again. I suppose they stop changing their sleep schedules before college, right? lol

      • ginavoskov2013 / Sep 16 2013 6:10 pm

        Oh god PLEASE.
        Also, not looking forward to teething.

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