One Of The Hazards Of The Job

Emory hasn’t ever been a very good sleeper. He’s great with napping, but nighttime is a different story. He hasn’t ever slept through the entire night. And I think we’ve tried everything. For whatever the reason may be, Toby Joe and I weren’t blessed with a sleeper. After two years we’ve just gotten used to the fact that we’ll probably never sleep through the night ever again.

But last night was really bad. We had just returned from Jersey, so perhaps he was confused. I don’t know. Whatever the reason may be, Em did not fall asleep until about 10 PM. And it was fitful. He woke up again at midnight and stayed up until almost three. Granted, he did doze off a few times, but only for 15 minutes here and there. And so I slept on the couch and tended to him whenever I could. Unfortunately we live in a New York City apartment (i.e. small), so even though I did the legwork last night, Toby Joe was unable to sleep through it.

All this to say, that the entire family is running on about four hours of sleep today. And it ain’t pretty, people. All the coffee in the world couldn’t bring a smile to my husband’s face as he left for work this morning. I’m barely moving, barely functioning and I’m slightly annoyed and partly jealous over the fact that somehow my two-year-old, the same two-year-old that kept us up all night, is running around with all sorts of energy today. Where does he get that from?

Oh, the humanity.

I’m also working right now. This morning I delivered a great deal of work to a client. The last couple of days have been very busy for me. Couple that with Emory’s inability to sleep through the night, and you’ve got yourself a big ol’ mess of a mom.

But I still kept up my end of the bargain and made our daily jaunt to the playground this morning.

Sometimes Emory poops while at the playground. I don’t know why this is. All I know is that an hour into our fun, he looked at me and said, “Mama. Poop.” like he was answering a question. He said it in such a way that made me feel silly for not knowing it.

“Mama. Poop.”

And then he pooped. And I was prepared for it. I changed him right there in the park.

We played for a bit longer. We did some swinging. We walked along the track and hit the wooded area he used to run around in when he was a wee baby. We stopped by the dog run. We walked through McCarren Park, and past the tree that looks just like a vagina. (Yes, I’ll get you pictures). We visited the grocery store, talked to a neighbor. We did it all. I did it all. I did it all looking like this:

It could have been worse I suppose. Instead of wearing the re-sealable sticker that comes with the baby wipes, I could have actually had shit on my shirt.

But, people? If you see someone walking around like this, don’t be afraid to tell them that they’re wearing trash.


  1. I’m glad that you can still have a sense of humor despite the lack of sleep. Hope tonight is a bit more restful for everyone.


  2. Hah! You got me giggling with that picture. Not how I had THOUGHT the post would end up.
    I once asked my son’s doctor when I could expect him to sleep through the night..he told me his kids never did on a regular basis until kindergarden. But I found that around 2.5 years of age, he just stopped waking up during the night. We have occasional wake-ups in the night..maybe once per month? But generally, the sleeping is at least 9 hours straight. Some of them just take a little longer to get there I think! I have hope that Emory will get there soon…someday he will, I’m sure!


  3. Now see, I wouldn’t have even noticed if you hadn’t pointed it out. I was too busy thinking how great you look for someone running on so little sleep :)

    Miss you guys.


  4. I love that you posted this photo because, oh, man, how many times have I run all my errands wearing something similar on my front, my back, my sleeve, my BUTT? Better hope Em doesn’t figure out that it’s funny to leave stickers on you or you’ll find them everywhere, but always when you’re undressing at the end of a busy day. I know this from experience. Why I didn’t do a full body check in the mirror each time I ventured into public, I do not know.


  5. This scares the shit out of me. My son turns one this month, and I was just wondering how close we were to long stretches of sleep. He’s a good napper like Em, but lately he’s regressed into waking every 1-2 hours at night, with the longest stretches being 3.5 hours. I guess I should stop holding my breath, huh?


  6. Oh Sarah, who knows! They’re like snowflakes, these guys. Your guy may change. I hope that he does!

    Em’s longest stretch was 7 hours. He’s done that (no joke) three times ever. Otherwise, it’s 3 or 4 or 5 at a time. :(

    ah well. Someday we will sleep again! I know it.


  7. I am so thankful to read this post. My son is 20 months and doesnt’ sleep through the night, he HAS but for some reason regressed and now wakes up multiple times (he is a co-sleeper) during the night. Just sits up in bed and whines, then I say come here and he snuggles up under my blanket and goes back to sleep. I haven’t said anything to his pediatrician because he was against the co-sleeping and said children should be sleeping through the night by I think age one or before. Now I know we are more normal than I thought LOL.


  8. I have a theory about this… I think they are acting this way because their brains are on and they are dreaming and having nightmares. I think they are confused by this and are therefore spooked awake at night. Once they understand what a dream is, I think we’ll be better off.

    Because Em wakes up talking about things that aren’t happening all the time. It’s cute but I think it scares him when he wakes up to realize it’s not actually happening.

    Can you imagine how scary a dream or nightmare is if you don’t understand WHAT it is? Wowsa!


  9. I think you might have hit it on the head! I think it’s between 2 and 3 that kids start being able to differentiate between “real” and “fantasy”…so they love to play dress-up, tell you about their imaginary friends, and so on…but in the early stages, dreams are scary because they don’t know that they’re not “real” in the same was as being awake is real.
    As for the baby wipe sticker, i think you’ve started a new fashion statement for moms! it looks fantastic on your t-shirt, like you did it on purpose.


  10. Alden is the same with the sleeping… it’s totally choppy. Ah sleep… I miss you.


  11. Do you realize how amazingly normal you are for not sleeping soundly for two years?! It took us 18 months to get to a point where it is unusual for our daughter to not sleep through the night. I knock on wood as I write this, because it can always change. The sleep deprivation was, by far, the most difficult thing for me. How can you function (and even write funny things!) without regular sleep for such a long time? I was a total zombie for all of those 18 months and sometimes quite a bitch as a result.


  12. See, I thought that was part of your shirt…


  13. I feel your fatigue and frustration…and doesn’t it just seem like every other parent has this compliant child who sleeps through the night at 3 months, never poops at the park, etc.? Honestly, though, I think you’re more typical than you think.

    We determined that we needed to cut naps out for Annie about a year before most other kids were ending their naps. For us that was about 3. If she napped, the nights were a disaster. It was hard to keep her up and we weren’t always successful, but when we could it helped. Those were hard times, though. Kids go through several shifts in their sleep patterns, in my opinion. There is the nursing mom pattern. The toddler transition pattern. The emergence of fears and nightmares pattern. There is the big bed pattern. Each one is hard for a while, but you’ll move through them all.

    The advice that got me through those years was when someone told me that when you’re having a particularly hard time, when it seems like your kid is regressing…they are taking a step back just before they take a big step forward and we just have to do our best to ease them through that huge change they are experiencing.

    The pooping at the park is funny. Annie went through a stage where she pooped every time we went to a certain friend’s house, without fail. She just felt comfortable there. Watch his natural potty patterns and if he poops every time you’re at the park in the afternoon, try going to the park earlier and sitting him on the potty when you get home and see if you can’t shift that pattern!


  14. Michele, I laughed so hard that I was crying! Thank you,


  15. Everyone: thanks for all the support in letting us know that it’s normal to never sleep again after having a child.

    Aunt Denise: I’m glad that my having worn trash is so funny to you! :]


  16. Sending you hugs and assurances that I’ve gone around all day with baby poop on my shirt.

    And he’ll sleep eventually. I’ve heard teenagers sleep alot.


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