I’m going to preface this by saying that I have a lot of frustration, and it is resulting in totally misplaced anger.
Now that we have that out of the way, I would like to propose what I think is the best solution for one of the world’s most pressing problems:
Every parent in the world who has an infant who sleeps through the night should line up on one side, and every parent who deals with sleepless nights should line up on another. One by one, each sleep-deprived parent gets to wind up and punch a well-rested parent in the face.
I’m talking no apologies, no-nonsense, just bare knuckles full-force striking on a raw cheekbone. Pack a fist full of frustration and explode it onto a fresh face. They don’t have bags under their eyes? We can fix that with a bruise that will last a week.
Listen here, “eight hours a night” mommy, before you tell me that I have rage issues, I think we should talk about this a little more.
I know it isn’t your fault your kid sleeps through the night. I can guarantee you that I have done EVERYTHING you have done to coerce my child into lying peacefully from dusk to dawn. Yes, everything.
I have listened to the screaming.
I have co-slept.
I have added an extra feeding to lull my child to sleep with a very full belly.
We have a nighttime routine, a sound machine and an Internet history jam-packed with stupid advice blogs that have done nothing but leave me even more frustrated.
I very much know that when it comes down to it, whether or not a child sleeps through the night has nothing to do with parenting and everything to do with the fact that God simply loves you more than he loves me.
That being said, you’re probably saying, “But, Kate, if you know it isn’t my fault my child sleeps through the night, why do you want to punch me?”
The answer is simple: Because you told me your baby sleeps through the night.
This is one of those Fight Club situations. The first rule of having an infant who sleeps through the night is that you never talk about having an infant who sleeps through the night.
Even if I ask you how your child sleeps, make up a lie. You can see from my face that I do not sleep at night. I have eyeliner scribbled onto just one eye and a unibrow that Burt would envy. I have a ponytail that now stays in place solely because my hair is so knotted and crusty that it just “is” on top of my head.
I remember nothing. I retain no new knowledge. I am fortunate that I can change diapers with my eyes shut, or else the baby would live in filth.
Parents who get sleep have a totally unfair advantage over the rest of us. Sometimes, as I uselessly will my child to sleep, I wonder if you smiling, refreshed people will eventually replace us, evolution-wise. It would make sense. You clearly can make better life decisions, as I think being “with it” is probably a key survival skill.
But maybe, my half-functioning brain challenges, those of us who never sleep are scrappy enough to fight back. If you were to rank a list of people you never want to aggravate, “sleep-deprived mommy” is second only to Ron Artest. And he is a parent, so his craziness may be directly linked to a lack of shut-eye.
Maybe we can even the playing field.
Maybe, just maybe, those of us with bags under our eyes and mismatched clothing still have a chance.
And I think that chance lies in punching you in the face.
One good, clean punch. Right in the kisser.
If I ever reach a deep enough sleep to dream, I hope I dream about that.