I just fell down the stairs. Hard. Can you break your arse? Pretty confident my bum bone is shattered.
My foot slipped on the edge of the step and down I went. Despite the almighty crash and the searing pain in my behind, I didn’t make a squeak. All I could think was “Oh god, don’t wake up, don’t wake up.”
Because I’d just put my child down for a nap and nothing, not even a shard of arse bone piercing my glute could bring me to wake him.
Thud is what mums euphemistically call ‘not a great sleeper’ which is code for ‘my eyes burn with an exhaustion so fierce I can taste colours.’
But today, in a miracle that was surely blessed by the Virgin Mary (maybe Jesus was a shit sleeper too), Thud kept sleeping.
As I picked myself up from the Three Stooges style stack, I laughed at the lengths I have gone to, to make sure he sleeps.
I know I’m not the only one who spends every nap time creeping around the house like a felon so the baby will sleep and you can “enjoy” your me-time (aka trying to silently clean the kitchen, mop the floors and do the laundry. Life is a fucking carnival around here!).
If you’re like me, you’ll be well acquainted with this list of nap-time evilness:
Beautiful baby angel is sound asleep in your arms but now you need to transfer baby from your arms to the cot. Cirque du Soleil could start a new show based on the contortionist acts performed in nurseries around the world because mothers will turn themselves inside out to do this without waking the baby.
When Thud was especially sensitive to movement (and light and sound and the goddamn tides and the gravitational pull of the earth), I would lower him down with my chest still touching his face, so he wouldn’t wake from the sudden change of temperature. Sounds reasonable? Except I couldn’t physically do this with both feet on the floor, so I ended up balanced like a see-saw on the railing of his cot. Legs in the air, head pressed into mattress to stop me suffocating my son. Picture it. It’s humiliating.
Don’t even get me started on rescuing your arm from under that baby. How many of you have stood there for what felt like HOURS, weighing up the pros and cons of wetting your pants versus waking the baby?
The creaky knee, clicky elbow, clacky wrist, cracky shoulder…
Or any part of your body that betrays you by cracking like a buckshot as you lower your sleeping babe into the cot. It’s the ultimate heartbreak when your own body lets you down. It’s impossible to avoid and always seems to happen right at the moment you think you’ve succeeded in The Transfer. Just as you move away from the cot – POW! Cue the tears. Yours and baby’s.
Sound/ frequency waves?
Or whatever it is that makes you aware that someone is close to you – or someone is moving away. You know how the air sort of changes when someone is in your personal space? That’s how babies know when you’re walking away from the cot. From the depths of slumber they’ll know when you’ve taken a backwards step. The only solution is to walk so slowly you feel the earth shifting under your feet. You might make it to the door by the end of the nap.
The creaky spot on the floorboards
That fucking creaky spot must be avoided at all costs. If necessary, you’ll turn yourself into Spiderman and climb the walls to get around it. I swear I levitated once.
The bedroom door
The worst tragedy of all is getting the baby to sleep, only to wake them as you close the bedroom door with a bang. I now have advanced skills in silent door closing. The bomb squad has nothing on me. I can close a door so gently that the door itself doesn’t realise it’s closed.
WHO RINGS THE DOORBELL?? Villains, that’s who. Evil bastards who wait until you’ve put the baby down to ring that fucker loud and clear for the whole street to hear. This also goes for all the arseholes who have ever mowed the lawn during nap time. You horrible, spiteful, house proud pricks.
The insane cat
My cat (like most) wishes Thud was never born. He stole all of her attention and affection. She wishes him ill, I’m sure of it. She will sit outside his room and as I open the door, she’ll start wailing like an alley cat on heat. She is a mastermind.
I’m assured there are some dickhead dogs who’ve written “bark like a cock-knocker” in their diaries for the exact minute the baby is asleep.
Do NOT leave your phone on when you’re putting the baby down. Your own stupidity will lead to a serious case of self loathing. Or it could permanently damage your relationship with the poor unfortunate soul who decided to ring you at that exact moment, because they should have known you were putting the baby down. My phone has been on silent for the past 15 months. Seriously. I don’t even respond when I hear a ringtone anymore because my phone only vibrates. I’ve learnt my lesson.
We moved into a brand new house when Thud was four months old. It was a couple of months until we managed to get some blackout blinds installed. In the meantime? Aluminium foil and cardboard boxes. We looked like a cross between a meth lab and a house of conspiracy theorists. But when you have a child who will only sleep inside a black hole vacuum of light and sound, you won’t mind looking like degenerates.
This one’s the hardest of all to defeat. Even if you’ve used your mad ninja skills to transfer that baby and you’ve made it out of the room in ear-popping silence and you’ve avoided the cat and the phone and the doorbell… nothing can stop you from getting outside the door and suddenly, irrationally deciding you need to walk back into the lion’s den to check your baby is lying on his back. Or that his sleeping bag isn’t suffocating him, or that he’s warm and breathing…
Or because, despite fighting for an hour to get that baby to sleep, you suddenly miss them and just want to take a peek. Because, honestly, what’s more precious than a sleeping baby??
What lengths have you gone to to avoid waking your baby? Or am I alone in my insanity??
P.S If you came here actually looking for advice on getting your baby to sleep try:
This article over at Sweet Madeleine made me cry with relief that I wasn’t failing as a mother.
I also love this one with practical advice from the amazing Chantelle at Fat Mum Slim.
Why don’t you head on over and like The Thud on Facebook so you never miss a post!
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Ive read this so many times and it still makes me laugh out loud. So so funny and unfortunately all to real in our house!
The cutlery drawer. Never try and make a cup of tea while the baby is asleep.
Oh Jesus, are you kidding? The kettle alone is his kyptonite. I swear the on button is directly linked to him and the second I flip it, he wakes up.
I was once so convinced that the police helicopter hovering near my house was keeping my newborn awake at 3am that I seriously considered calling 000 to ask them to back the fuck off. Exhaustion really has a knack of messing with your ability to think rationally!
Bahahaha, that’s hilarious! I would have been exactly the same. How dare they have a police situation right near my house in the middle of the night!!! Who is running this show? What’s their name? I need to speak to their boss!!!
My youngest is nearly 5 but I remember doing all these things…those memories are seared into your psyche – they never go away!!!!
No, I can’t ever imagine forgetting. But they become easier to laugh at I think 🙂
oh the insane cat!!! I think you must have my cat’s long lost sibling! And one more thing that will make me sound like a horrible selfish person… But WTF is up with so many ambulance, police car and fire truck sirens??? Do all the emergencies wait to happen precisely when my baby is sleeping?
Thanks for a laugh – I think I peed myself whilst trying to lie still and not breathe much, trying not to convulse with laughter as I’d wake my baby sleeping next to me!! Oh yeah…add super funny articles that make you cry and convulse!
Oh jesus, I’d be so mad at me if I woke a baby! Or would I be proud…. hard to say 😉 Thanks for stopping by!!
Uncanny! I did all of that plus many times sitting wherever she fell asleep on me, watching it grow dark but absolutely no intention of moving to turn on a light, hiding a hair dryer on low for hours so the white noise magic worked a but longer…My little one was a dreadful sleeper until about 3years. Then it gradually got better.
But I totally get that inability to escape the fear of waking her even though she’s now 4.5. One bad night and I go into a panic thinking the last year and a half was a fluke and she’s returned to a no sleep child!
I have that ALL the time. I’m constantly waiting for someone to pop up and say “JOKES!! No more sleep for you!!”
[…] Psst…. if you can’t get your baby to sleep, you might need to check out this list: 10 enemies of the sleeping baby […]
Love the list! Ryder’s two and still YES to all 10 point. Thanks for The List, I never realized what I was actual up against until I read your list 🙂
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Both my kids were dream sleepers but the night I had to take Rafferty 3 months into a sleep study I was performing tricks like you made even worse that it was all being filmed on camera. After an almost 2 hour process of resettling him and trying to put him back into the cot, electrodes attached to his scalp, he was down asleep. I gave a little victory fist pump and then rested my chin on the hospital cot rail for a split second and the whole entire cot rail crashed down terrifying raff and causing him to scream and be WIDE AWAKE. All I could hear was the laughter through the wall from the bastard technicians still filming. My desire to kill has never been so strong.
Yes all of the above!!! Once down I do a quick silent victory dance 🙂 #the list
Absolutely perfect!! Another to add is ssshhh-ing your way out of the door after that sound was the only thing that would send baby to sleep and you’re terrified of stopping. I’ve genuinely found myself still ssshhh-ing as I’m walking down the stairs just in case his crazy acute hearing knows that I’ve stopped once I leave the room!xx #TheList
Oh yes! So much shushing! It’s like when you’re standing in your kitchen making some tea and you’re still rocking but you’re not holding a baby. You’re just constantly in motion.
I am the same as you and hubby thinks I am bad. The cat did wake Matthew before so it does happen. I hate the cracking elbow one or the one where you hit your elbow off the cot bed while tucking your child into the bed. #TheList
Oh god yes, I’ve done that! And a tweeting bird outside the window woke my baby once, so a screaming cat is certainly going to cause trouble.
Oh this is fabulous! I love it! Yes to all these points, we are driven to desperate irrational behaviour such is our desire to have a break! 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up to #TheList x
thanks so much for having me!! xx
Ha ha this is AWESOME! Oh the fear of God is in me now as I have baby #2 on the way and I still have that trauma of not quite getting over the newborn months from baby #1!! Love this, thanks for sharing it 🙂 Mim @ mamamim.com #TheList
I am crying with laughter having read this as I have written something similar myself #TheList
YES!! Just replace cat with dog. Luckily, Aidan sleeps well but fights going to sleep at all costs! X
Why don’t they understand how awesome sleep is!?
Rescuing that arm!!!! I should be a skilled tablecloth puller by now!
This post is pure Gold Lauren! The funny part (totally not funny), is the worst sound makers around a baby are grandmothers…have they forgotten that pulling a tissue out of a tissue box could wake the baby!!!!
Oh god, this is why I could never have another baby. My facial tic just returned.
So you’re saying my facial tic will go away? I hope so.
Yes, yes and yes. Though mine were the opposite. Fantastic sleepers as babies (Miss SP sleeping through from 3 weeks. Don’t hate me), and then as they got older? Shizenhousen. One who transferred like a champ, the other who would.not.transfer for the life of me. And a psychotic dog who would break out in incessant barking the second they were down. And without fail my ankles would crack EVERY SINGLE TIME. But never in everyday life.
I think that’s the cruelest fate of all…. having a child who sleeps like a log suddenly change into a terrible sleeper. It’s so common.
Got to admit though, it makes me laugh when I hear new mums talk about how wonderfully their baby sleeps because all I can think is, “sure, NOW. Just you wait until that four month regression, or the 8 month regression or until they’re a toddler who just refuses…” the sleep monster catches up with everyone eventually!
It’s a gift that you can make something so horrific it could probably give people PTSD sound so hilarious. A non-sleeping child is the thing I fear most about having kids. I so desperately want one of those sleep anywhere kids. Where do I order one of those?
I’ve heard some people crapping on about babies who sleep through the night at 6 weeks… but don’t babies still need to feed during the night at that age? How is that possible? #babyamateur
Yes Lauren, babies still need to feed during the night at 6 weeks. Anyone who says their baby sleeps through at 6 weeks is LYING.
Babies don’t sleep. I’ve never met one that does. And any babies that are reasonable sleepers at the newborn stage invariably end up as shit house sleepers at the toddler stage. It’s like karma. So no one ever gets a child that always was and always will be a good sleeper.
Sleep is the number one thing you will obsess over for the first 12 months or so. Your sleep, the baby’s sleep, everyone else’s baby’s sleep…. accept it now and you might survive.
Not to scare you or anything. I mean they must have based those text book babies on someone…. you may hit the jackpot!
OMG….I so love your writing….I could not stop laughing and also at the replies…..
I can do that…I am and old Mum…grown pigeon pair and 20yrs fostering….my turn to laugh…been there…
I was lucky though…I am taller…and at least avoided the side rail wobble….*G*….
Bless you dear girl….you writing brings so much to others….and also…sorry for the sore tooshie… 🙂
Haha, my tooshie is so sore! I guess it’s much easier to laugh once you’re out of the trenches 😉
My favourite is the psychic connection that means they can SENSE when you are drifting off to sleep at night – that blissful state somewhere between awake and asleep where you just know it’s gonna be awesome – and they wake crying. THAT VERY SECOND. THEY KNOW.
I have tested this psychic connection theory by varying my bed times and habits. Nope. Still knows.
You’re probably not alone in your insanity because I have even gone so far as to visualise myself cutting an imaginary cord before falling asleep – just to be sure and I am now insane enough that I truly believe that works. Of course my mum guilt makes me whisper to myself, “I am cutting this cord but I love you and I am still here for you but only if you really really need me – not just because you’re a freaky psychic toddler”…
So yeah. I’m doing well. Hahaha.
Kez, you’re INSANE just like me!!! That sounds EXACTLY like something I would do. I am always trying to visualise things into existence. Like I have powers of some sort. It’s nuts, but that’s me! And you 😉
And you are SO right, Thud knows, without fail, the second that I get into bed. It’s a talent of his. He also knows the exact second I sit down with a cup of tea. He will wait until the kettle is boiled and the tea is made – just so the cup is completely wasted and I have to start all over again when I get back downstairs. I’d be impressed if it wasn’t so freaking irritating.
Ah yes each & every one of these rings a bell for me (except replace the cat with the neighbour’s dog). My 17 month old is still a shocking sleeper & is easily woken once I get the little bugger down. I now run a really loud fan in his room while he sleeps as ‘white noise’ – it helps a bit but he still wakes easily. Last night he woke when I turned the TV off (yes off!) & it took 4 hours of shushing, patting, feeding, bouncing, screaming, singing & sobbing (the sobbing was me!) to get him back to sleep – 2am!!!! Faaaarrrrkkkk!!! X
Holy shit, I’ve been there. The insane hours at our house are from midnight to 4am when NOTHING works. There is nothing more depressing than finally getting your child to sleep and then walking back to your bed as the sun rises…. (and we are white noise addicts in this house. The louder the better)
I am with you totally. My firstborn is nearly four and is a good sleeper now, but I still have my phone on silent. The yowling cat is my nemesis. My second is 8 months and I spent the first 6 months with him sleeping in my arms due to reflux. I still get the jitters when I hear certain metallic sounding lullabies. I still tiptoe around the house even when they are awake, out of pure habit. Even though number 2 is going to sleep in the cot now, I still go to the loo before every nap in case I get stuck in with him. It will take some time for sanity to return!!
Oh yes the loo! It’s like I’m about to go on a road trip or something. I have to have a gulp of water, put on some lip balm (can’t stand dry lips!) and go to the toilet before all naps.
Thud had silent reflux and he also slept in my arms for at least the first five months or so. I’m so glad I’m not alone!
My first son was like this too. He used to wake up at the sound of us rustling the sheets when we rolled over. At 5 1/2 he can now sleep through a freight train. Ridiculously deep sleeper. But still isn’t night toilet trained, which I blame on us working so hard to make him a deep sleeper. I don’t care – he can stay in pull ups til he’s 40 if it means he doesn’t wake me up anymore. (Mother of the Year here).
Oh god I hope Thud becomes like that! I have zero issue with nappies for bed if it means everyone gets a good night sleep. Hell, I’d even wear a nappy to get a good nights sleep!!
He will – ever heard of a teenage boy whose mother doesn’t lament that they don’t get up til midday? I haven’t!!
I can’t WAIT for that!
Oh god, this had me laughing. I went insane with my 1st born – used to bluetack a note over the door bell saying ‘baby asleep – do not ring doorbell’. It’s only with 14 years of hindsight I can laugh about it!!
Then 2nd child comes along and there is no way to keep 1st child quiet when 2nd child sleeps so guess what – they sleep with noise and you wonder again how ‘mad’ you were with 1st.
Used to seriously curse ‘blower man’ when child was sleeping – you know the guy who comes along from the council or apartment complex and commences blowing the minute after you put your child down to bed.
Oh I’m so worried about having a second child because if he/she is anything like number 1, I’m screwed! He was seriously the worst. He once woke up because a bird tweeted outside his window. No joke.
We had to go to sleep school and the nurses there gave up, saying they couldn’t fix him!
We ended up going to an osteo and that fixed a lot of his sleep issues, but god it was awful for a while. I started out really determined to have a child who could sleep anywhere, and within a couple of months we were ensconced in pitch black darkness with a white noise machine blasting…. oh god, the flashbacks I’m having!
Same with us & the sleep school. Darcy was up every hour or more for his first year, & multiple times a night til he was 3 1/2. DS2 Eamon was a reasonable sleeper from birth (not one of those mystical “sleeps through from 6 weeks” freaks but much better). I promise it gets (heaps) easier, but the terror doesn’t go away. DS3 is due in 17 weeks & I’m crapping myself!!!!
Natelle, it has been decided. Karma owes you a PERFECT child. He is coming. Congratulations!