Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Rise and Shine... Or Something Like That

It has taken me six, long months to come to grips with the fact that my days of sleeping in are over. I've battled it tooth and nail, staying up into the wee hours reading or TV-ing as if I have all the time in the world to sleep it off the next day, obstinately refusing to acknowledge that there will be no sleeping in for Monica. And I would pay for it the next morning. The entire next day, actually.

I am not a morning person. Never have been and it's hard to believe there will come a time when I bound from bed, eager to take on the day. But it seems the older folks get the earlier they rise. As sure as their skin gets all tissue-papery and liver-spotty, they're up at the crack of dawn. It can't be because they enjoy this sort of thing. That's just sadistic. I figure it must be because they've been conditioned to rise early after years of having children in the home.

By far, the hardest adjustment to becoming a mother is loss of sleep. From those first nutty months of foggy overnight feedings to now, even when she's sleeping through the night. My spine is an antenna that tunes in one channel very clearly; my child.

The other day as she was dozing off in her crib I actually heard Violet's binky drop from her mouth onto the soft bedding. From the living room. I heard a tiny plastic object hit a soft blanket. Life stopped. I froze, eyes wide, body straining, listening. Would she wake up? Should I go shove the binky back in to avoid the possibility? A motorcycle roars by. FUCKER! Doesn't he know there's a sleeping child in here? A bird chirps happily in the backyard. Little bastard, knock that shit off! Maybe she'll stay asleep despite the traumatic loss of the binky. Somewhere, miles above our home a plane passes by. Will it wake her? I silently curse better than Richard Pryor and shake my fist at the heavens. A bee pounds his body fruitlessly against the window, his buzz seemingly as loud as a buzz saw when it reaches my ears.

I stand silently, realize I'm holding my breath hoping Mama Time isn't over yet because the binky fell out and people, animals and insects are carrying out activities that seem designed to specifically wake up my daughter, effectively keeping me from showering. Damned binky. A tiny object that can't weigh more than a nickel that I heard drop onto a fluffy blanket. I don't even think I heard it so much as sensed it with my spine. My mothering sonar spine that is constantly, whether I like it or not, tuned into my daughter's every move. I can't even get a ten minute shower so solid sleep? O to the V-E-R.

Serge, on the other hand, doesn't seem affected at all. He gets up at six o'clock in the morning for work so he's supposed to be the one to get PeanutButter when she wakes up. He's really good about this IF he hears her over the snoring and the racket of that mothergrabbing box fan he's got to keep roaring next to his head. So he doesn't hear her until she's wailing for company. By this time I've been awake for twenty minutes listening to her escalate from cooing to talking to jabbering to those first few hiccups of crying. Every now and again I'll kick him into action but that seems a rather asshole-ish move considering I'm already awake. There's no returning to sleep from that, even if you rolled in from work at ten-thirty the night before and didn't crawl into bed until after midnight.

So yeah, I guess I'm slowly coming to terms with this forced upon me morning person-ness. Just don't expect me to be cheery about it.