Friday, March 27, 2009

Sleeplessness is a bitch

Have you read Hellhole in this week's New Yorker? Its a compelling, if awfully depressing article about how even short term stays in solitary isolation damage our brains. We're such social creatures that, if denied any human contact, we lose the ability to relate to others. POWs say solitary is just as torturous as bone-breaking physical torment.

At the risk of trivializing the subject, I want to talk for a minute about a different kind of torture: sleep deprivation. Our darling 20 month old has been moving her wake-up hour ever earlier, standing in her crib and calling "Mama" at 5, even 4am. We've been completely unsuccessful at soothing her back to sleep, and figuring that wretched rest is better than lying in bed listening to her scream bloody murder, we've brought her to bed with us for the last week or so.

But A does not curl up next to me and fall back asleep like a little angel. She climbs over me, tugs on and identifies my body parts, nestles her hard-plastic paci-mouth into my trachea and generally bugs the shit out of me until demanding "Down!" At which point Josh (bless his heart) takes her downstairs and rewards her bad behavior with an early-morning screening of Sesame Street. "Elmo!" I hear her exclaiming with delight.

Thanks to A, we're fried. Something's got to change, and I'm steeling myself for tomorrow morning, when I will be instituting "solitary confinement" in A's well-appointed baby jail. I will be strong. I will be ruthless. I will be buying earplugs.