Professional Writing and Editing

My Debut Book

Caution: Children Should Come With Warning Labels

Patti McKenna (Urban Edge Publishing)

CAUTION:

Children Cause Extreme Exhaustion

They say you should never wake a sleeping baby.  Believe it.  When a baby’s sleeping, it could possibly be the only opportunity you have to enjoy this former pastime, too.

I used to know what it felt like to be tired. Just tired. Now, I know how it feels to be exhausted. Not just a little exhausted, but a state of being akin to insomnia on steroids. That kind of exhaustion can only be produced by one thing—one tiny new baby.

We moms are made of pretty sturdy stuff and get by for about a week, then BAM! It hits like a locomotive, you’re a Stepford wife zombie sleepwalking through your days, surviving for the sake of the children and a few oh-so-precious zzz’s at night.

I can’t remember much of what happened during those sleep deprivation periods. Like a robot, I woke when our second baby cried, after having spent my day taking care of the older one, til on automatic pilot I found my way into my nightgown and my heart’s desire—sleep. Once my head hit the pillow, I was literally unconscious. The only thing that would or could wake me up was a baby’s cry.

Then, came the train wreck. The baby was 10 days old. My husband set the alarm for 5:15 for work because his carpool pulled up about 6:00. We drifted off into a much needed blissful sleep.

Twice that night, I was up to feed and change the baby. As soon as my head hit the pillow, I was out again.

Rumor has it that it was a very busy morning around our house. Somehow, we missed the commotion. The carpool arrived to pick up my husband, who didn’t walk out the door.  So, they honked the horn.  When that didn’t work, one of the guys got out of the car and started pounding like Fred Flintstone on the front door.  Or so I’m told.

We didn’t hear a thing.  We were still sleeping.

I guess my husband’s coworkers were surprised to see an ambulance pull up behind their car—complete with wailing siren and flashing lights to boot. It was a sight we never saw.  We were sleeping.

Not knowing they were at the wrong house, the paramedics joined in, pounding on our door.  I was told they could hear our clock alarm ringing.  We couldn’t.  We were sleeping.

Our uncle, who lived two houses down, came over with a spare house key. Our aunt tried to wake us up by phone.

Now, we had a car honking, an alarm clock ringing, sirens wailing, paramedics pounding, and a phone ringing. Uncle Jack let himself in, bypassed the security alarm, causing it to go off. It must have sounded like Kiddieland at the carnival.

But a baby wasn’t crying. So, we did the only natural thing—slept.

The dead came back to life when a visitor walked in our room. In total panic, we both shot straight up. I high jumped it right out of bed, causing the spaghetti strap on my nightie to slip off both shoulders. Scrambling for cover, I ran around in a mad dash effort to quiet the buzzing, ringing, pounding, wailing, and blaring.

After all, they might wake up the baby.

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