Back when Charlie was a newborn, Ellis was five and Nate was fourteen and I could actually follow that old saw "sleep when your baby sleeps." It's very different with Isaac. The past four weeks have been bleary ones with the constant hum of the washing machine as soundtrack. Charlie is not quite four and in a phase where if I fell asleep on duty, he probably wouldn't kill himself, but could sustain serious injuries in his quest to destroy our house. I took the picture above to prove to myself that he can engage diligently in calmer activities without any "Hulk Smash" moments. He didn't paint his whole body this time, although he did pour the water jar out all over the ground on purpose shortly after this photo was taken.
Isaac is a pretty good sleeper for a newborn. He usually sleeps in three hour chunks of time at night with feedings and diaper changes in between. The brutal nights are when he doesn't go back to sleep for more than an hour after eating, but those don't happen very often. Nevertheless, four weeks of interrupted sleep has taken its toll on my brain. I try to mitigate it with significant periods of zoning out during the day, or the more recent habit of sneaking a nap in when Josh gets home from work. I'm still bone tired a lot of the time, taking comfort in the knowledge that this phase doesn't last that long and at least I don't have to go back to work this time around.
Evenings, after the children fall asleep, are a choice. Do I catch up on sleep or do I enjoy some adult time alone or with my husband? Either way there are regrets. Josh and I miss our time alone together. Yesterday, driving home from a school pick up, I fantasized about stopping to get a bottle of wine to enjoy with good conversation or perhaps a movie in the evening. Then I laughed out loud because that's just not my life right now.
Instead, last night, I went to sleep when Isaac did, snuck in some conversation time with Josh during the first feeding around midnight, and today I have felt as close to what passes for peppy these days. I went to the river with the little boys after dropping Ellis at school, shopped for groceries on the way home, cut up veggies, hard boiled eggs, and baked banana bread. Take that sleep deprivation!