for any of you hoping to find a man to have children with, let me give you the most important advice you will ever get. stop wasting time with the bullshit questions i asked when auditioning potential mates: “what do you do for a living” “are you a batterer” “do you have any STDs” “do you have a criminal record” “what is your parenting philosophy” “how many kids do you want” “your place or mine”?
none of that matters. there is only one question that you need to bother asking when seeking the father of your children, it’s the ONLY one that matters: “How old were you when you started sleeping through the night?”
my husband hid this critical information from me date after date, year after year. it wasn’t until the twins had three full months of terrorizing me from 9pm till 6a under their belt that i called my mother in law near tears from the exhaustion. it was then that she revealed the source of all that was evil.
“Oh yeah, don’t I know it. Gil was four years old before he slept through the night.”
FOUR YEARS old!!!! i bred with a man who didn’t fall asleep and stay asleep for more than two or three consecutive hours until he was FOUR YEARS OLD! i honestly would rather her have told me his real name isn’t even gil and he has another family living in argentina no one knows about. if i had learned this information when i delivered the twins i would have left them at the hospital.
now let me say that looking back there were signs. red flags, if you will. since i started having slumber parties with him i quickly learned he only required three hours of sleep a night to be an energized, fully functional human being. i must have been blinded by love to not think this was anything to be concerned about. to miss all the signs. i figured as long as he wasn’t waking me up what did i care?
since this betrayal my eyes have been much more open. i would have thought since he was always up all night anyway, that when the twins arrived he would welcome having nighttime companions and readily take over the night shifts. however, i’m finding it suspicious that since the twins were born he suddenly requires a full 8 hour stay in dreamland in order to carry out his work day. how did he manipulate me, someone who should be tested for chronic fatigue syndrome, into doing the night shift every freaking night (minus a few that he took over when i’d gotten to the raging-bitch-making-everyone-miserable point) while he snores away in the guest room? i’ll tell you how. because i’m the mom and apparently that means a night-shift time card came with my c-section scar.
it’s just as well because when gil has one bad night with the twins he becomes the walking dead for a week. he then starts to spew venom at me for not doing “my job” so that now he’s too tired to do his. when he refers to raising our children as MY job i know it’s only a matter of time before i’m starring in my very own episode of “snapped”.
and this brings me to now. nine months of nightly torture. one baby wakes and decides he wants to tell me all about his short dream in gibberish for 30 minutes before he falls back asleep. 45 minutes later another baby wakes screaming, about what i don’t know. gas drops, tylenol, and a pacifier later and he’s back down. 45 minutes after that baby 1 wakes again crying for food, when i refuse to feed him in the middle of the night he continues to cry waking baby 2 up and they have a beautiful duet for the next several hours that would make your skin crawl. finally i feed the little
bastards babies around 4 while giving them the same bleary eyed lecture about how they are 9 months old, in the 92nd percentile, and eat more during the day than a football team so they don’t need food at night! they laugh at me. finish their bottles and fall asleep. until 5:30. then they are up jumping in their cribs, giggling, ready to start our day. “and so it goes and so it goes and i’m the only one who knows”.
i’ve listened to mothers, i’ve read the books, i’ve tried EV UH RE THING. this is who they are. they are freakishly happy, healthy, and energetic on 5 minutes of sleep so i’ve accepted this is what our life will be like. it is in their dna so i don’t fault them. i fault their father. they can blame him when they are never invited to sleepovers because no one’s mother is going to want a creepy little boy up all night cooking in her kitchen.
during the 30 seconds of sleep i get each night i have a reoccurring dream. i dream of a better day when i have a narcoleptic little girl just like mommy…..
so to wrap up, when you’re in a beautiful restaurant looking across the table into the eyes of a man you are falling in love with and ask him The Question, unless he says anything under 6 weeks (in which case verify with his mother) RUN. and stick him with the check for wasting your time.
for those of you future mothers who, like me, failed to see this bigger picture and already married a freak of the night, there is only one way to save yourself. adopt.
god be with you.