When small children have come to roost in your home you long for the days when your level of confidence in getting a full, undisturbed night’s sleep becomes much greater, nigh unto cockiness. I’m actually surprised that those who don’t sleep with one ear tuned for the little slap of footie-jammies hitting the hallway floor don’t actually walk with an arrogant swagger. I think I will struggle to not walk up to stroller pushing, caffeine slugging, bleary-eyed parents of young children and say “HA! Eight hours last night! In your face!”
But I knew about this one. I may not have fully understood the depths of sleep deprivation the human mind and body can withstand over the years. But when you are sporting that baby bump you might as well be wearing a t-shirt that says “Please tell me to ‘sleep now while I can’ or other such tired comments about the sleep deprivation I am about to face”. (This may seem a little long for a t-shirt, but just think about the expanded real estate the pregnant belly provides a t-shirt — you could probably fit that message AND the due date, whether or not you know the gender and/or are sharing that, and your thoughts on home birth just to avoid having other conversations over and over and over again).
What I WASN’T informed about is the longing I have for getting through a meal — ANY meal — without a toddler planted in my lap mooching food from my plate. The little one finishes her meal and then crawls up into my lap to help me finish mine. Every. Single. Time. I share my cereal, sandwiches, salads, burgers — everything. And as it is a biological imperative to feed one’s child I indulge her. But, trust me, the moment she finishes her meal and then hops down to play, I will finish my very own meal with dramatic flourish and then do a happy dance (though maybe I will wait for an hour or two for the dance – wouldn’t want my first solo meal to be ruined by indigestion).