Good Night’s Sleep

Every parent knows how important it is to have a Good Night’s Sleep. If it were a product, and it came in a package, that package would be made of unicorn glitter and stardust and cost a millzillion leprechaun gold and be worth EVERY FRIGGIN’ ONE.


Given that leprechaun gold is a bit of a scarcity outside of rainbow season, I thought I’d lend a hand to all y’all and let you know how you can get a Good Night’s Sleep au natural. (It’s better for the environment too. Unicorn glitter doesn’t grown on trees, after all.) It’s a bit of an undertaking, but I’m confident that with a little effort we can all get the rest we desperately deserve.

So, a few essentials to start out with:

— A spouse with a really full, preferably late-night work schedule. If you work outside the home too, just make sure you work different shifts so you both have the overwhelming task of single parenting when you’re home.

— A sick baby. If you haven’t got one, go to playgroup. They’ll fix you up.

— An important morning appointment, preferably something you’ve volunteered to drive to and that’s a fair distance away.

— Paranoia and an active imagination. If you find your paranoia isn’t at a good level, try consuming large amounts of sugar and/or caffeine to take you to that nice buzzed level where everything is either a total joke or a complete crisis.

These should be things you can find around the house, so I’ll wait while you gather them.  …. do do dooo… la la la la…. *whistle* … hm, crusty on my jeans; what is that? … do do… sticky spot; time to mop–oh, blogging, right, later … la la…

Hm? Ah! You’re back. Got everything? Then, your instructions, sleep padawan:

1. Go to bed early, say 10-ish (or the equivalent of one to two hours sooner than usual), to lull your body into a sense of security. The more your body buys into this, the better.

2. Wake up at midnight (or an hour after the spouse should be home) and realize the bed space next to you is empty. Go out to the kitchen and realize the light you left on for the spouse is actually still on.

3. Fail to notice that the bedroom light you left on for said spouse is turned now off.

4. Get back in bed and play Angry Birds on your phone while pretending not to watch the time. Remind yourself repeatedly that you have a morning appointment and you should really be getting to sleep or you’ll die on the way there.

5. Experience the occasional odd conviction that spouse is road smoosh somewhere out there in the dark. Ignore every police siren you hear by imagining what it will be like to open the door to a police officer telling you to get to the morgue to identify the spouse. Calm your racing heart by making elaborate plans for the childcare you’ll need while you sit at the bedside of a comatose, desperately injured spouse and try to be brave.

6. Around 12:30, decide to get up because this just isn’t really working. Walk out to living room and almost sit on your spouse, who’s been quietly playing at the computer since 11:30.

7. Cry.

8. Threaten to beat spouse.

9. Take until at least 1:30 to unwind, spouse snoring next to you, by imagining repeatedly the funeral you almost had to plan.

10. Start drifting off just as the baby starts fussing.

11. Get up with the baby because you know she’ll keep everyone awake anyway.

12. Repeat steps 10 and 11 until the rest of your children wake, full of sleep and ready for the day. Preparing their breakfast and dressing them without dumping milk on someone’s head will be just the thing to help you wake up from the good-night’s-sleep groggies!

13. Remember at the last minute about the morning appointment.

This final jolt of adrenaline will dust the rest of the sand from your eyes, et voila! A solid, parental Good Night’s Sleep.* I know, I know. Genius. Go forth with your new knowledge, and set the world of sleep on fire.

*Parental Good Night’s Sleep not recommended for consumption by non-parental adults or children. Please use only under the direction of an experienced grandparent who’s prepared to laugh at you.

About Carolynn the Dyer

If I've learned one thing by having three children in four years, it's that babies are not, in fact, the best birth control. ... Okay, just kidding. I've really learned that laughter is the only way to survive the wilds of parenthood, and life in general. Also, that it is indeed possible to do dishes, parent, and carry on a conversation at the same time. If that sounds like fun, or just impossible, then come join me on my blog--and join me in the jungle.
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