As I lay awake the other morning in the haze of sleep deprivation (after baby had been awake...and asleep...and awake from 12am to 3am) I found myself thinking that just as I posted awhile ago on Facebook, I truly have come to realize another sad truth about parenting: children are simply tiny enemy combatants engaged in constant and never-ending psychological warfare.
Now, you're probably thinking "That lady is crazy. She's already admitted she's sleep deprived and now she's going to blame it on her kid." And to that I say, you are correct. I would not be so sleep deprived if I hadn't had my child, and now that she's here I understand just how little sleep I need to function as a semi-normal human being-- I used to think it was minimally eight hours. Ha! Now I realize it lies between four and six, depending on the task ahead.
But, back to my point about those tiny, hypnotically adept, antagonists. Even now, as I attempt to begin functioning for the day ahead, I am listening to my little one happily coo and play quietly in her crib. I smile to myself, then think, "What the hell?! That little *insert loving expletive here* was up until 3AM! Awww... she just said "Uh oh!" all by herself..." How is she so easily able to manipulate my feelings, going from "I could leave you at a fire station any moment if I were awake enough to find one" to "Ahhh! You're the most-amazing-cutest-little-fat-thighs-baby-girl-in-the-world!" in a matter of seconds.
Ugh. At least I hear they're only cute for three and a half more years, then I guess the beatings can begin.
(I'm TOTALLY kidding about the beatings! You can put down the phone, no need to call child protective services. In that many years my kid will be able to dial a phone on her own easily, her dad just gave her her own a smart phone the other night.)
Below, I have pieced together the top three reasons that should completely convince everyone of my ten (and a half)-month-old adversary's guile:
Sleep Deprivation: A known form of prisoner torture. They start out by easing you into the lack of sleep, you don't even know how tired you are until you've asked your husband if the baby is crying four times, and each time he says no. You go check on said baby, they are sound asleep, you're hallucinating. (True story, this happened to me frequently during months one through three, it only got worse when I was home alone.)
Solitary Confinement: Literally considered to have driven some men insane, solitary confinement is yet another form of baby torture. They get you to stay in at first because you're so exhausted and they're so cute, but by the time they're eight (or so) months old you are afraid to leave the house because of what they may do in public. The only other (adult) people you're allowed to see on a regular basis are grandparents and other equally sleep-deprived parents. Many parents rejoice when "night-night" time rolls around so they can watch television (or at least something that is ear-piercingly annoying) and place food, drinks, whatever on the coffee table that is just at baby's height.
Exposure to Unpleasant Sounds Over a Long Period of Time: I am quite specifically referring to the screams of small children and "kiddie songs". Not only does my husband marvel at the sheer lung capacity of our child every time she decides to scream, but he is also astounded by the sheer amount of annoyance those screams can evoke from us. He is constantly amazed at how infants are so biologically attuned to survive with little tricks like the most annoying sound in the world. As for those equally torturous kiddie songs, even the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay were allegedly subjected to hours of unending kid songs as one form of torture.
"Most Annoying Sound in the World" clip from Dumb and Dumber
I think I've made my case. What do you think? Small child = psychological warfare?