June 12, 2008

Sleep Deprivation At Its Finest

Beth and I take turns putting Mia to bed. We alternate nights. I've probably mentioned this before but a long time ago, I started telling Mia Hoppity stories. They caught on. She asks for them every night.

Hoppity is a bunny who lives in the forest along with an elaborate and increasingly difficult to remember cast of characters. There's Francisco the moose, a fish named Steve, and an owl who is quite imaginatively named Owl, Frank the bee and Molly the butterfly. At Mia's insistence - because she's a toddler and is incredibly picky about these things - all of these stories start off exactly the same.

Once upon a time there was a little bunny named Hoppity. She lived in the forest with her mommy, her daddy and her baby brother. One day, Hoppity woke up and her mommy was there...

And from there, new adventures are invented. Hoppity has joined the circus, planted a garden, visited the zoo, discovered dinosaur bones, met The Backyardigans, and even traveled into outerspace. The options are limitless. Lately, though, the stories have taken a bizarre turn.

Mia's been waking up after falling asleep lately. This has required intervention, pretty much always in the middle of the night. When I'm tired. So tired in fact that, more than once, I've accidentally tried to wear my t-shirt as pants. I'm not so swift at 3:00 in the morning. So, I wake up, get some clothes on, stumble into Mia's room and see what's wrong. Once she's calm, she'll usually ask me to lie on my back so she can lie on my stomach...on her back...it's confusing. Then she'll ask for a Hoppity story. I'm happy to oblige but my storytelling ability - like my ability to dress myself - is pretty terrible at that hour. Because I drift off. And wake up to find myself still telling the story but a very nonsensical, dad's on acid version. What follows is a good example.

Once upon a time there was a little bunny named Hoppity. She lived in the forest with her mommy, her daddy and her baby brother. One day, Hoppity woke up and her mommy was there. She said, "let's go to the zoo" so they did. There they saw elephants and dancing umbrellas listening to Megadeath's Greatest Hits. They saw penguins with purple helmets riding unicycles. Then they screamed "fire the photon torpedoes Mr. Sulu!" and the villagers danced their merry dances while Francisco the moose got blitzed out of his mind on cheap gin.

I usually wake up and hear myself telling this bizarre story, and wonder what in god's name I've said to my daughter. But invariably, I find a little sleeping Mia on my tummy, blissfully ignorant, gorgeously dreaming.

What's your best moment of sleep-deprived glory?

Posted by Chris at June 12, 2008 7:10 AM

HEH seems Mia and I have similar sleep problems. It 446am here on the west coast and I nodded off for 35 minutes around 11pm and BOING a-flipping-wake ever since.


Posted by: MazingAmy at June 12, 2008 7:50 AM

Once, when my first child was still a very tiny baby, I woke up and heard him crying. I went and got him and brought him back and sat with him on the side of our bed, rocking and bouncing and trying to quiet him down, but he wouldn't stop.

Then my husband rolled over and said "what are you doing?"

This is because the baby was still crying in the crib in the next room...and I was sitting on the side of the bed rocking an imaginary child.

True story. Embarrassing, but true.

Posted by: Alissa at June 12, 2008 8:14 AM

When my brother and I were little, my Dad used to tell us stories about Peter Rabbit. Oh, how I loved Peter. And when I was little - heck, even now - one of my favorite things was having company for dinner. My Dad capitalized on this by making the schtick of his stories about trying to invite Peter Rabbit over for dinner.

Sometimes Peter would show up at my Dad's office, or maybe Peter's motorcycle was broken down at the side of the road, or maybe my Dad saw him on his lunch break that day. Each time, my Dad would invite Peter over for dinner that night. And JUST as Peter was about to oblige, he would hear his mother calling him for dinner (Peeeeeeeter! Peter Raaaaabbit!) and he would have to go home.

Alas, Peter Rabbit never did make it to our house for dinner.

Posted by: Caitlin at June 12, 2008 8:34 AM

Lately, every day at work is my "best moment" of sleep-deprived glory. I have only slept one cumulative hour since last Saturday.

P.S. I can't believe I forgot to add insomnia to my response to yesterdays question. It is at the top of my list.

Posted by: Maria at June 12, 2008 8:45 AM

Wait a minute...you have a character named Owl that is an Owl...you better watch out for the Disney Legal machine...they may come out and sue you.

Posted by: William at June 12, 2008 8:46 AM

There are far too many to list. So I'll give you the most recent. We've had some crazy storms up here over the last few days. At one point we lost power. I tucked the girl into bed and she woke up shortly after 11 when I'd just fallen asleep. I don't operate too well when I'm woken up from a sleep I just fell into. She requested a drink and told me she had to pee. She was out of it as well so I guided her to the bathroom, sat her down to do her thing and went to get her milk with a flashlight. I came back to the bathroom to see that she'd never unclothed before going to the bathroom, so I had that mess to contend with. The next morning I couldn't find the milk for her cereal. After searching high and low I finally found it in the laundry room cupboard where I keep flashlights. Seeing as how the house was 86 degrees, I had to ditch the milk.

Posted by: js at June 12, 2008 8:55 AM

I think the best was one night when my daughter woke up, I think she was about 4 and she'd had a bad dream. Her older sister was still asleep and so I went back into their room and lay down on her bed and was whispering a story to her and I could feel her relaxing and then......it was morning. I'd fallen asleep too!

Posted by: Maribeth at June 12, 2008 8:59 AM

I think the best was one night when my daughter woke up, I think she was about 4 and she'd had a bad dream. Her older sister was still asleep and so I went back into their room and lay down on her bed and was whispering a story to her and I could feel her relaxing and then......it was morning. I'd fallen asleep too!

Posted by: Maribeth at June 12, 2008 8:59 AM

I think it was the time(s) I just started laughing at how ridiculous the situation was. Like, maniacal laughter that made the crying kid pause to look at me, and my wife wonder if there were bad things to come.

In the end I'm pretty sure it just turned into me going back to sleep and Jen handling the kid because I was spent.

Posted by: Brad at June 12, 2008 9:11 AM

As a matter of fact, my 6 month old's bedroom has been smelling really fowl the past few days...well yesterday as I was putting away laundry, I found an old DIRTY diaper shoved way into the back of her sock drawer! No telling how long it had been in there or how it got there in the first place...it's likely I put it in there unknowingly during a middle of the night changing. YUCK!

Posted by: CJ at June 12, 2008 9:13 AM

3 am is about when I seem to wake up too. If I am really quiet can I listen to the story too...please?

Posted by: diane at June 12, 2008 9:24 AM

Driving along marveling at the little ball of fur barreling across the road before remembering last second that it is an animal and will get smooshed and I need to brake...
Trying to walk away with the display case in the grocery store aisle, instead of my cart...
Trying to walk out of the grocery store through the wall and feeling lost and scared for several moments until I remembered I could turn around...
Closing the cat in the refrigerator...
Pouring coffee grounds on my cereal.

Posted by: Karen at June 12, 2008 9:29 AM

This is your brain? on sleep deprivation:I once tried to nurse the back of my daughter's head.

Posted by: Kara at June 12, 2008 9:44 AM

The night before last Daya woke up at 3-something AM, went to the fridge, poured herself a glass of lemonade...

(have you noticed my lack of intervention yet?)

...came into my bed...

(do you see where this is going?)

...and of course spilled the lemonade right in the middle of my bed and on the pillows.

She got sent back to her room and I fell asleep in the lemonade puddle.

Posted by: jessica at June 12, 2008 10:04 AM

umm...you realize that by telling her a story when she wakes up in the middle of the night you're actually REWARDING her for waking up, thus reinforcing the behavior and causing her to continue doing it. You know that, right?


Posted by: kalisa at June 12, 2008 10:18 AM

Very recently, as in last weekend, it was really really late and I was really really tired, but The BFF couldn't sleep, so I was reading something to her to see if it would help. And I fell asleep sitting up, laptop on my lap, and I kept reading...somehow. I have no idea what kind of story it turned into, to be honest lol

There are also times when *she* has been reading to me and I start to have those not-quite-asleep-not-quite-awake dreams where everything you hear weaves its way in...and I'll start like, dictating my dream without realizing it. heh

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at June 12, 2008 10:20 AM

We're all sleepwalkers at our house, so we have had dang near square dancing at our place at times. Right now I get regularly woken up with pleas from the five year old to "Save Thomas, Mommy! Oh, no! Thomas is gonna crash!" I can now mime train rescue operations in my sleep.

Posted by: OS at June 12, 2008 10:21 AM

there are no GOOD moments when i'm sleep deprived. trust me.

Posted by: ali at June 12, 2008 10:50 AM

My second daughter didn't sleep through the night until she was almost 2 and she's still not the best sleeper. But after nearly 2 years of being woken up 1-3 times a night, I was so tired all the time. Once, I went into her room to quiet her. When I finally did, I stopped in the bathroom before going back to bed and fell asleep sitting on the toilet leaning against the bathroom wall. I don't know how long I was like that? 5 minutes? An hour?

Another time I fell asleep at work for a few minutes. Fortunately, no one noticed. It was right around then I started drinking a large Coke with my lunch.

Posted by: Kimberly at June 12, 2008 10:57 AM

So, I have been reading you and your wife's blog for sometime now and sometimes comment. This had me laughing outloud at my desk.... The moose got blitzed...

Posted by: Amanda at June 12, 2008 11:09 AM

Well, I had two babies, with 11 months between them. That aint relative to alot of sleep. One of my worst things that I recall was trying to shove a 'moopie' (pacifier) into my blissfully sleeping infant son's mouth to STOP.THAT.CRYING. (the sound was actually the phone ringing.)
Oh, and I made a cake and used gravox (gravy mix) instead of cocoa. Weird thing, husband was so sleep deprived also, he ate it, and said 'while different, didn't taste foul.'

Posted by: Carly at June 12, 2008 11:23 AM

I think that has to be the most awesomest bedtime story EVER. And ever, amen.

Posted by: rai at June 12, 2008 11:25 AM

When my youngest was about 2, he woke up in the middle of the night while he was having a mild asthma attack. I got up, turned on the shower to as hot as it would go, shut the door so the bathroom would steam, set up his nebulizer for a breathing treatment and went and got him. He fell back to sleep during the breathing treatment, which I gave to him in my bed. I went back to sleep.

And left the shower on - as hot as it would go - all night long . . . .

Posted by: Mindy at June 12, 2008 11:56 AM

I did the same thing Alissa did. When my first son was born, we were in a tiny apartment, and his cradle was right next to my side of the bed. When he would wake up crying, I'd just reach over and pull him over to me. Easy to nurse, or whatever he wanted. One night he started crying, I pulled him onto my tummy and started patting his back. My husband woke up and asked what I was doing - I was patting my own tummy because the baby was still in his cradle, crying.

Posted by: Peggi at June 12, 2008 12:15 PM

*snort* I love Francisco the Moose. You need to write some of these stories down. And then make a Blurb book for Mia. And for me. I want one, too. (Especially with the story about the purple helmet-wearing penguins riding unicycles. That one's the best.)

Posted by: GreenCanary at June 12, 2008 12:33 PM

While nursing Mila I made enough milk for Jon and Kate plus eight. She would wake me up in the middle of the night to nurse and I would end up making a big mess of things! I know that is more info than you wanted to know, but aren't you glad I didn't say TMI b/c doesn't that just drive you nuts!?!

Posted by: Mymilabean at June 12, 2008 12:47 PM

Since my husband has already told this story to EVERYONE WE KNOW, I'll share the humiliation with you.

In my defense, the kids had had the flu for about a week. High temps, multiple wakings at all hours for many nights. Oh, and then I got it, AND I was pregnant. Anyway... Daughter had crawled into bed with us at some point - which was never again allowed after this incident. So poor girl had an accident. Mike, like a sane person, got up and alerted me. I sat up and said "It's kind of warm and if I get up I'll be cold and awake". And then I laid back down and slept for a few more hours. IN PEE.

The shame.

But DUDE. I needed some sleep.

Posted by: sunshine at June 12, 2008 12:55 PM

When our (colicky) daughter was an infant we had a routine for nighttime feedings. When she woke, my hubby went and changed her diaper and then brought her to me in our bedroom to feed. One particular feeding, after several weeks of incessant crying and very little sleep, we heard the little demon - i mean baby - waking up. So my husband gets up to go get her and I am laying in bed in a half-awake state. At some point I realize that the hubby hasn't come back. So I go into the baby's room, where it is dark, and see my husband rocking slowly in the rocking chair. "Do you have the baby?" I whispered? His eyes were closed and he mumbled a very tired "Yes." I squinted and looked closer. But there was no baby in his arms. "Where is the baby? You are NOT HOLDING THE BABY!" I said, just a bit louder. I looked over at the crib. The baby was not in the crib. I was having a minor panic attack by this point. "COLIN WHERE IS THE BABY?" I demanded, starting to feel more than a bit frantic. Then I looked over at the change table, where our little one was sleeping peacefully, wrapped up like a little sausage. My husband, still oblivious, was snoring in the rocking chair.

Posted by: Shannon at June 12, 2008 2:18 PM

The boys had just gotten over being sick and I was coming down with the crud. I was in the kitchen getting some drugs for me when I heard the boy come downstairs. AS I was groggily walking to get him he walks past me and into the pantry. He proceeds to close the door and turn on the light. The next thing I know he is peeing all over his uncle's Mountain Dews! I am so sleepy that I don't wake him up and just take him upstairs. I then go to bed.
The next morning my husband and brother-in-law are amazed at the mess in the pantry.

Great stories! My husband is the story teller in the family.....I am not creative.

Posted by: kali at June 12, 2008 3:23 PM

Honestly, I can't remember. You know, hindsight's always 20/20, but looking back....it's still a bit fuzzy. :)

Posted by: Mr Lady at June 12, 2008 4:14 PM

One time I woke up in the middle of sleep walking... holding a bag of fish sticks... after demanding to my Mother that she make me "fish tails tomorrow". Obviously, that was a loooong time ago. But the humiliation lives on and on.

Posted by: Tink at June 12, 2008 4:39 PM

Yeah........she's asleep...and fine...until the therapy starts.....lol....

Posted by: David at June 12, 2008 5:41 PM

Thanks for commenting on my post. I appreciate it.

Posted by: Dr. Dolly at June 12, 2008 8:37 PM

Ha ha. I recently told a story about multiplying frogs and birds and obesity all in an imaginary land. It's posted on my blog a few posts back. And that was while I was awake and coherent too.

Does that make it better or worse then sleepy-storytelling? lol

Posted by: Debra at June 12, 2008 11:48 PM

When we brought Iggy home from the hospital, I was SO sleep deprived. I took a nap, and my huz woke me when the baby needed to be breastfed. I was so groggy, I couldn't even understand what he wanted and told him, "Just feed him what you feed everybody else!"

Posted by: christina at June 13, 2008 11:06 AM

I have obviously been working too much cause the other day I went through the drive-thru and tried to deposit my electronic check stub. True embarassment is having a baffled 18 year old, pimply-faced boy say slowly "Ma'am, it's says "Not a paycheck" right on the front."

Annoying, causxe you know he has no idea what the word tired really means yet. And embarassing, oh hell yes!

Posted by: That Girl at June 13, 2008 5:34 PM

I can't blame this one on lack of sleep, really, but...
We had tornados come through in February so I was a bit paranoid. One Friday night, my 10 year old daughter was sleeping on the couch, my 8 year old was with my parents. I stayed awake a bit later than usual, listening to the weather radio warnings. Before I went to sleep, I turned the volume down, or so I thought. I actually turned the volume all the way up and changed the setting from "warning" to "siren". The stupid thing went off a couple hours later, as loud as an air raid siren. Neither my brain or body was awake, but that didn't stop me from hopping out of bed and running toward my daughter. I "came to" sitting in the entry way floor. Hubby asked me if I sat down or fell down. Not wanting to look like a total fool I claimed to have sat down.
I had hideous bruises along my spine for two weeks.

Posted by: ame i. at June 15, 2008 9:41 PM

I've had to move into the archives now which is depressing in and of itself on top of which, I'm flooding your inbox (no need to reply to all of this) but honest to goodness, this was laugh-out-loud funny.

I'm pretty sure at one point (perhaps a few months ago when I started losing my mind) I understood why I was no longer reading blogs of any variety. Lack of time or some nonsensical crap, but you, my friend, in one evening with many archived posts have reminded me of how you became my morning paper.

It almost makes me want to blog myself.
But not quite.

Posted by: Emily at June 23, 2008 10:54 PM