The other day I was reading this article about interrupted sleep. Apparently sleep interruption can cause confusion, depression and fatigue. It can also have an impact on attention span and ability to make decisions.
These findings come as a complete shock!
I am reminded of something that our doctor told us shortly before Laura went into labour with our first daughter. He said ” you are about to find out that all the people you thought were jerks are actually just sleep-deprived parents.”
Three kids later it turns out that my kids are the ones who think I’m a jerk.
My day as a jerk usually starts by forcing them to get out of bed in the morning when they don’t want to get out of bed. For much of the year this is a school-related bed departure. For parts of the summer this is a camp-related bed departure. Of course I can understand not wanting to get out of bed for a day of playing at camp, but why anyone wouldn’t want to get out of bed for school is beyond me.
During the day on several occasions I have the opportunity to be a jerk by asking them to stop arguing, telling them to stop arguing, making a reasoned case for them to stop arguing, yelling STOP IT, JUST STOP ARGUING, *!&#$ WHY MUST YOU ALWAYS ARGUE WITH EACH OTHER.
That is usually followed by ignoring their arguing and ARE YOU TWO STILL SERIOUSLY ARGUING? IF YOU DON’T STOP ARGUING YOU’ll BOTH BE EATING SPINACH FOR DINNER.
Then of course they might come to me with important and compelling questions and requests for me to do things for them, which I ignore because I am too tired to understand the question so it is better to pretend that nothing was said. They’ll repeat it several times for me anyway, which gives me time to process the request at which point I will say “YES, FINE. I WILL DO THAT. YOU DON’T NEED TO ASK ME 18 TIMES.”
Sometimes I get to ruin their lives by doing things like disallowing the use of the garden hose to wash the husked corn or carry their baby sister around the house with one hand.
At dinner of course I spoil all the fun and any potential that the day had by requiring them to eat some sort of meal before they eat dessert. This situation is made all the worse by forcing them to eat a meal that is not comprised entirely of ice cream, cake, freezies or chocolate. Frankly my wife probably considers me a jerk for this particular rule.
Before bed I demonstrate my capacity for depravity by asking them to have a shower or bath, telling them to get in the shower or bath, GET IN THE BATH ALREADY!
Once it is time to get out of the bath I remind them to make sure they have washed with soap, then give them a time warning that it is soon time to get out, followed by a request to let the water out/turn off the water and get out of the tub, followed by telling them to get out, followed by GET OUT OF THE BATH ALREADY!
After the absolute cruelty of making them stop cleaning themselves after the didn’t want to start cleaning themselves and some bed time reading I tell them it is time for bed, ask them to get into bed, tell them to get into bed, lift them up and toss them over my head into their bed (they have loft beds). STAY IN BED. STOP TALKING. “But daaaddddyyy, I’m not tired, I’m never tired.”
We’ll discuss that in the morning when I drag them out of bed.
The middle of the night shouts for company in the bathroom or to turn Raffi back on are always met with great compassion and understanding. MMMHHHFFF, JUST Go back to…sleep.
It always makes Daddy a nicer person in the morning to have his sleep interrupted.
Time for Bed!
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