As I type, I am standing in my garage, watching Angus as he sleeps in his car seat. Warnings about leaving babies inside the car and asleep too long in their car seats are rapidly churning inside my head and gnashing at my parenting insecurities, like a rabid dog chasing and biting its own tail. But this is the first time he’s been asleep longer than 20mins for the past 7hrs, so here I will stand. My guilt is mildly assuaged by taking as many precautions as I can think of – all car doors are open, the keys are on the roof of the car, Angus is within arms reach, my ears are alert for the sound of his breathing and after typing every 3-4 words…I am pausing…to make sure that…his little chest…continues to…rise and fall.
Before Angus commenced his roll down my Fallopian tube, my personal exposure to infants had been quite minimal. Mostly, it was limited to politely refusing when parents asked whether I wanted to hold their baby; or, awkwardly cradling the bub until I felt that a socially acceptable amount of time had passed that I could pass the ‘hot potato’ on. However, now that I have 3.5 months of daily baby exposure under my belt, I feel that I have some standing to call out what I see as a major design flaw in these fledgling humans.
Babies need to be taught how to fall asleep. To be blunt, this is bloody stupid. To the best of my knowledge and a hasty Google search, I am not aware of any other species where the mother or father needs to teach their offspring how to fall asleep. My husband and I were blissfully unaware during the first 3 months that Angus was in the ‘newborn narcolepsy’ phase, where sleep was a state that he could simply fall into, be it a ‘milk coma’ induced from feeding or dozing off during a cuddle.
But now that our little boy is a little older, he is fighting hard to stay awake and enjoy the daylight hours. So the day starts out just fine and rosy, until nap time approaches, and then it becomes time to duel with my very own Screamapillar (for those who aren’t Simpsons fans, see footage of this beast here:
If my hands weren’t busy grappling with the tired and angry Angus during these tantrums, I would take a photo of his face because it becomes quite frightening. Kind of like this…
but with less hair…and more rage.
Since the start of today, Angus has only had 90mins sleep, broken into 3 distinct naps, across 6.5hrs. Which isn’t much and certainly not enough, as demonstrated by his increasingly frightening Screamapillar portrayals. But there is a short blissful period following each nap, however short it has been, where he is an adorable delight.
Oh wait…he’s stirring…I better make the most of ‘adorable’ time before he morphs back into Screamapillar.