Friday, September 23, 2011

Sleep Deprivation

Hand-in-hand with a newborn come frequent diaper changes, regular feedings, tiny cries, and, the real kicker, sleep deprivation.  With your first child, the sleep disruption comes as a shock more than anything else.  No matter how much someone tells you about it, you're still not prepared for the ever-interrupted REM sleep.  With subsequent children, you're more mentally prepared, and the focus becomes how on Earth do I cope with this loss of sleep while caring for (insert # of children here) children.

Not only is the lack of sleep difficult, but I find myself struggling with one of life's most basic functions when I'm lacking my normal slumber: social pleasantries. I just can't seem to hold regular conversation or act as a person usually would.  I keep talking when someone else is trying to get a word in.  I don't answer when someone asks a question.  I ignore people I know just because I can't think of something to say to them.  I stare into space when people are talking to me--not hearing a word their saying.

Of course, when the person finally recognizes my failure as a receptive listener or conversationalist, they bid me adieu.  During this time, I take the opportunity to profusely apologize for my lack of social skills and promptly blame it on my newborn bundle.  I'm not sure that this is always a good enough excuse, but it's my excuse nonetheless.

And so, in proving my point, I'm now finished this post.  I've said something.  I've now awkwardly ended, probably a little too soon, and now I'm off to care for a newborn between sleeping spells....