Shell-Shocked and Sleep-Deprived

Dudes. I am shell-shocked. And sorry I’ve been so MIA, but mostly shell-shocked.

Newborns trick you in the first week of their wee little lives. They’re all sweet and cozy and sleepy and delicious-smelling, and they eat well and sleep well and their tiny faces are beautiful and everyone is peaceful and loving.

And then the second week happens, and you begin to see a glimpse of their true personality. Sometimes the newborns stay sweet and wonderful, but mostly it becomes mass chaos as the novelty wears off, the toddlers begin demanding that you “put bebe down”, the help starts to trickle off, and your husband goes back to work.

Then the third week begins and the baby starts to smell like spit-up, but you don’t have time to bathe him because you’re so busy trying to keep him from screaming, and his face breaks out in baby acne, and he never stops crying and he never sleeps anymore, and your parents leave, and your husband’s computer crashes and he’s stressed and working long, long hours, and the other kids are tired of being stuck inside and starting to invent dangerous games like “leap off the couch backward” out of sheer boredom, and eventually one night you find yourself locked in your closet, staring at the baby, having a competition to see who can shed the most tears in the ten minutes you have before one of the other kids breaks something. (And of course you win, because the baby can scream the loudest but doesn’t shed tears, and the fact that you feel momentarily triumphant about this reinforces to you how very sleep-deprived you are.)

But salvation comes, as it always does (for me at least) in the form of television shows that arrive precisely when you need them, that are interesting enough to keep you from falling asleep with the baby in your arms, and that are entertaining enough that you can forget (mostly) how much you’d rather be sleeping than walking/rocking/nursing the newest little minion.

When Sienna was born, that show was Veronica Mars. With Charlotte it was Battlestar Galactica. With Liam it was Doctor Who, and with this one it’s The Walking Dead. I was afraid to watch it at first because I was worried it would scare me enough to prevent me from sleeping during the rare moments when Linky sleeps, but as I told the Ogre last night, I’m afraid that something in my brain has broken, because instead of being afraid of the zombies I find the sight of them oddly comforting. (Please don’t psycho-analyze me in the combox, okay, because even though blogging is cheaper than therapy, I don’t actually want to find out what all the deeply disturbing aspects of my personality least not today.)

Most unfortunately, though, I can’t watch The Walking Dead while the kids are awake, so this is what I’ve been resorting to in order to keep me on my feet (or at least keep my eyes open) during the long hours of the day with three little attention-mongers. I hope you enjoy these links, but something tells me that only a person as sleep-deprived and slightly delirious as I am will find them highly amusing.

Also, I promise to eventually tell you the histrionic story of how I blacked out in the hospital, but my hands are mostly full of Lincoln lately, so it’ll have to wait until I’ve established basic survival skills with this new baby. Until then, please forgive me if I keep posting random, ridiculous videos.

In honor of last week’s debate:

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Apparently this is a popular song/video right now. I can see why; it’s concentrated fun. Also, read this article first if you want to understand what the video is about. I found it very interesting.

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(You should watch the rest of the Honest Trailers if you thought this one was funny, but there is mild language in some of them)

And of course, this classic (language warning: this one you can’t really watch with the kids around, but I had to include it because it’s hilarious):

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And now I have to go, because Lincoln just woke up from his 2.5 minute morning nap. See you soon, I hope. And hopefully not with more ridiculous video links.





  • Smoochagator

    TV saved me, too, after Garrett was born! I am wondering what I’ll watch when the next little one arrives. My two-year-old is becoming super attentive to what’s on TV (and what mommy and daddy say – he is fluent in four letter words already, unfortch) so I’m not sure I can watch the kind of stuff I did when he was 3 months old (Bones!). As it is I wait until he’s asleept to cue up Once Upon A Time. I may have to relax my standards a bit come postpartum.

    It is okay that you are MIA. I think most of your readers understand completely, even though we miss you terribly.

  • Ted Seeber

    Lincoln’s still Screaming Meatloaf stage. This too will pass.

  • GeekLady

    David was like this – angry unless someone was holding him. Have you tried him in a sling or other soft carrier? That helped me some.

  • GeekLady

    David was like this – angry unless someone was holding him. It was pretty bad for the first few weeks, but eventually he let me sit at the computer as long as he could be curled up against my tummy on the Boppy. Nuts, he still won’t go down for a nap unless I lie down on the couch with him. Lately he’s taken to snuggling my foot like it was some sort of stuffed animal, which is extra weird, even for him.

    Have you tried him in a sling or other soft carrier? That helped me some.

    (Story added because they said my comment was too short and I couldn’t think of anything else to say.)

    • GeekLady

      …AND the first comment showed up anyway. Man I hate technology sometimes.

  • Joanne K McPortland

    Oh, Calah. I wish I could be a fairy godmother and juggle Lincoln while you watched, instead of were, The Walking Dead. I only had one kid, but in his third week of life my sister and my mother sent my husband out for drinks, sat me down, and said “It’s OK to say you Hate the Baby for a minute. Everybody does. He won’t know it, but you’ll feel better.” My mother said, “I came close to dropping you out a window.” (In my family, this was considered a cheerfully bracing compliment.) So they made me say “I hate the baby,” which had the perverse effect of making me love him even more and forget the baby acne and the screaming and the (yeah, tell me it’s not deliberate!) peeing in my face. Mostly.

    And when I had cancer surgery, it was that same baby, grown up, who got me hooked on Veronica Mars and BSG and Dr Who to get through it. So it comes back around, even though you’re too sleep deprived to remember that.

    Merci beaucoup, btw, for the classic clip, one of my favorites. I just got back from hating Paris, and it is so true that the French would respond to a nuclear crisis by shrugging nonchalantly and saying, “I am le tired.” The next time Lincoln wails, practice that shrug. The “le tired” part should come naturally.

  • Stefanie

    This brought back a flood of locked-up memories of me and my 2nd child — my son — your paragraph on the 3rd week just about fits the two of us — almost 23 years ago. My husband — bless him — simply could not understand how me — a 2nd-timer mom — could be in tears and contemplating dire deeds on me and my son. I always say I don’t remember much about my kids’ childhoods –prob best that way, God is merciful indeed! What got me through was becoming obsessed with the local pro basketball team — FANATIC. But they got me through.
    And thanks for the vids — I laughed like crazy — and then had to explain it all to my husband — including my now-recovered 2nd baby memories.

  • TracyKM

    I so wish I had known more about slings with my first, who had to be held in one particular position, AND bounced, all the time. He also needed swaddling, but I thought that was just a hospital thing and it was summer. My third LIVED in a homemade fleece pouch for the first couple months.
    I HIGHLY recommend “THe Happiest Baby on the Block” by Dr Harvey Karp. Read it before #2 came, and changed some things, and it was wonderful! One thing I did was to create a cozy corner of her crib, with rolled up blankets so that her head was touching the blanket, one side was against the crib, the other side against another rolled up blanket, and her feet were firmly against the bottom of the crib, and she was swaddled. I also pre-warmed her spot with a hot water bottle. Who wants to go from being held to being in a cold bed?! When I’d lay her down, I’d keep my hand firmly on her tummy for a few minutes until she felt really asleep again.
    For me, it wasn’t TV (house too small), but Reader’s Digest. You can hold them open with one hand while you nurse and you never have to flip to page 152 to read the last two paragraphs.

  • Sarah in Ottawa

    Veronica Mars has been my comfort-TV one many occasions — particularly following a 12-week miscarriage in my 1st pregnancy. I still go back to it when I’m feeling blue. When Veronica was born and keeping ‘rock-star’ hours, I spent so many hours watching “The Wire”, so I am really glad that you’ve found another show to help you cope!

  • Jennifer

    OK I think your sleep deprived insanity has just made you my favourite blogger!! Those clips are too funny! I can’t wait to check out more honest trailers tomorrow (sorry but I’m just snuggling down for a WHOLE night’s sleep…I’ve done my time…six times over!! Thank God the sleep deprivation is transient, but definitely bad to be going through). Jennifer x