Goodnight, funnyman.

October 7, 2007

I have found that it is a common source of amusement to the general public to ask new parents (specifically: me) if they are getting any sleep. To this I patiently explain for the 227th time that no, we are not getting much sleep. This is because the anatomy of a newborn child does not allow more than a couple of hours to pass without something going in or something coming out.

While I am doing my explaining, most of my listeners start to get this sort of patronizing, superior look on their face. The thought going through their heads is clearly something like:

“Ha ha, this is humorous to me because you are not getting any sleep and since I have been a parent, I was heretofore superior in my knowledge of how little sleep you would get. You likely were not fully aware of the sleep deprivation you were about to experience… ha ha.”

Some of the more emboldened people like to throw in a joke or two about the subject, theoretically at my expense.

Well, to all you psuedo-Seinfelds out there, here’s a couple little tips for you:

Tip #1. We knew this was coming so you can go ahead and abandon your bemused superiority complex.

That’s right…surprise, surprise all you self-important “been-around-the-block”heads. In case you missed it while researching the arrival of your own little spawn, nearly every book and magazine ever written on the subject of babies covers the topic of difficult sleep patterns. We did not bring home Sariah the first night and experience some sort of cold-water shock when she woke up crying an hour after we put her down. It’s as if some of you imagined us waking up for the third or fourth time in one night and fumbling around in the dark trying to discover why our child can’t just sleep straight through an eight hour shift.

Tip #2. Although it is tiring, we’re not exactly going through the Navy SEAL sleep deprivation anti-interrogation training course

Okay, so we wake up every couple hours, feed her, change her and rock her to sleep over a period of 45-60 minutes. Guess what? After that she sleeps for two, three and sometimes four hours. Likewise, Cristina and I sleep for two, three and sometimes four hours. We get rest, just not in the long stretches we were used to.

Tip #3. You are unoriginal.

Even if we didn’t know that we would be losing a significant amount of sleep and even if we felt like it was more exhausting than watching your vacation photo slide show, someone has already made the sleep deprivation joke a long time before you did. Their joke was probably funnier than yours too. So save it.

My point is, if you really want to know how much sleep we are (or, are not) getting, go ahead and ask me. I will tell you all about it and – if you’re lucky – I might even regale you with some humorous anecdotes about stubbed toes, overflowing diapers and other comical mishaps. If, on the other hand, you are asking simply to preface some worn-out condescending commentary, then save it. The revelation you think you are holding is nothing more than a fact of life that shares a level of intrigue on par with the notion that poop stinks.

End Rant.

(Authors note: The seemingly angry tone of this rant is intended for humorous effect only. I’m actually not an angry person… except when approached by wandering packs of mangy mathematicians. I simply have no tolerance for the rampant and ill-mannered use of theorems and logarithms in a cultured society.)



  1. D’oh. I asked you this last night (that makes this post much more pointed at me… I’m such an idiot.). However if you had actually said, “No, I’m not getting that much sleep” I would have given you the top secret knowledge that all parents learn, but which is given only after they swallow their pride and admit that they need some sleep. Sorry, maybe next time.

  2. Wow Ryan… you sound cranky. Maybe you should get some more sleep. šŸ™‚

  3. No worries Brent, I’ve been crafting this post in my head for several days. In fact, I don’t even recall you asking me… my memory must be failing me due to lack of sleep.

  4. Your just angry because your baby is up more than mine… Take shifts so you can get a little sleep then re-write this angry post you whiner.

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