If you were a coin, what would you be? Would you be pennies because you always need to put in your two cents worth? Maybe you’re a nickel because pennies are obsolete so now you want to put in your five cents worth instead of being quiet. Perhaps you’d be a dime because you think you’re a dime a dozen. (You’re not, stop being so self-deprecating.) Or maybe you’re a quarter…because…you’re one quarter moisturizer? All soft and mushy… (Frig off, I couldn’t think of a good one for that.) Possibly though, if you’re a sleep deprived parent, you might be a loonie like me.
It has been eight months since I’ve had a good night sleep. Eight MONTHS. This lack of sleep has brought on a new, heightened state of crazy initiating me into a cultural sub-group of people who look relatively stable, but act demented. The Loonie Club. Our badge of honour is giant blue bags. Not recycling bags, but giant blue bags that hang under our eyes. They’re so big and doughy you just want to pull them up over your head like sleeping bags and nap forever. Then you’d wake up for a snack and nap for another forever.
I keep waiting for The Beast to get it so I can get kicked out of the club, but instead he chooses to focus on other skills like crawling, teething, and outstanding cuteness. Each month I wonder if this is the magical month where I can say my baby started sleeping through the night, and each month the calendar lets me down. The scariest part is hearing about parents who have two, three, even FIVE YEAR OLDS who still don’t sleep through the night. Those people are timeless veterans of The Loonie Club.
There is one perk to being delirious. You get to behave the way you’ve always wanted but were too socially groomed not to! I’ve always vowed to myself that when I’m old I’m going to use my madness to my advantage. I’m going to let my crazy fly at the top of the flagpole all flappy and free with little to no apology. It turns out sleep deprivation allows you to behave like a lunatic with this simple tagline, “Sorry, my baby doesn’t sleep through the night yet.” Just when someone wants to deck you, you can toss out that phrase and their disdain turns to compassion.
Recently my sleep deprivation has caused me to butt in line at various locations. The other day a woman and I were approaching the bank machine at the exact same time. She made it there a footstep sooner because her svelte, freshly showered self wasn’t carrying a 17lb beast in a cumbersome car seat. Nonetheless, I tried to butt.
“Excuse me,” I said. “I really need a pretzel and they only take cash. Can I go first?”
“I’ll be quick,” she said with a fake smile.
A normal person would give up after that. A sleep deprived loonie such as me says something like this instead:
“No you won’t be quick. You can’t go ANY quicker because it’s a MACHINE. You can’t make it shoot your money out any faster. So no, NO you won’t be ‘quick’. That’s a lie. You just lied. You’ll take the same length of time it would’ve taken me and my giant baby to transact so we could get a goddamn pretzel, and you know it!”
The woman turned around slowly and shot daggers of contempt over her glasses. I knew I was in trouble so I started to fake cry.
“Sorry…(fake cry, fake cry, fake cry) I’m really tired. My baby doesn’t sleep through the night yet and I really need a pretzel (more fake crying…).”
Immediately her rigid posture softened.
“Oh dear, I know exactly how you feel.”
(By now she’s got her arm around my shoulder.)
“My oldest didn’t sleep through the night until he was 16 months. I know it feels like it’s never going to end, but it will. I promise. Here, dear, let me buy you your pretzel. You deserve it.”
“Okay thanks,” I blubbered.
As the lady and I parted ways, I smiled smugly. Then I went to the pharmacy to butt in line there. Happy eight month birthday, Beast! I got you some baby Gravol! All part of being in The Loonie Club.