I am, as I am wont, watching the Missus nurse. I think. I can’t be too sure these days.
The problem with sleep deprivation is you can never be too sure when you are actually getting sleep or not. Personally, I’m having a hard time telling the difference.
Now, I can’t nurse. This seems so obvious to say, sure, but it has repercussions much farther than you may think. The Mom must nurse. Always. All day and, more significantly, all night.. The Mom, whether she wants to or not, hates the Dad for this. Because Dad can only do one thing while he watches Mom nurse, and that one thing is fall asleep.
I’m trying. I really am. I try and stay up so I can change the diapers and hold the baby, but the baby uses the boob not only for food, but for a pillow, a security blanket a la Linus Van Pelt, and a set of ear warmers. When confronted with an unsoft, milkless and tepid Dad, the baby will scream for Mom. Mom tires of this easily, and gets even more irritated with Dad when he says, upon being asked to change the diaper:
“Yea, got the next one, no problem”, and goes back to bed.
Now in my defense, I’m not entirely sure to whom I was talking to at that point. Certainly, if I had known* it was the missus and that I would pay for this remark over the course of the next 4 days, I wouldn’t of said it, at least to avoid the punishment if not to be a Good Dad. The thing is, my sleeping brain has Vulcan mind-melded with my awake brain. I really don’t know what if I’m thinking or doing is real or not. Every time I blink, it seems I launch into a new scenario that seems plausible enough, at least at the moment. Take the last half an hour:
I’m watching the missus nurse. She is in the nursing chair. I offer to hold Baby G, and she says, “She’s nursing, but we’ll see.” I wait. Mom is now up changing the baby, and I should help, but the heroin I’ve taken is making it impossible to get out of bed, which is weird, because I don’t take heroin. I don’t feel bad because she’s the one who gave it to me in the first place, and the look she just gave me confirms this. It must not be kicking in for her. How can she be mad at me for enjoying the drugs that SHE gave me?
Gently, she comes back into focus.She continues to nurse. Then she is standing, not to change the baby this time, but pointing at the cast on her arm, saying
“Guess how this happened?’
I say I don’t know, and she says
“That guy in the other room? The one I’m dating? HE did this. You never should of left. This is YOUR fault, you know.”
I blink with incomprehension. When did I leave? And since when did she start dating someone else? I blink again, trying to puzzle this through and she is back in the chair nursing, wearing her original clothes, not the trailer tramp outfit she was a minute ago, and castless. She is looking at me and saying
“This is YOUR fault, you know.”
She leans back in the nursing chair and dozes off. I know that if I lie back down, I’ll fall asleep again, and I want to be awake if and when the baby drops off. Plus, if I sleep through another diaper changing, my esteem in the missus’ eyes will drop below sea level. I prop my back up against the wall, but it is uncomfortable, like an airplane seat.
I’m not sure how I even GOT the paper and magnet DNA model out of my luggage in such cramped quarters, but the model is due in biology class. Since biology class is held at the baggage claim, I have to have it done before I get off the plane. The top half of the model keeps falling apart, though, I can’t keep it together, and I’m shoving the seat of the person in front of me trying to arrange the coat hanger that the model hangs from. The person in the seat gets annoyed and turns around. She looks at the model in disgust and says, referring to the uncooperative top half and says “that’s YOUR side of the family, you know.” Her chair continues to turn around with her, to spin out into what was once the isle as she dozes off, and I can’t help but wonder how she got such a nice gliding rocking chair on this flight, and subsequently how they fit our bedroom into such a small plane.
I get up, get my computer and start typing. It’s the only thing that will really keep me awake.
*(pause while the missus asks me what I am doing while she nurses for the 4th hour in a row at 6:30 in the morning. I won’t even attempt to describe the look she gave me. It’s a good thing she is too tired to get out of the chair and smack me around the head)