Sleep Deprivation Dispatches


The eyes are open, staring, beautiful. It’s like a horror movie. An adorable horror movie. It’s 3AM, and after an hour and a half of rocking, singing, rocking, feeding, and a feeble attempt in the baby swing, I’ve carefully placed him in the crib with the technical precision of defusing a bomb. But the bomb goes off and those little blue eyes peek back open to ask where I think I’m going.

The wife and I have had many amusing, clever exchanges and anecdotes on child-rearing so far. And I’d tell you them if I could remember a single thing. In sleep deprivation, the first thing to go is short-term memory. The worst is bolting awake every hour on the hour, freaking out whether or not you actually did in fact put the kid back in the crib. I said we needed to come up with a code word to announce out loud and confirm landing in the crib. If only I could remember what I said the code word should be.

Everyone complains about the poop. The poop is nothing. Poop means everything works the way it should be on the inside. The poop is always a mini-celebration with gifts and cake. “You pooped!” we sing when we open the diaper. Spit-up, on the other hand, is the real nightmare. Regurgitated sour milk hiding in baby neck fat folds is the worst.

Earlier, while holding the baby and watching TV, I came across a made-for-television B-movie called Jersey Shore Shark Attack. After watching a few minutes of it, I was beyond captivated. Instantly — and with a bit of panic — I turned it off. I MUST NOT SPOIL ANY MORE OF THIS. I NEED TO SEE THIS PROPERLY FROM THE BEGINNING. Then I spent twenty minutes searching with ZEAL for the next airing, which isn’t until August 29th. I promptly announced we were going to rent it.

I really need to leave the house.

We did leave the house the other day, to take fifteen minute walk around the neighborhood. It took two hours of preparation and planning around the feeding/changing/barfing-all-over-oneself schedule.

When the baby looks at me, he nearly takes my breath away, and then he’s so gorgeous that I’m completely certain God exists. Then he burps and farts at the same time.

From what I’ve gathered, his interests so far are ceilings. Ceilings are fascinating. As are the warnings printed on the inside of his pack-and-play. He reads it over and over with rapt attention.

A sampling of things I’ve eaten:

– Blue Raspberry Twinkies because I clearly hate myself
– Ramen noodles because it only takes 3 minutes to make
– Those fucking peaches with listeria because that’s the last time I ever try being healthy
– Ice cream because.
– Ninja Turtles Pizza Hut Cheesy bites Pizza, eaten hastily in shifts while taking turns with a volcanic-red screaming baby.
– McDonald’s
– McDonald’s again whatever
– Some tofu thing the neighbors made us
– Birthday Cake M&Ms which sound totally awesome, but sort of suck

Also these.


This is a three-pound bear-shaped tub of Animal Crackers. It’s roughly between the size of a Big Gulp and above-ground swimming pool. We opened them twelve hours ago, and eaten the bear’s head fill of the cookies. The dog likes them too. We’re all surviving.

9 thoughts on “Sleep Deprivation Dispatches

  1. Pizza, you’re doing great! Do watch out for the milk in the folds under the chin. You might be convinced the kid has 4 folds there, only to fine out much later that there were really 8, and really yucky things are happening in the 4 hidden folds. Carefully lift each layer individually and clean. Assuming that a gentle swipe across the area with a warm washcloth is going to get everything is a really bad assumption.

  2. I shouldn’t be surprised that your experiences on the first days of parenthood are the best I’ve read anywhere. Also, I need to get those TMNT pizza bites!

  3. So nice to read someone going through the same thing we are. Hiccups are our bane because it associates with the spit up. 12 weeks old and… I honestly forgot what I was going to type here. Either way, keep it up. As usual I love what I’m reading.

  4. I’m at the 9 month mark, we had it rough for the first little while, he was 2 months early and had bad reflux (you’re right, it’s way worse than poop!) And I pretty much didn’t leave the house for 6 months because of the prep and changing and barfing (plus it was winter here). But, I can tell you the 7-9 month window will really take your breath away -the learning, the growing, the crawling, it’s just wonderful!

  5. I am not a parent yet, but I love to hear other stories about parenthood. I work in a daycare so I get to participate a bit in the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of taking care of a baby. It’s amazing how after a bunch of days of taking care of kids, changing diapers, talking in cooing voices you change a bit. You find that your patience slowly grows day by day so that the screaming child won’t faze you, let alone eight of them. Yet even after those long days, the ones when you feel like you’re running on your last ounce of energy, a little one will smile up at you or reach for your hand and it is all worth it. I love my job and I can only imagine how great it is to take care of your own flesh and blood.
    Congratulations on your little boy and I hope you enjoy every moment of your new and wonderful job as a parent.

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