“Are you getting any sleep?”
It’s the question I always liked to ask parents of newborns. I’d ask based on my own experience with newborns. It’s well known they like to eat regularly, regardless of the hour.
I’m writing this at 4:40am. I’ve been up nearly an hour. I’ve concluded that my best shot at getting out for a morning run will come between now and the next feeding, likely to take place about 6am.
“Are you getting any sleep” is somewhat equivalent to “do you come here often?” It’s an unclever conversation starter. It’s the question new parents answer over and over again. Last year, I interviewed the Convention and Visitors Bureau president in Augusta, a guy named Barry White. I resisted the urge to joke about his name. Instead, I asked him how many would-be comedians instantly start in with “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” upon introduction. “Constantly,” he said, unamused.
Though less annoying, the “sleep?” question is just as obvious. The answer is: It’s sporadic, especially for the breastfeeding wife.
Clint begins to yammer for chow like clockwork, every two to three hours, day and night. Because she has the built-in equipment, Jez handles all the feedings. I’ll irregularly roll out of bed to handle burping, diaper changing and rocking-back-to-sleep duties.
The interruptions don’t seem to affect my stamina the following day. However, Jez’s 24-hour joined-at-the-teat regimen is exhausting, just to watch.
Like most old guys, I find that I need less sleep than I used to. If I’ve gone to bed early — it was 9:30 last night — I’m perfectly comfortable rolling out of bed at 4am, especially if it leads to a cup of coffee followed by a run through the neighborhood.
Which I’m gonna do now, before the boy wakes up again.