Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Why I Shouldn't Leave the House With Less Than Five Hours of Sleep

I've learned recently that more than one outing a day can be hazardous to my sanity. Also, fewer than 3 outings a week will cause me to feel cabin feverish, especially since it's so nice out right now.

Yesterday was Claire's 1 month check-up. Kate, Claire and I packed up gear and toys into the car for the 1.7 mile ride to the doctor's office. Once out of the car, Kate immediately ran in the opposite direction that I wanted to go. Carrying a diaper bag, a baby in a car seat and trying to herd a toddler all at once is ... challenging. Forget about taking that cup of coffee inside with you - there's no way to make it happen.

The highlights of Claire's well-baby exam:

  • height 21" (20" at birth)

  • weight 10lb 10oz (8lb 5oz at birth)

Apparently all that regurgitation of food has not affected her ability to pack on the chub.

We came back home and got ready to head out to playgroup at Erin's. Kate was already showing the signs of sleepiness (at 10:30am) but I ignored them, convinced that her social well-being was at stake because we never go anywhere to play with other kids. We got to Erin's and Kate was excited to see other children, play with Erin's dog, and play in the grass. Claire was sleeping peacefully in her car seat. Way to go, Jen; this was a great idea. I mentally patted myself on the back.

Then, just like it did with Tim last week, all hell broke loose at once. It was lunchtime and Kate couldn't be corralled. She is used to sitting in her highchair for meals, and without it she won't stay still to eat. I couldn't hold her because Claire woke up and needed coddling. Before I could get Kate any food, Claire spit up (read: vomited a gallon of milk) all over me and down my shirt. She has this way of doing that; she turns her head and spits right down my shirt. Mmm. Covered in baby goo, that's how I wanted the afternoon to go.

So Deb gets some food for Kate and tries to feed her and her daughter while sitting on a blanket on the grass. Kate kicks over her plate of food and walks through the fruit salad on the blanket to get to me. Claire is screaming (why, I'm not sure. I was the one covered in goo), and I am verbally questioning my desire to have kids so close in age to one another. Kate wanders out to the porch and tries to sit in a chair but falls down and bumps her head. Melissa picks her up and tries to calm her down.

These were all warning signs of Kate's pending meltdown, but I didn't see them. Why? Because I had too little sleep the night before. Kate wandering around looking like she is drunk and bumping into things is a sure sign that she is exhausted. I guess me not picking up on the cues is a sure sign that I am.

I decided that we were done and asked Erin to hold Claire while I took Kate out to the car. I carried her down the long driveway, put her in her car seat and buckled the seat belt, and drove up to the door to go get Claire. I think by the time I made it back out to the car Kate was already half-asleep. I snapped the baby seat in and we were off. We were halfway down Sabino Canyon road (which is really like a highway) when I noticed that Kate was so tired that she was falling forward as she nodded off to sleep. I called her name, apologizing to her that I had kept her out so late. She sat up and then leaned forward again. Wow, she is so tired. I have never seen her do that; she must be absolutely exhausted, poor kid. She was sleeping on her lap, totally bent over at the waist. Then, after about another minute of this, I realized why she was leaning over so far. I had forgotten to tighten her seat belt. Duh. You can't lean over that far if your harness is tight. Way to go, mom.

And that is why I should not leave the house with less than five hours of sleep.

On the positive side, Kate slept for 4 hours yesterday afternoon, allowing me to get my first daytime nap since Tim's mom left. Hallelujah.


Andrea & Ben said...

That reminds me of the time Noelle drove away from dropping me off in Korea and Kristana tipped over in her car seat while Noelle was paying attention to traffic! Funny in the end, but not so much during the act!! Glad you got some sleep!!!

Katie said...

I've done that too! (Forgotten to buckle the car seat). It is SO scary. Poor Kate. Poor You. Poor Claire. It can only go up! It will get easier and then you'll be laughing at the rest of us who wait too long in between kids!