Dear Baby: I Wished You Knew Mommy Too Must Sleep

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I wonder if you realize that I don’t sleep much. When women thronged to have a glimpse of you for the first time, they said, “This is the only time when you can catch up with plenty of sleep. Simply sleep when the baby does.” Not for me. I doubt if it has worked for anyone else either! You altered my sleeping pattern right from the time you were in my womb. But you were just so oblivious then as you seem to be now, to the fact that an average nap time that I get is anything less than 30 minutes.

Guess how long it really takes me to pass out even after I shut my eyelids. My nerves are never calm. Once I manage to be done with all the morning chores, I think about what your big sister might be doing while I sleep. I keep drawing a mental flowchart of events for until the following morning while attempting to sleep. Sign of a devoted mother? Well, it’s the only resort I can say when I have no maids to chaperone us while I want to do my own thing. Yeah, maybe I need to be supervised too, because the orderliness at home springs out more from my habit than an involuntary robot-like mind that leads me from doing one thing to the other. But it never allows me to rest when I should. And should I muster myself and manage to lay down finally, the worrier in me does some top speed thinking.

Then comes the transition phase between the sleep and semi-sleep state when a phone or a door-bell will invariably have me spring out of bed as if the house was on a burglar’s alarm. Would be worth the rush if there was an important courier. Sadly it turns out to be a salesperson almost trying to barge in with faked smiles and courtesies that even Father Christmas wouldn’t have when he comes to deliver free gifts.

Talking about the gifts, I can’t think of the innumerable gifts you received after your birth, most of which you can’t use until you reach your sister’s age who has already whisked most of them off even before they could be shoved off into the attic, unwrapped and have been put to some good use – at least in the perspective of your big sister. Yes, she drew doodles over the walls of the house using those crayons, most of which can’t be undone until the walls have a make-over. Moreover, those markers have found a good place for some temporary tattoos on you big sis’s hands and legs. And people expect me to sleep when I must scrub those marker imprints off, or clear off the laundry that gets heavier with every procrastination, sterilize your feeding bottles and the teethers, try pairing up the gloves and socks that often land up separately, hit off to the store suddenly because sister refused to eat baked beans or let the dog out for a while. Don’t forget that I need the teeny-weeny time to get food into my mouth. Mama too has an appetite, hope you come to realize it as well. And if I must take care of you, I must take care of myself first.

But there will be things that would have to pause for your sake. I couldn’t have imagined you were going to be so quick-reflexed as to wake up with the slightest pin-drop, let alone a food processor whizz with no prior warning, or for that matter let the hoover start because it was the only time to do some cleaning job. Besides, we were duds in assuming you and sister will be alike when it came to sleeping pattern. Nope. So I doubt the phrase “sleeping like a baby” really means a thing, and I would detest the person who invented the saying. I mean, how could one generalize the idea! Point at one baby that will not wake up the moment its mom sits to dine. Ya mommies out there, make a note of this one. It is just one of those tests that nature throws at you as new mommies, I guess.

Those who come to revisit you would ask, “What, you still haven’t got a hand of his sleep-window?” The under-eye circles that I developed in the meanwhile made it obvious. But they look cute on Pandas, not on me, darling. Then I’d read something about the white noise outside of mother’s womb babies must get used to. So I would do everything to keep you awake now – from deliberate bangs of the closet to some heavy metal right there in your room. Ironically, this time around you wouldn’t bother to wake up.

And having done all this, if you, my baby, expect me to doze off in the wink of an eye because I am so tired, sorry, I’m not like your daddy who can do so. Mommies are different. I hope you come to appreciate the sleep-sacrifice we make while seeing you grow. But hey, you’ve melted me already with the cutest smile as you peer over right there.

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