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Bedtime Story

My most important job at home these days is supervising the sleep schedule of the family. The paycheck that gets direct-deposited into our account bi-weekly, the entertaining baths I give Veronika, the hilarious jokes and snappy conversation that make me such a fun husband, it all makes no difference if no one is sleeping properly. When I'm at work, my conversations with Dinka all revolve around someone's nap schedule: Who's sleeping now? Who won't go to sleep? How long has he/she/you/they been sleeping? When I get home, I immediately ascertain what time Veronika woke up and start planning the rest of my evening according to when she will need to be asleep again. Once she is asleep, Ivan will probably be in the middle of his evening cranky spell, so everything will be on hold until he settles down. Once the kids are down, I try to make sure that Dinka goes to bed on time, since let's face it, she deals with this a lot more than I do.

Weekends are all about keeping one or more of the kids busy so that the person who tries to get them to sleep all week can sleep. If I take Veronika shopping in the late morning, maybe Dinka can catch a short nap after Ivan eats his third breakfast. Or if I hold Ivan such that he can watch some of the NBA playoffs with me in the afternoon while Veronika naps, maybe that will open a window long enough for Dinka to rest.

Unfortunately all of this thinking about everyone else's sleep has made me incapable of thinking with any amount of responsibility about my own. I just can't bring myself to go to sleep at night, I keep thinking of completely unnecessary tasks to take on until I've stayed up far too late yet accomplished nothing. Tonight is a great example. Everyone was in bed by 9:30, leaving me plenty of time to waste and still get to bed at a reasonable time. Instead I did the following: watched sports I didn't care about, considered fantasy baseball transactions, read weblogs, and watched yet more TV. It's almost 1:30 a.m. and now I'll go choose and edit a picture of the kids in Photoshop, which like everything else tonight will take far longer than it should as my indecisiveness reaches crippling levels. That should put me in bed at 2:00 or later, furious with myself for needlessly staying up so late, and make me plenty sleepy for tomorrow.

I guess my rationale for writing this is that if I put it into words, I may finally begin to understand it and start listening to some of my own advice. It's time to go to sleep.

May 14, 2006 | Comments (1)