Monday, July 31, 2006

At Insomnia’s Source

Finally, I figured out why I can’t sleep at night. After I wrote up last night’s entry, it was after one in the morning, and I figured it was a good time to go to bed; Seven AM comes mighty early these days, especially when I’m playing Dad to two dueling tornadoes bent on destroying the house before Mommy gets home.

When I laid down, intent on sleeping for a change, I laid there instead, staring at the ceiling and listening to the baby monitor on Kara’s side of the bed hiss with white noise from the fans and the open windows in all of the upstairs rooms. Part of the problem is that the monitor is always set at such a high volume, as if we’re both stone deaf and the only way we can hear him wake up is if the sound waves actually grab us by the shoulders and give us a shake. I'm a light sleeper at night, and the slightest thing can wake me up, from someone driving by two streets over or even solar wind bouncing off of the moon and striking the roof. Kara keeps the monitor's volume too high night after night, so I either have to get up and turn it down or suffer through it. I can hear him breath. I can hear him clear his throat, and you know that Rapid Eye Movement you get in deep sleep? Well, through the monitor set on high volume, it sounds like two people playing ping-pong with a pair of grapes. Sometimes I hear him think.

So, I listen to it, counting his breaths, trying to guess what some of the random noises are, and all the while, waiting for Matthew to wake up for his midnight feeding. It is my job to provide sustenance for the little guy at the witching hour, and I don’t mind it, as I’ve said before: It’s quite, easy, and it makes me feel like I’m being a caring father. Plus, it’s been deemed my job by those that lord over doling out jobs around here, and I laid there waiting to do it like someone who wakes up two minutes before his alarm clock goes off in the morning and decides that closing his eyes for two more minutes won’t make him less tire, so he gets up early. That was me, laying last night there waiting to go to work. It was time, after one, and he should have been getting up any minute… just wait for it, almost there… but it didn’t come. Every time I heard the slightest rustling of his sheets or the insignificant squeak of a crib spring, I would assume that it was time to whip up a milk shake for him and get it down his gullet before he starves to death.

But wait, all is quiet again; Matty’s just rolling over. Okay, just a few more minutes at least.

After another hour, I couldn’t stand it in bed any longer. I got up and continued my family tree research on the Internet, desperately trying to locate my roots… but since the vast majority of them either didn’t write anything down or couldn’t write at all, it has been a difficult process. Perhaps they just hated the bureaucracy of the government more than I do and vowed not to fill out any census paperwork… just like I don’t. Of course, pointing a squirrel gun at the census taker might have been slightly more acceptable in those days than it is today, and I’m sure the local sheriff wouldn’t necessarily turn a blind eye to the tom foolery of the kinfolk down the road a piece. But there has to be a reason why I can’t find a single family member on my father’s side. My mother’s side? There’s too much information. They were rich, prosperous, owned lots of land and the proliferated like rabbits so the family tree looks like a freakin’ Sequoia.

So, I was up until 4am, clacking away the hours on the computer, wide awake in limbo when he finally woke up and was ready for something to snack on. After it was all said and done for him and he was sawing little logs with a little plastic saw, I went to bed and was asleep before my head hit the pillow, with the satisfaction of a job well done.

I don’t want to blame a little seven-month-old who never did nuthin’ to nobody, but I can’t help but wonder the kind of sleep I would get at night if I wasn’t on the schedule to give him a bottle between 11pm and 5am. I can only imagine, because as it is now, I can’t get a wink of sleep if I know that there is something before me that I have to do.

It’s like waiting for the other bootie to drop, but now that I know the problem, at least I can work on a solution.

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