Reporter's Notebook
6:00 am
Sun May 25, 2014

Not A Napper: Life With A (Truly) Bouncing Baby Boy

Let me say off the top that I’m not complaining. No new mom getting as much nighttime sleep as I am has the right to complain. I’m lucky, I know I am. My 10-week-old only wakes up once to eat between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m.  And it has been like that for a while now. I dare to say it feels like a pattern; almost a schedule. But when the sun comes up in earnest, my little guy is ready to party. All day long.

I didn’t notice it at the beginning, the first several days at home, he slept a lot. All brand-new infants do. But somewhere around week three, it started to dawn on me. My little guy’s eyes were marble-round in all his newborn photos. Whenever I popped him on the changing table for a fresh diaper, he would stare at the artwork on the wall, fling his little arms around his head, kick like a crazed frog. He would doze off in his swing, but 30 minutes later, he was up and at ‘em.

Not A Napper

The fates have blessed me with a non-napper. Thank heavens I get loads of sleep at night; without it, I’d never be able to keep up. On a good day I can coax a few 45-minute snoozes out of him, so I’ve learned to live my life a few quarter-hour chunks at a time.

I’m running at peak efficiency on a day I manage to shower, do a load of laundry, and pay a few bills. Writing this post? Three attempts over a 48-hour period.

One morning in late March, I managed to do my taxes, one-handed, while rocking a fussy newborn in his bouncer. When I hit the button to e-file, I felt like I’d won a Nobel. I actually called my husband at work to crow about my incredible multitasking.

Parenting Challenges

A few times a week, I’m seriously challenged by my little guy’s wakefulness. When he’s happy and cooing at a book or toy, I’m charmed. When he’s wailing at noon (despite just being fed and diapered) and I’m still in my pajamas, I feel like crying, too. But according to the wiser, more experienced parents in my life, nothing in babyhood lasts forever. I guess my ever-alert little guy is due for a schedule change sooner or later.

So far, parenting is a balancing act. The smiley greeting we get when we lean over the crib every morning cancels out the shrieking that sometimes scores the post-bath, pre-bed witching hour. And sure, my infant is up most of the day. But that means so many extra hours to get to know him. I have never liked that morbid expression “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” But I’m quite happy to live by the mantra “I’ll get stuff done when he’s in kindergarten.”