Night Owls

James Mehring

It wasn’t so long ago that Lyn and I talked excitedly of when our daughter would sleep through the night. We thought about the restful slumber we would get as well once the 3 a.m. feedings were history and she didn’t wake up at 3 a.m. crying to be changed. Well those days are over. My daughter hates to finally closer her eyelids for fear of missing something, but once she is out, that’s all until the morning.

The problem is Lyn and I aren’t getting those long nights of sleep that we envisioned. Instead, we have turned into a couple of night owls. Well, compared to when we used to hit the sack. We really enjoy getting down on the big blanket in our living room full of toys and books to play with our daughter but the time we have together once our daughter is asleep is also really valuable. It’s also the best time to get things done.

So each night after 9 p.m. or so, the time our curious baby now typically falls asleep, it’s a mad dash around the house. We clean, iron, pay the bills, and crash on the couch to watch a movie or talk. When it gets late into the evening it seems like the minutes tick off two at a time and before we realize, it is well after 11 p.m. That may not seem late for some, but Lyn gets up around 5:30 a.m. the next morning and I am out of bed a couple minutes later. Once we stir, our daughter is soon up rolling around in the crib with a big grin.

What’s more, we don’t really catch up during the weekend. It’s pretty much the same thing, although one of us is sometimes able to slip in a nap over the weekend. On Saturday and Sunday we are trying to spend as much time with our daughter as possible, and do weekly errands like grocery shopping (often doing both at the same time). I also take advantage of the quiet nights on the weekend to catch up on my reading for school. So we typically roll into bed around midnight and consider ourselves lucky if we get to sleep beyond 7 a.m. That’s about as long as the baby will let us sleep without making a peep. One can only roll around a crib so much before getting bored.

I am now beginning to think those nights of long, peaceful slumber are far far away.

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