Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

Gone are the days of the snooze button

After a few discombobulating hiccups (whoever taught my baby to roll over? MINUS TEN POINTS FOR YOU), we’ve finally transitioned Marlo into a regular nighttime routine. It’s not exactly perfect because she can barely make it to 6PM and then she’s done. Kaput. Like she’s been studying for that calculus final through the night and passes out, her head mushed sideways into the textbook, and her roommate has to physically restrain herself from taking a permanent black marker and writing BONER on her forehead.

And then some internal alarm clock goes off in her head at 2AM exactly. Sometimes it breaks and goes off at 1:58 AM, but that is rare, and I hop out of bed, run down to her room and savor the ten minutes or so that she eats. Then she’s back down until 6AM. And oh, is she up. She is awake and ready for the day, barking orders and not really interested in the fact that we’d like another half hour of sleep.

For the past two nights Leta has come into our room having had nightmares about spiders, and it’s always right at the point when I have just fallen back asleep. So in my weak and lazy state I just pull her up in bed beside me and we snuggle for the rest of the night. Or more accurately, she flails her arms and sticks her feet on my head. And I lie there awake resenting every sleeping person in the world.

And then at 6AM we’re all there, all four of us in the dark, mushed together in bed, Marlo trying to tell us that we’re boring and need some new tricks. The light from an iPhone is no longer entertaining. That rattle is so dumb. Please turn on the light and amuse me, slaves! So I reach over, fumble around until I find the bedside lamp, and then all four of us wince at the sudden glaring light. Some of us wince more loudly and agonizingly than others. I won’t name that someone, other than to say that if there were a prize for best impersonation of a hyena being gutted with a chainsaw, we’d have a winner.

This morning I looked over at Jon and said, well, this is our life. Our Every Day Starts At 6AM Life, our Hit The Ground Running At 6AM Life, and as Leta made faces to make Marlo giggle, and Coco whined longingly in her crate to be let out, please let me out, you’re having all that fun without me, we both laughed at the ridiculousness of it. Because as bad as it might sound, it’s just so incredibly awesome.

  • This was an awesome post, give a little to get A LOT.

  • so sweet. and i bet you’ll miss those teeny toes up your nostril in a few years…

  • If you want to push her schedule back, I actually figured it out on my third child. Seriously. I did this when she was 3 days old, but it should work now.

    What you do is have a *good* friend come over (because only a good friend would do this) who is pretty good with kids. Have them come over around 5, and hand them the baby. Put on a Weird Al video, or something that will get everyone laughing. And then have them keep stimulating Marlo to keep her awake, maybe until 7 p.m., or maybe 8 p.m. if you want to be getting up at 8 a.m. instead of 6 or 7.

    The key is having a person who is not already really exhausted to do this, because otherwise, the tendency is to just go with the flow and let her do what she’s been doing.

    In our case, our baby had been born at 5 p.m. and stayed awake until around 7. She slept until 2 a.m., and then woke up and did not want to go back to sleep. She was born at home, so only exhausted hubby and I to deal with her, and I was completely out. So he stayed up with her until she fell back to sleep at 8 or 9 a.m. She slept until noon, was up until 6, and then went to sleep again around 9, repeating the previous night’s performance. She was capable of both sleeping for long periods of time, but was just doing it at the wrong times.

    After two days of this, neither of us could cope. I have a medical condition that requires I get a certain amount of unbroken sleep. Our first two had slept all night from the first night. When my best friend’s husband came over after to work to see her on the third day, my husband asked him if he would mind staying while he ran some errands.

    So he stayed for a few hours, and I had the brainstorm of asking him if he’d mind trying to keep her up until 9 or 10 instead of letting her fall asleep at 6. He did. He tickled her when she seemed sleepy (gently), laughed loudly at Weird Al, and did whatever he could to keep her awake as she got crankier and crankier.

    That night set a pattern of a sleep schedule she rarely deviates from unless she’s sick. She’s now almost 5, and while she needs less sleep, we’ve never had the awful time we did when she was newborn.

  • I’m right there with ya – 6AM RIGHT ON THE DOT. The early hour kills me, but as soon as I look down at the adorable face smiling happily up at me, all that frustration dissipates, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

  • Heather, I think Marlo has finally learned to throw those gang signs! At least, that’s what I thought that bit at the end with her right hand was…

  • kacy

    It sounded like she was getting ready to say “mama”, i miss those days. My son is just about the same age as Leta, his b-day is Feb 12 and my daughter is 16. She is beautiful just like her sister.

  • Life is good!

  • Dear GOD, you have the most adorable child in the entire universe. I honestly don’t think she could BE any cuter.

  • AndInOtherNews

    … another VBA from dooce

  • We have three toddlers (1, 2 and 3) and all of them are in a phase of early wake-ups. 4:35am being a new recent record setting time. Thank God for the automatic timer on the coffee pot.

  • pinkbrain

    Oh to have a baby that sleeps! In desperation last night I was roaming the streets at midnight with He-Who-Does-Not-Sleep in the carrier. Every night I go through a bedtime routine to encourage the sleep and baby throws a grenade through my efforts.
    One day I’ll get to sleep!

  • Jenny

    wow. THIS IS MY LIFE! 🙂 really, really tired over here… but enjoying it.

  • Candice

    That is one expressive cutie! My son is very reserved, so it is fun to see the contrast. My hubby and I always wake up laughing, no matter the hour, we love our baby so…

  • Jen Tullis

    Ah, Dooce, how I envy you. I have two children, in fact my youngest was born on the same day and year as your Leta. Joshua is 8 and we aren’t having anymore. I miss those days where Eric would bring them to me to feed and then we just play in bed until Mommy demanded coffee! Enjoy it!

    Marlo is a very cute baby. I showed my husband the “Pantshat” shirt picture and we both laughed because we used to do the same thing with our babies.

    Thanks for everything you do.

    Jen

  • Angie

    But isn’t is so really amazing? Well said… my day starts at 4:45 and ends at 10:00 pm but I love every minute – yes even the crazy ones! The madness right before I get the 5 yr old on the bus and the 3 yr old ready for preschool all while keeping the 2 yr old happy! Down to the crazy bedtime routine – and my currently 23 month old son that refuses to go into his crib awake and the 3 yr old that just plain refuses to go to sleep period… Oh the wonders of mommyhood!

  • Love that crater dimple! What a great perspective on life – wow, we really can change as we get older, right?

  • pflower

    Your PantsHat post pic is so very Grey Gardens.

  • It’s good but it’s bad but it’s so good. Ah, the life! And I only have one.

  • Meranath

    My 5 mo old son is now in love LOL.

  • oh, family WIN!! Yay for all of you guys.

    xo

    b.

  • Agi

    I think me and ma’ man need to get ourselves one of those! When we set up an alarm clock for 7am to go for a jog, most of the times we just slam the clock, roll over and snore away for another hour. Who would slam a baby..?

  • With #25…all I can think of is that raspberrielicious belly.

  • Caitlin

    When did she get so big?!?!! you can really see her starting resemblance to Leta in this 🙂

  • #67 Your comment has me cracking up! Don’t you just love Little Edie?

  • hahaha! This is totally one of those subjects that you’ve just got to bitch about. As wonderful as a happy, cuddly little family is, if it’s all happy and cuddly at dawn’s crickety crack like that, YOU’VE GOT FULL BITCHING RIGHTS EVEN AS ENJOYABLE AS IT IS!

    Myself, I went through hell sleep-wise with my first daughter and paid my debts to society. She needed to scream for hours in order to fall asleep, whether for nap or bed, and if she woke for even half a second it would start up all over again. But I got rewarded for not shaking her by having a second baby who is now 2 1/2, who plays with my 5 yr old in their room when they wake up. They seriously just play nicely together for several hours until we get up around 7:30. But I did my time!!! I deserve it! I betcha in another year or two, that is exactly where Leta and Marlo will be. You guys will be able to wake up to the sun shining through the window and birds singing and girls giggling in their room, and you’ll stretch and go I FREAKING EARNED THIS.

  • Isn’t it a wonderful thing to be so blessed?
    Who would have thought you’d actually enjoy getting up at 6 AM one day.

  • Anu

    Oh!!!! I just want to hold her and kiss her so bad. Maybe my hubby will change his mind and agree to have kids after seeing this video.

  • Thank you so much for those amusing thoughts. I was sitting here wallowing for a bit, and now I’m restraining myself from literally laughing out loud. I feel better — of course, soon I’ll be enjoying the fun of night feedings with a newborn, so I could use all the amusement I can get at this point.

  • Molly

    I seriously will not have children until someone with kids tells me they do not wake up until at least 8am. Does that make me selfish? I JUST CAN’T DO IT.

  • I love that part where you say that it’s like Marlo is saying “Please turn on the light and amuse me, slaves!”
    It reminds me of the kid in “Wedding Crashers” who says, “Whatever. Make me a BIcycle, CLOWN!”
    I feel like Marlo is looking at you just like that kid looked at Vince Vaughn.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8eL4GHCDhE

  • Cyn

    As I also now read your “HATE” section (just to give you more clicks, if anything) I just want to say… All those haters just don’t get it. They are jealous (as am I) of your beautiful self, your charming supportive husband, your adorable, precocious kids and your cuddly canine duo. I am insanely jealous of all those things, I wish I had any ONE of them. And I too suffer from depression, and struggle with the daily dullness of spirit that it comes with. I wish I could write like you, had the inner motivation and passion or the balls to do it. But, the fact that I have none of those things, does that make me a hater? NO. Sure I am jealous as all f*** But, I LOVE the fact that you do it. I love the fact that it is possible. I like reading your funny, well written, pithy posts even if they fill me with 40 year old childless, lonely, unsatisfied envy. yes. I envy you. But, I am so happy that a life like yours is possible and that you share your 6 am struggles with us. Oh how I wish I was waking up at 6 am with a house full of happy crazy, instead of just my own solitary sad crazy… Keep going Heather.. I’ll keep reading, and maybe one day I’ll come out the other side too.

  • Pamela

    Its so funny your comments bc until the Dr Phil show with the stay home moms vs working moms I didn’t know of your blog. This comment of no more snooze is our life too. I look forward to the days of sleeping in again. Whats funny is I stay at home and still feel like I need more sleep! We always end up with at least 1 of 2 kids in our bed. I remember after we had our 1st son and everyone had left from the hospital. My husband and I looked at each other and said, “finally we’re alone!” Then we looked at each other and said no were not, both glancing at the crib! Never again! Life as we knew it is no longer.

  • SO true! When do we get to sleep in again? When??

  • Jess F.

    She needs you awake so she can hypnotize you with her adorable dimple. She knows you’ll gladly do her bidding 🙂

  • Love the video. Marlo is beyond cute. I have a theory that the baby shirt industry is attempting to train baby girls to star in a Girls Gone Wild video when they are older. Why can’t those things stay down? Then again, there’s not much out there that is cuter than a baby belly. I think I need to go give my baby a zerbert on her belly right now.

  • –>I hate when I wake up before my son now which means about 6 a.m. but I just lay there and wait because like the sun rising, I know it’s coming Soon.

  • Meghan

    Amen, sister-friend. I haven’t had more than 3 hours of consecutive sleep in 10 weeks and I couldn’t be happier. (Although 4 hours would be really nice.)

  • Ghanimatrix

    I have really been enjoying your blog lately. I have been having a really tough time with depression this month, and it is a wonderful feeling to be reminded of the daily wonder that is my child, and my life. Thanks.

    P.S. I think Marlo is a wonderful name.

  • I hate to be a downer….BUT, just think how much WORSE it will be when 6AM is 5AM in about a week. Just saying.

  • Becky

    Dooce, you know that now that you blogged about it, it’s totally going to change. when people ask if my baby is sleeping through the night I always say “she/he sleeps like a baby.” All us mommies know that means they are up at all hours. And I didn’t jinx it if they really are. Why do people ask that anyways? Are they volunteering for night feedings?

  • KMac

    Marlo is looking more and more like a big blue-eyed Leta! She’s adorable!!

  • She is so adorable. And I’m starting to see a real resemblance to Leta, no? You and Jon make beautiful babies. 😉

  • Sue

    #81-You’ve just said so well why I read about the Armstrongs. To everyone in that black pit thinking you will never be any way but down, here is proof that it can get better-it’s work and a daily struggle but it does get better. Life can be good. And to you, Cyn, I’ll say that after battling depression for years (and still work to keep it controlled), I finally married for the first time at 46. And as I said earlier, now I wake up at 6 am surrounded by dogs, cats and my husband and say “Yes. It can be good.” Never think that the sun will never shine again.

  • BEAUTIFUL. Marlo is fucking beautiful. And I love the chaos in your life.

  • Baby tummies are the best! She is such a cutie. Love the yell!

  • My children are 30, 28 and 27 YEARS old, and I haven’t slept-in for well, 30 years!

    ONE, because I am doing a second tour of duty with a five year old who like Leta, has assorted bad dreams also, and a ten year old who insists on using our master-bath toilet at 3:00 A.M., instead of the one that is right outside her bedroom door – eight feet to the left. And TWO, even if I wasn‘t doing a second tour of duty, the tall guy that I’m married to has an alarm clock that goes off at 5:15 every morning. 5:15 A.M!!

    Marlo and Leta are beautiful and SO worth not sleeping in for. And laughter. . . Keep that, it’s what keeps you strong and healthy.

    #36 – you crack me up, and #79 – YOU will just need a live-in nanny. And ask her to wake you at 8.

  • OMG, WHOA … did you really just admit that you let not one but TWO children come into bed with you? YOU MUST BE SATAN INCARNATE!!!

  • Definitely gonna be an early talker, that one is. Or, rather, she already *is* an early talker.

    I’m hoping your life-changing catastrophes are well on their way to being healed/resolved.

  • Jenn

    I LOVE reading about how happy you are now. Sounds like a fabulous life!

  • You’re so fortunate that Marlo has a great nighttime routine [you deserve it too!]. I’m glad you’re so happy and enjoying your two pretty noodles. Wonderful!