Friday, December 7, 2012

Dear Mr. Sandman: It's not you, it's me.

So I went through a great many topics for my first real blog post:  Work, married life, pets, I even considered doing something on the breastfeeding debate.  But I've decided to pick a topic much nearer to my heart these days.  A fruitful topic, full of potential for life growth.
If I don't get some sleep, I'm going to go to Wal-Mart and start biting random people while screaming Puck's speech from the end of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Through my life, I've been a connoisseur of sleep deprivation, beginning in the days of my youth when I handfed a few litters of orphan kittens round the clock.  That was when I first knew the real meaning of tired.  Then I turned into a monitor moth, staying up until three, four, or five in the morning chatting with friends who pretended they were attractive and witty in real life.  After that was nursing school.  By the last semester I was running on one or two hours of sleep a night, a trick that I didn't try again until I worked through a nursing agency years later.  Because I'm a moron, I accepted shifts around the clock, sent my sleep schedule packing, and learned how to completely lose consciousness behind the wheel of a car.
But now?  Now the Anti-Sandman sentry behind my eyelids has a new name.
Jasmine.  Jasmine the sonorous, Jasmine the ill-timed, Jasmine the herald of hungry.  There is no bed so comfortable that Jasmine the Tenacious will not notify us repeatedly through the night that She Needs Attending, and that we as her loyal lackeys should snap to and attend.
Well, I say "we" and "us,"  but really it's just me.  You see, my darling husband sleeps like a brick.  A brick strung out on Queyludes and benedryl.  And if by some terrible chance he does wake up, he doesn't act like Robert.  He acts like Genghis Khan, bent on conquering the pillows and blankets despite the Himlaya-like cold in the bedroom.  I bear him no ill will for this, but it means that I am the only one getting up with the baby.  All.  Night.  Long.  Every.  Stinking.  Night.
"But what about daytime?"  I hear you scream.  "Can't he take care of her in the daytime while you get some sleep?"  Well, I'm sure he would be more than happy to do that, except that her fussing causes an allergic reaction in him---it makes him break out in panic attacks.  I'm not upset with him about least, not unless it's three in the morning.  But it does make it rather difficult.  Of course, work still has to be done.  When I get called in for a shift at the nursing home, I usually don't have much of a problem, even if I haven't slept in days and am hallucinating a little bit.  I just have to make sure that the neon green echidnas don't steal the keys to my car, and it's all gravy from there.
I'm sure one day this will all work out and Jasmine will get on some kind of sleep schedule...perhaps not necessarily a convenient schedule, but a schedule.    To everyone that told me during my pregnancy to "Sleep when the baby sleeps," I acknowledge your advice as sound, however...I don't believe this baby will ever sleep.

As soon as she starts letting me catch some Z's, I plan to be waiting up at all hours for a now-teenager Alex to get home and explain where exactly he's been until two AM, thank you very much, and doesn't he know its past his curfew, and he has some serious explaining to do, and is that beer I smell, and don't you know this is the good couch and you shouldn't be puking on it, and you had better pick yourself up off the floor and get into your room because you are GROUNDED, young man.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Meet the circu---er, family.

My name is Erin, and my life is weird.
A year and a half ago, I was a single woman, living in a house with four fantastic roomies, hanging with my friends every day and my cat every night.  Fast forward to present day...I'm married, with a nine year old son and a 4 month old baby, my cat is still hanging around, but I also have to chase around a dog with an IQ of 0.3.  Of all these things, the only area I have any experience in is the cat.  We spend some days sitting on the bed together looking bewildered.
So let me tell you about my household.
First, there's my husband, Robert.  I met this man on February 25th, almost two years ago.  We met through an online dating site, then I decided I would bring him coffee at work.  I found out later that he dumped the coffee out after I left---he didn't want the coffee, he just wanted to meet me.  We were stupid for each other from that point forward.  Despite his fight-or-flight instinct, he married me.  What can I say about Robert....If you need someone to say something completely inappropriate, he's your man, he's got your back.  He's really a sweet guy, would never hurt anyone, but his job in life is to bring up cremation at a funeral, bodily functions at dinner, and hookers at a baby shower.
Then, there's my son*, Alex.  AKA Captain ADHD.  AKA Black Ops Crack Fiend. Alex is the best kid I have ever met...good hearted, obedient, plaint to the wishes of King Daddy and Queen Mommy.  But Alex has one problem...He has ADOS (Attention Defici---OOO, Shiny!).  He plays any video game like he developed it himself.  There is no knot he can't untie.  And yes, envy me, ye other moms...the kid organizes a closet like Martha Stewart.  However....He's got all the common sense God gave a guinea pig.  This is the kid that you can tell, "Your bowl of food is the bowl on the counter."  And he will point at the only dish in the vast expanse of the realm of counterdom and ask, "This one?"  This is the kid that nearly stepped in front of a moving bus because the very edge of the curb was the ONLY LOGICAL PLACE he could dance around like he was on "America's Got Talent" and Simon Cowell was personally cheering him on.  The boy is incredibly smart...but we have to keep him from running into traffic.
Then, there's Jasmine.  Just as I was starting to get the hang of this "Wife and mom" nonsense to the point where I didn't feel like I was going to explode the house or bite someone, along came my beautiful little red-headed gigglebox...and shot it all to nada.  From the day I discovered that I was pregnant, this little girl has rocked my world.  And not always pleasantly.  I never knew someone who was the result of so much nausea, insecurity, insomnia, and surgery could be the person I have wrapped my heart around and, four months later, could never ever imagine myself living without again.  But, to you moms out there, I'm not telling you anything new.  I may as well have just said "I have a baby." and you would have known that.  This little girl has red hair.  Now, if you knew my mom's side of the family, you would not think I would have been surprised as I was the first time I saw her.  Producing flaming red-heads is our specialty.  But for some reason, I had it set in my head that she would be dark like her daddy.  For those of you who will ask, she hasn't shown much in the way of a red-headed temper yet.  In fact, she's much like her brother...always ready to be ecstatically happy unless something is really wrong.  Like, you know....I'm hungry.
And last but not least, introducing Owen.  Owen is a neighbor of ours.  He is 17 and lives upstairs.  A less-than-ideal home life and a love of console games sparked a friendship not only with us, but with Alex.  He basically hasn't been home for weeks.  We admitted him into our family circle because not only is he a nice kid, but he plays video games with and keeps Captain ADHD under control.  He is a pro with making Jasmine laugh, and fetches for us whenever we need it.  That, combined with a good sense of humor and his superpower of laughing at Robert's inappropriate jokes, has earned him an honorary place in our clan.
Now that you've met everyone, I can get into the real nitty-gritty everyday occurances that make the thought "What in the holy name of heck have I gotten myself into?" run through my head frequently enough to drive me to distraction.  Lest you think I've forgotten the animals, here is a quick summary:  Trippy, the cat, disapproves of you and all you love.  And Gracie the dog wants to eat it.

*He's really my stepson, Robert's from a previous relationship, but he gets so offended when I call him my stepson that it's become a dirty word in my vocabulary.  "But MOM!  I'm your real son!  *tears*."  ...okay, son.  No problem.