It's the fifth anniversary of the publication of my parenting anthology, SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK, this year, and so in honor of Mother's Day coming up, I rang up two of my contributors -- Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy -- who went on to write their own parenting tome, LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES. We decided what might be really fun to do in a veiled attempt to remind you our books make excellent Mother's Day gifts for the lovelies in your life is update you on one of our vignettes from SIFTW and ponder which bit of baby advice from LPAB works for tweens, which we all now have.
SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK, Edited by Rita Arens -- buy it here!
I'm going to update my essay, "Sleep Cycles." (p. 25) Originally I included these stages of adult sleep cycles: 1) Alcohol-induced 2) Insomnia-Related 3) The Love Bug 4) New Baby-Induced 5) Toddler-Induced. Clearly, I had a toddler when I wrote this post. There are all sorts of other reasons you can't sleep after becoming a parent.
My daughter is now nine. Since the Toddler-Induced days, I've also experienced the following sleep disturbances:
6) Growing-Child-in-My-Bed-Induced. My daughter has slept through the night since she was around four or five. It was a gradual thing, when the waking up and crying three times a night became waking up and walking into my bedroom once a night to try to crawl in where it was warm. At first, I gave in (it was always my side of the bed she approached, of course) and let her crawl in, only to find her elbow in my ear, her bony butt in my hip and the amount of body heat with me in the middle unable to crawl out from under the covers or even slip out a temperature-regulating foot stifling. This led to the next stage.
7) Trying-to-Sleep-in-a-Twin-Bed-Induced. When she showed up in the middle of the night, I'd take her back to her own bed and lie down with her, thinking of course I would get up and go back to my own, queen-sized bed in a few minutes. Of course, inevitably I'd lie down, fall asleep, and then be on that dividing line between too tired and too lazy to go back to my own bed even though trying to get any sleep with a grade-school-aged child in a twin bed is just plain ridiculous.
8) Sleepover-Induced. Whether there's an extra kid in my house or my girl is somewhere other than her own bed, I just don't sleep so well, period. I'm going to absolutely die when she goes to college.
I haven't yet gotten to the stages of driving- and dating-induced sleep problems. God help me when I do.
LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES! By Alice Bradley & Eden M. Kennedy -- buy it here!
NOW. For the LPAB baby advice that applies to a tween.
I'm staring at "This Is Overly Difficult, and I Have Changed My Mind." (p. 142) I hope Eden and Alice don't mind if I update their advice for tweens.
Having a baby tween will:
- Win you the approval of the far right Update! As long as you don't end up with a pregnant tween!
- Allow you to start one of those "mommy blogs" everyone's been talking about Update! You'll realize when your kid hits around six OH MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE? I'M A FUCKING LIFESTYLE BLOGGER. THERE ARE NO MOMMYBLOGS.
- Give you an excuse to expose your nipples in public Update! Give you an excuse to revisit the eighties when your daughter asks for neon socks.
- Allow you to catch up on all those episodes of Sesame Street you've missed. Update! Allow you to catch on to all that is wrong with Disney programming for tweens.
- Exercise your arms from hours of vigorous stroller-pushing and baby-rocking. Update! Exercise your jaws from all those hours of teeth grinding.
- Provide you with someone to blame for all those thwarted ambitions. There is no need for an update here. Move along.
Read Eden's post here and Alice's post here. And don't forget how lovely books are, especially for pregnant people, new moms, or anyone who prefers to laugh rather than to cry when thinking about children. Who wants to win a set of both books? One entry for each comment, every comment counts, enter as often as you like. I'll ship the winner the books directly from Amazon. The contest ends at noon CT on Monday, May 6 to ship in time for Mother's Day!
UPDATE: Congratulations, Julia! I'll be contacting you for your address. You win both copies!