By “industry” standards, I do believe that my newborn son sleeps reasonably well through the night. Generally, he only wakes for 2 or 3 feeds between 8pm and 5am, and within 10mins of finishing his bottle he is back to sleep (I’ll pause here so other, not so fortunate, parents can screech and curse me with a few 4-letter names…aka let them spit the dummy. Ha ha, so punny. Hahaha).
The other night, however, was a good example of when it can be, rather, shit:
- 1.50am: Nighttime quiet pierced by Angus’s cries. His sheet is damp. It’s his (my) favourite sheet, too – the one covered in giraffes. In my head, scold my husband for not putting the diaper on securely. Suddenly remember that I, in fact, changed the last diaper…hmm, must be Houdini pee. Pick Angus up, cradle him in the nook of one arm, strip sheet with the free hand, and head to laundry (where we also keep the change table).
- 1.50-2.00am: Dump giraffes into tiger patterned hamper (NB pee/poo/spit/milk soaked items are not made any cuter or more tolerable by animal motifs). Angus confirms he is also hungry with flailing limbs and tongue-rattling cries (think possum shrieks and grunts and you’ll know what I mean). Meanwhile, I take off his wet onesie and throw it on top of the giraffes (sorry boys, you’re in for a wet night), change the diaper, put on a clean onesie and head to living room for his feed.
- 2.00-2.15am: My son drinks greedily and noisily. Aww, he’s so cute when he suckles. Arrgh! – swinging fists when I disrupt his feed to burp him; I filed his nails back just 2 days ago but his talons still sting as they scrape my cheek and neck. “Son of a bitch!”, I curse in a whisper, before remembering whose son he is.
- 2.15am: He’s fallen asleep in my arms – our little drunkie has fallen into another milk coma. A quick peep into his diaper – huzzah! Still clean! Back to the bedroom, then, with a detour via the linen cupboard – polka dot sheet this time – and then secure Angus under one arm while tucking in the new sheet; an awkward dance of bends, lunges, and arm stretches (think the ‘Bend and Snap’ meets the limbo). Gently lay Angus down…yep, he’s stayed asleep, flick the white noise back on again (a trip down a babbling brook), and back under the covers for me.
- 2.20am: Angus cries out again. I deduce the problem quickly – the smell is unmistakable. Serves me right for not allowing the poo factory more production time.
- 2.20-2.40am: Sequence of key events:
- Clean up poo, whilst keeping Angus’s water cannon covered with small towel.
- Remove towel in order to put on new diaper, and cannon fires – direct hit, my shirt is soaked. So is Angus’s onesie. I clean him up again, fling the wet onesie on top of the other wet onesie on top of the giraffes, quickly strip off my own shirt and throw it over my shoulder (NB it is likely to remain sodden and crumpled on the floor for a few days – Mum’s washing is now waaaaaaaay down the priority list.)
- Put on new diaper, then realise that Angus’s remaining clean clothes are all back in the living room. As I pick Angus up, the arcing movement aids the trajectory of his projectile spitup, which spills down my cleavage. Yet his own chin remains remarkably clean. Well played, son, well played.
- Lay Angus back down, grab towel to dry my chest, pick him back up, walk to other room, reinstate the one arm cradle and this time it’s my ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’ move, to pick up fresh clothes and then back to the laundry we go.
- Dress Angus in the clean onesie, start to zip up his sleeping bag before realising that it also sustained a hit during the cannon spray. Here, giraffes, some more wet fodder for you. At this point, I have NFI where to find another clean sleeping bag, so it’s another detour via the linen cupboard to pick up a couple of clean muslins, before heading to bed.
- 2.40-3.40am: Angus falls asleep straight away, but only when in my arms and with his head nestled so deep between my neck and right shoulder that my left ear and shoulder are forced to get much better acquainted. And for the next hour, with that babbling brook flowing gently and irritatingly in the background, it’s a repeating cycle of laying a sleeping Angus down in the bassinet, which instantly wakes him not just back up but also in a rage (why hello, Squawky McSquawkerson), and returning him to my shoulder where he instantly falls back asleep. Yep, it takes *only* an hour of this rigmarole until Angus finally stays asleep in the bassinet.
And then, finally, crawl back into bed and think longingly about my next shower. Which will probably be sometime in the next 72hrs. Probably…