This week The Lightning and the Lightning Bug takes a look at teamwork.
Our first born child did her part to help my husband and me unify our parenting efforts. Unlike her siblings who were self-soothers with their love of pacifiers and one particular thumb, Daughter #1 found her means of comfort at my breast. She would wake as many as seven times a night, crying out and waking the two of us as well. We got into a routine of alternating which parent would retrieve the baby in an attempt to share the sleep deprivation equitably.
After a year and a half of nightly punishment my husband and I were suffering greatly. We were often confused and sluggish. At those times we could manage sleep it was deep, almost coma-like. It became more and more hard to shake off the grogginess upon waking.
One night I crawled back into bed after nursing the baby. Feeling as though I had only just drifted off I was again awakened by her crying. Giving my husband a light shove I reminded him it was his turn to change her and bring her to me. His lack of response was greeted by another shove. After the scene replayed a half a dozen times my husband ambled out of the room and I instantly fell back to sleep.
I woke to crying once again and realized my husband was asleep at my side. I shook him awake and asked why the baby was still crying in her room. My husband’s face contorted as he slowly raised his eyebrows in the hopes they would pull his eyes open. In a barely intelligible voice he explained that he wasn’t sure what had happened. He only knew that he was awakened by the refrigerator light shining in his eyes as he rested his head on one of the shelves. Not knowing what he was doing in the kitchen he stumbled back into bed and fell fast asleep.
As soon as his story had been told he was asleep again. I shook my head as I patted off to the nursery to nurse the baby back to sleep.