Monday, July 12, 2010

Sleep Deprivation and Hot Tub Time Machine

I used to think the hardest thing was having an infant due to the fact that they don’t sleep. Actually, infants do sleep. Not necessarily at night, but they do sleep. No, as we’ve discovered, it’s much harder to have a toddler who has decided that sleep just isn’t for him. Like when he was an infant he said, ”Yeah, that whole sleep thing? Tried it. Done with that. Now please change me.”

It started about a year ago. He’s two now. It’s been one long year. Uhm, toddlers are supposed to sleep like… toddlers, right? Not overworked morning DJs. Our toddler sleeps only 7-8 hours a NIGHT and then MAYBE takes a 1-2 hour nap during the day. So add with trying to get the million things done after the kids are asleep, my wife and I have been getting roughly 4-6 hours of sleep a night for a year. At least I think it’s been a year. It feels much longer. In other words, he just doesn’t like sleeping so he doesn’t do it. He doesn’t fall back asleep on the couch or in our bed, he’s just UP. We even tried giving him less coffee, but nothing seems to work.

We are hoping it’s a phase. A horrible, sleepless phase where I’ve been so tired that a few times I actually forgot where I was and tried to burp the cat and asked my five year old to help me with our taxes. She found some extra deductions that we had overlooked, so that actually worked out.

We’re HOPING that now that he’s two and is starting preschool his sleeping will normalize or at least he’ll sleep past 5:00 am after going to bed after 9:00 pm.

Lack of sleep is a killer. I feel awful, I’m more cranky and irritable and I have less patience. Of course, that may just be because I am a misanthrope but why split hairs. When I actually get a good night sleep I actually feel a little worse, because I think my body goes “Oh, is it over? I was in sleep mode. And I need another three days in bed. Wait? We’re getting up now? Seriously? Why, do you have a final?”

But even in our sleep deprived state, my wife and I occasionally find 20 minute increments to spend time relaxing together. My wife and I just watched Hot Tub Time Machine. (not all at once, of course) I really loved this movie. My wife liked it too. It was really funny but it also made me feel a little maudlin. I remembered the music, my days in high school, and the horrible fashions. It just made me feel both good and sad at the same time. I suppose that’s how the word “nostalgia” was created. It was great seeing John Cusack playing... an older John Cusack and there were some nice references to his older movies in there.

I look at my kids and my life and the conclusion is inevitable: Like moves on. And no hot tub can stop it. But man, we try, don’t we guys? It’s not all 16 year olds buying comic books, is it? What’s in your Hot Tub? Mine has a Playstation 3 and the original Star Trek series on DVD along with a Batman action figure and one of the Transformer Dinobots. Grimlock, of course.

So it’s been a weird year of sleep deprivation and trying to stop time. A few more weeks of not sleeping I may actually believe I can do it. All I need is some tinfoil and a hat… And then I’ll show the world that this whole linear time thing is bullshit. Now if those purple gnomes would just stop jumping up and down on my bed singing a Tears for Fears medley. It’s distracting.


Badass Geek said...

One of the best parts about HTTM was the disappointment over the bellhop not getting his arm cut off. Hilarity.

Dana H. Glazer said...

I thought the film was fun but couldn't they have done a better job with how John Cusack looked when he was younger?? Looked more like Keanu Reeves than that guy I remembered from The Sure Thing!

And sorry to hear about your sleeping woes, Chris. I'm feeling for you.


Keith Wilcox said...

Wow, that seems strange. I can go a few weeks on sleep deprivation, but it catches up to me and I MUST get my beauty sleep after a while. I need more sleep than 8 hours per night so I don't know how i'd manage in your situation (probably wouldn't manage at all). I'm glad you cut back on his coffee ;-)

Maryellen Hooper said...

I loved and related to this entry, Chris. Of course I fell asleep 3 times reading it. (because 3 is the magic comedy number)

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