Ahh, the middle of the night. I’ve become quite familiar with it. During one of my recent stints of being up with The Bee, I remembered the phrase “Sleeping Like a Baby” and started to laugh. Pre-baby, I thought that it meant peaceful, restful and quiet sleep. Post-baby, I can clearly see I was SO wrong. In fact, my sleep-deprived mind started pondering about the author of “Sleeping Like a Baby.” I’ve come up with a variety of characters who could have quite possibly coined this misleading phrase:
Author #1: The Only-Been-Around-a-Newborn-During-The-Day Person
I can see how someone who’s only been around newborns in the daytime could come up with this phrase. Think about it. They come to the hospital/your home and the baby’s asleep. The baby sleeps through rounds of “Pass the Baby”, not waking up once as a new set of arms cradles them. If the baby makes a noise or sound, it’s quickly written off as a sweet dream. When the baby wakes, the mom feeds them and then the baby promptly passes out soon after. As an outsider looking in, they only see the constant-sleeping phase.
Author #2: The Husband Who Never Hears
I love my husband, but he sleeps so soundly! So while I’m up at the smallest whimper, he doesn’t even move an inch. The kicker is, when we wake up for the day as I look at him bloodshot eyes and all, he says, “Did he wake up last night?” Really, honey? Really? Maybe this is why we don’t know the identity of who coined “Sleeping Like a Baby” because of his untimely demise provided by one sleep deprived mama!
Author #3: The Misleading Mama
My mama friends neglected to tell me one important fact: Kiss sleep as you know it goodbye. Everyone told me about the (mostly) happy times, the diaper blow outs, the cuteness of a newborn, the funny messy stories about food, but WHERE was the whole sleep thing? Didn’t they think to warn me that sleep post-delivery was worse than having to get up 4-6 times a night to pee? Those first few days at the hospital were nuts! And I can’t forget the kind nurse who told me, “oh, honey, didn’t you know you could send him to the nursery so you can get some rest?” On the last day of my stay, naturally. So why would a mom write “Sleeping Like a Baby?” To make sure that the prospect of having kids isn’t as scary as it may seem. I mean, if my friends had told me that the only way they were able to get their babies to sleep and stay asleep was to bounce up and down on the corner of the bed or walk up and down stairs night after night, wouldn’t you just be a little scared (yes, those examples are true stories!)? One person told me that her daughter didn’t sleep through until she was 5! And of course, they were kind enough to tell me this after I had given birth.
Author #4: The One Who Forgot What Sleep Deprivation is Like
Can one really forget the sleep deprivation? I suppose so; either that or you sadly get so used to the interrupted sleep that it doesn’t faze you. I know when I’m staring down at The Bee in the middle of the night when he finally passes out for good when I put him down in his crib I always think to myself, “Why can’t it be like this all the time?”
Author #5: The Grandparent of a Child Who Sleeps Through The Night When They Are Staying Over
It’s not fair. My mom will visit from time to time (or worse, we go down to where she is) and always wants to take care of The Bee, including the night. I can’t begin to count the number of times that The Bee’s had a string of wake-ups leading up to a Granny visit, then will proceed to sleep through during the entire stay and then go back to waking up again once she’s gone. She thinks I make up stories about her ‘baby’ not sleeping through.
Here’s my proposal: I’d like to change “Sleeping Like a Baby” to “Sleeping Just Like When A Baby Is Not Teething, Sick, Hungry, Inconsolable-After-A-Night-Terror, Who-Knows-What-Happened-While-We-Were-Sleeping-Peacefully.” I think that covers about everything, right?
On second thought, maybe “Sleeping Like a Baby” is the short version…