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Sleepless in the Suburbs


The Ups, Downs and Sideways of Working Motherhood

Sleepless in the Suburbs

Alex Steinman

I wrote this Tuesday morning when I realized I don't need sleep because coffee. The fever, the teeth, the crying. We have all of it in her house right now. I've taken to blaming everything on the blood moon lately. Hoping that juju passes soon...

11:00pm: #gingerbaby rises. When Cooper wakes up in the middle of the night (a rare occasion), it's a pretty terrifying sight. Imagine the Chucky doll is drunkenly whining, eyes half-closed while gently waving at you. He had a fever earlier in the day that we thought had passed.

midnight: The baby Tylenol is nowhere to be found, so Matt volunteers as tribute to go to CVS. The woman at the checkout counter asks, "How's your evening going so far?" Real f***ing great ma'am. I'm at CVS in the middle of the night buying infant Tylenol.

1:30am: Matt goes to sleep after tag-teaming. One of us deserves to be horizontal, and I know I'll need him later.

2:00am: The Tylenol isn't working. Why is it never working? Poor baby is boiling, his gums are swollen, and he's sleep screaming. After three hours of rocking in the chair, walking around the house, laying on the ground, and co-sleeping in our bed, I literally crawl into the crib with Cooper. This is a low point. You'll never feel fatter than when you hike your ass onto the tiny platform, and the springs moan at you saying, "When's the last time you worked out?"

2:30am: I have reached my limit. When it comes to my child, I have the most patience. I sometimes think I could bounce and rock forever, but then just now, at 2:30 in the morning, I've reached the World's end. I wake-up Matt.

3:00am: Why don't we go for a drive and get some Orajel? I'm not sure I even know what that is, but I'm desperate and need to get out of the house. Matt and I pack him up, and we head out. Matt says Cooper is asleep about halfway to the store, but I just keep driving. I put pants on, so we're going to finish this journey.

3:15am: Matt stays in the car, and I go in. I resemble the bride of Frankenstein, afro matted on all sides and straight up in the air. I stand bra-less in the glow of the fluorescent lights, staring at the wall of numbing creams. I know it doesn't matter which one I pick because there's no f***ing way I'm waking this kid up to use it. And then, God started laughing at me. I shit you not, the Muzak version of Jesus, Take the Wheel comes on. I laugh in the aisle like a crazy person, but no one seems to notice. It's 3:15am at a suburban drugstore.

3:30am: We lower the tiny #gingerbomb into the crib like Jeremy Renner in the Hurt Locker. We heave our zombie corpses into bed and laugh uncontrollably at the stupidity of it all.

Goodnight my friends. May your tiny dictators sleep peacefully.