Thursday, October 20, 2011

In the middle of the night . . .

"In the middle of the night,
I go walking in my sleep . . ."
~Billy Joel, River of Dreams

I don't really remember a time that I didn't have to wear glasses. I do remember hearing the occasional "Four eyes!" . . . I also remember the time my glasses broke and I had to wear duct taped glasses until my new pair came in. This was way prior to today's glasses in an hour or less, and it was a rough couple weeks of third grade. Not cool, Mom!

I remember getting my 9th grade pictures taken . . . when I brought them home my mom asked why I wasn't wearing my glasses and said that I should be proud of how I looked. I got contacts in 10th grade, and was in the bathroom when another girl came in and said "Wow, you're pretty without your glasses!" She was right . . . come on people, who can look attractive with 90's style huge thick plastic glasses on?!

Of course it doesn't help that my prescription is literally 20/1100. Yes, what someone with 20/20 vision can see from 1100 feet, I have to be 20 feet from to see without "visual aid." Doesn't bode well for poor little Sophia and Jude! When your prescription is that bad, it brings new meaning to the words "Coke bottle," with or without compressed lenses.

Being practically blind (ok, exaggeration) has it's advantages, though. I've learned to function in a haze when I don't have my glasses on. Pre-contacts I danced the lead role in Coppelia sans glasses en pointe (Swanhilda could NOT wear glasses!). And now middle of the night duties? Piece of cake!

When your newborn gets you up five or six times a night, you just do what you need to do by rote. First time up you've only just fallen to sleep in the first place, so you have that disoriented-after-nap feeling going on. Second time up you've gotten a couple of hours and feel the best you are going to feel that night. Third and on?

You know how the beauty magazines say that you shouldn't squint or rub your eyes because you will get crow's feet?

Yeah. Right. How about you try to take care of an infant in the middle of the night, and you tell me if you start squinting. Forget just at night, every time the kid cries you'll be conditioned to squint and grab a clean diaper while unfastening your nursing bra. Potentially embarrassing in the middle of WalMart.

By the time you get up for the fourth, fifth, and sixth time at night? Then you aren't squinting, but it's because you don't bother opening your eyes anymore. And that is when my terrible vision comes in handy. Since I can't see without my glasses, it isn't much different than having my eyes closed.

So now they start crying, you swing your legs out of bed and head to the crib, hands outstretched zombie-like. You reach the crib, and grope around for the kid. Pick the baby up, rotate around till you feel the chair behind your legs, plop down very unladylikely.

Pop the kid on one side, feed. Time for the diaper change.

Unsnap the pjs, pull off the old diaper. Slide the new one under (of course this is all happening on your lap to make it that much harder) and then you have more groping going on, this time to make sure you fasten everything right. And now for the hard part.

Since you unsnapped the pajamas a few minutes ago, the snaps have multiplied. Now instead of six sets of snaps, there are 247, and none of them match up. So you sort of fasten them up, and it's time to feed on the other side.

Eating done, time to go back to bed. Up from the chair, one arm holding baby and the other reaching . . . there's the crib! Feel around to make sure you are putting the kid in bed and not dropping them on their head.

Do zombie walk back to bed.


When you can do it all without opening your eyes, then you know you've got it. Between kids one and two you forget that you get so adept, and then when you are back in that place you wish you didn't have quite so many opportunities to gain that particular skill set. But if you ever wonder how you would function if you suddenly went blind (yes, I have thought that scenario out and plan to develop batlike sonar skills), you just have to have a newborn for a couple months to know you'd be just fine.

1 comment:

Beth said...

I love it.

I used to say, I don't mind getting up once. The second time I'm sad that I'm up again, but it's okay. The third time I'm already desperate with tiredness and I'm trying not to cry. I don't know where feeds 4-6 fall. Those nights I imagine I just said I was up "all night" and don't remember the feelings.

I DO remember that with Ben I would turn on a dim floor lamp in order to feed him. Every time. By the time Matt came along, I felt that the tiny night light I'd downgraded to was blinding and I opted to nurse with my eyes closed anyway. Amazing what you can do with your eyes closed!

Hoping for your sake that little Jude starts sleeping longer stretches before it really gets cold out - that was the worst part of getting up with Ben. SO. COLD. Who wants to leave a warm bed for ANY reason??


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