Normal people will sleep between the hours of 10pm and 6am.  I’m not normal.  I’m not allowed to be normal, thanks to all the sleep-sucking parasites I cohabit with.  Anytime I try to close my eyes, each one takes a turn prying them open.  And when I’m awake dealing with the loudest one, the others are resting up for the next attack.

The fun begins at 2:30 am.  (That’s sarcasm.  I’m old.  Real fun for me begins at 4:30 in the evening, when restaurants offer Early Bird dinner specials.)  When I get up this ridiculously early and look out the bedroom window, I see zombies walking the streets and sniffing for lost souls.  My house always beckons their collective nose and I hope one day to invite them in to steal me away.  Because I’m certain that eternal suffering of the undead is more tolerable than sleep deprivation.

It’s time to feed Smush.  Kitchen.  Fridge.  Warmer on.  Pee.  Warmer off.  Feed her the bottle.

15 minutes later, it’s burping time.  Light bouncing.  Nothing.  Soft patting.  Nothing.  Firm patting.  Nothing.  Really firm patting that borders on child abuse.  Nothing.  (And she’s sleeping right through all of it.)  Then I pull out the trump card, my patented baby origami technique.

“Pah!” comes from one end of the Smush.

Was that a burp, a fart, or was I dozing off?  Whatever it was, it’s good enough for me.  I give up.  It’s 3:30.  I change a diaper and return her to the co-sleeper crib.  Ah, back to me bed!

“Ugh!  Uuuuuugh!  Wah!”

Greaaaaat (a la Bill Lumbergh).  Sounds like someone’s got a case of the Mondays stubborn flatulence.  Could it be that I didn’t properly purge the little one earlier?  (Logic seldom prevails in the wee hours of the morning.  I blame Smush’s GI bubbles on my wife’s milk, not my poor technique.)  I repeat the above burp sequence.  Ok, who am I kidding?  I skip to the origami and begin folding Smushie forwards, backwards, sideways and wringing her out like a wet sponge.

Again, it’s “Pah!”

Music to my ears.  She and I both nod off…for about 6 minutes.  Then another “Ugh!” from across the room.  She’s straining again.  So I get up to hang myself in the bathroom squeeze the baby farts out.  And the same tired (pun intended) story loops in 6 minute increments until about 6 am.

Ah, my 6:30am alarm clock is going off.  Wait.  I didn’t set an alarm clock.  The music is coming from Worm’s room.  He’s awake and I’m hearing it through the wall.  I pull another pillow over my head to drown out the sound.  It’s working…until 7am rolls around…

…and Duncan is pawing at the door to be let out.  My pillow apparently doesn’t muffle this sound.  I imagine if it would muffle Duncan’s screaming when I smother him with it?  I jump out of bed to answer the obstinately impatient animal.  (If I wait more than 10 seconds, he most surely will scratch again.)

Open the back door.  I force Frodo to go outside with Duncan.  1 minute later, Duncan’s back inside the house.  Frodo is out there smelling the flowers…every stinking one.  He’s oblivious to me playing the role of doorman for him.  I call him to come inside.  Mind you, Frodo’s old and losing his already selective hearing and his eyesight.  Of course, he doesn’t listen or hear me.  (Yes, they don’t mean the same thing.)  The incredible desire to throw the kitchen knives at him almost becomes reality.  I just don’t have the energy to try.  The furry ba$tard stays outside.  I close the back door and go back to my room.

I crawl under the warm covers only to hear Smushie starting to stir again.  It’s 7:10 and about time for another feeding.  And as soon as I sit down to put the bottle in her mouth, Frodo is barking to come back inside the house.  (The only thing that will make Frodo more obedient is a taxidermist…and yes, I’ve thought about dropping him off a little ‘early’.)

Smush is fed, burped, and changed.  I’m so fed up and hot under the collar that there’s no way my frustration will let me lay back down.  So I go to the kitchen and make my breakfast.  And by 9 am, EVERY ONE OF THOSE DAMN CREATURES IS FAST ASLEEP…except Worm, who is speeding around the house in fifth gear.  It’s his turn to keep me awake for the rest of the day.

This is What I Dream it Would Be Like...If I Could Actually Dream.

This is What I Dream it Would Be Like…If I Could Actually Dream.