Are you one of those people who can function on very little sleep? I could when I was a teen, of course. I thought I could when I was in my early and mid-20s. Then I became a parent. I realized I need sleep to function and to be a coherent person.
Of course there are those who prefer and dare I say, enjoy, the babbling and blathering people. My Dearest is one of those people who can function fairly well with very little sleep. He enjoys the babbling, blathering, and blithering ones, quite a bit, I think. He humors those people very nicely.
The first thing I noticed when I lost my sanity, forgive me, I mean my sleep was that I could function fairly well, but my mouth and body were pretty much disconnected. I suppose that means that I wasn't really functioning well; I only thought I was.
After we arrived home with our first child, we were so unexpected (that should read, unprepared) for parenthood. We had a basic grasp of the utmost necessities. Change the diaper when wet or dirty, hold and comfort, rock and sway, and perhaps most important of all, feed!
Add the lack of sleep and guess what you have? You would probably have something like this:
Late one night, a young and hungry infant cries and both parents rouse themselves from as deep of a slumber as you can get in about 2 hours. Because the husband is very supportive of his wife and wants to aid in any way possible, he asks if there is anything he can do or get to help his bone-tired nursing wife. Never mind the fact that he's probably just as weary as she is. As she heads to the living room couch, she mumbles over her shoulder, "...baby..." and proceeds down the short hallway. Before she gets to the couch, her husband asks what it was she wanted again. This time, she mumbles again, "...baby..." He looks again and can't find what it is that she could possibly want or need. He asks again and she clearly says, "I want the baby!" He laughs a bit and says something akin to, "The one you're nursing now?"
When the baby is crying and you're soothing him, it helps to actually pick up the baby and comfort him instead of patting the pillow next to you as your spouse takes care of the baby and looks at you funnily. It's also quite embarrassing to wake up mid-pat and realize what's going on.
You'd think that when infancy ends, you'd catch up on sleep and be, well, a bit less of a babbling, blithering, blathering sleep-deprived person, right? Sad to tell you my friends, it doesn't. It especially doesn't if you pretend you're not parents after the children go to sleep and you stay up to watch movies, tv, play Dutch Blitz, Speed Scrabble, or the like. If you engage in behavior like this, then the following scenario is probably very likely to happen.
You dream about a person whose legs from the knees down are covered with chocolate cake and frosting and casually walking through the room while clumps of cake and frosting drop with every step onto your creamy-almond-colored carpeting. You sit up and exclaim, "Oh my goodness! Do you see what's happening?" and your spouse calmly says, "It's only a dream." Perhaps, normally, this would work, but this time it only serves to make the sleeping one exclaim, "Come on, I'll show you!" and you both proceed out of bed and into the hallway where the sleeping one has since woken and realizes that the children's bedroom door is open. Now would be a good time to check on them; you're up anyway, right? You lovingly straighten limbs and covers and head back to bed. As you sit on the edge of your bed, you realize that the person with cake-and-frosting-legs was walking about where your closet is and that was why you got out of bed in the first place. Now, there's no trace of it; it was a dream, after all. You realize your spouse is watching you from the doorway and you sheepishly wave before laying back down.
Not that I know about any of this...