“If you lose two hours of sleep, that can impair your performance equivalent to having had two to three beers. So, you know, you wouldn’t go to work that way, hopefully – not drinking, but we do that with a couple hours of sleep loss.”
There I was, laying on the couch at 9:30 p.m., with a mountain of clean, but unfolded, laundry, watching CBS Sunday Morning because I never have time to watch it when it airs since 3B has been up quite awhile by then, and is running at full speed. Actually, he’s running at full speed from the moment he awakes, unlike Mama and I, who take at least 30-45 minutes to get going in the morning.
Today, it was nonstop action. We took 3B to the National Air & Space Museum before his nap, and we reprised yesterday’s trip to Del Ray this afternoon between lunch and dinner, taking Barky for a walk and 3B for a romp on the playground. 3B had never been to Air & Space before and ran into the great entry hall with his mouth agape and his finger pointing up over his head, swinging from one object to the next.
He was enraptured for almost our entire visit, except those times that we wouldn’t let him do what he “want exactly,” for example, climb into the helicopter–then he was temporarily enraged, but there were always plenty of other shiny things to distract him. And us. We were so carried away showing him planes–the Spirit of St. Louis! a DC-3! Glamorous Glennis!–and rockets–which he declared “Very cool.”–that we missed the entire kid’s touch-and-feel gallery on the first floor. Next time, we’ll start there.
After all of that excitement, we came straight home so 3B could nap. Often, we’re so tired that we’ll take short naps when he does on the weekend, but today we decided to finally get to some outstanding items on our to-do lists–and you thought we’d never send those holiday cards, didn’t you?–so we stayed awake and worked. Man, did that suck.
And it sucked more when a fully recharged 3B awoke and ran us ragged until, in a grand finale, he peed on the futon, took a bath, pooped on the bathmat, and went to bed. So, as I was lying on the couch, dozing over my my ice cream and brownie, watching Sunday Morning, I was wondering how I could feel so tired. After all, I used to work 80-hour, 6-day weeks, which often involved no more than five hours of sleep each night. According to the math in the show, on a standard work day, I was showing up operating as if I’d already had half a six-pack before I arrived.
Maybe that’s why my job never struck me as strange until Mama, who also worked there, pointed out that when the TV show “Strange Universe” shows up to film a documentary piece on your workplace, you work in a strange place.
But if the hours of sleep deprivation=beers drunk equation is accurate, and if it’s also the case, as it seems to be, that we have a greater tolerance for alcohol and sleep deprivation when we’re young–I’m wondering about my capabilities as a parent.
However, I will say this for myself–at least I know how to self-medicate. That information that Sunday Morning had about coffee was material for a primer, not for an expert. I had learned all of that by the time I graduated from high school, through thorough self-experimentation. Of course, I also knew that after six cups of coffee, my pee smelled pretty much like it was poured straight from the pot. So, even if I’m the equivalent of three sheets to the wind when I pull 3B out of his crib, I can at least still teach him something … “two to three cups, OK … four to six cups, have Mama change your diaper.”
But seriously, I’m going to stop typing and turn in. I don’t want 3B to be depraved on account of I was sleep deprived.