By Cherimie Crane Weatherford
Deadline looms and paralysis invades an otherwise swarming supply of thoughts. Subject matter abounds as life has proven itself quite lively in recent weeks. No lack of irony, comment-worthy occurrences have been beyond common and odd observations of human nature flow as freely the tide. The sudden onset of creative paralysis can only be credited to one new aspect of my life that numbs the very core of being and challenges any and all morsels of normalcy. Stress isn’t the viable nemesis as it has been such a part of my existence that its absence would have more of an effect. First comes love, second comes marriage, then comes sleep deprivation. It is simply the natural order.
Runners run, Yogis yoga and writers write. It is a physical impossibility for me to write about anything other than what currently occupies my life. Admittedly, diapers of unusual contents, maddening midnight searches for the one and only suitable pacifier, and less than stimulating conversations held in the lobby of the pediatrician’s office might possibly fail to appeal to the masses. However, having had a baby exactly three weeks ago, what occupies my life is complete and utter chaos. It is true that there is no greater gift, I could never deny the love that came with the squeal of a healthy baby girl nor can I deny the effect those squeals have at precisely 3 a.m.
Arguably, my husband and I are of average intelligence — or at least that is what our parents and salesmen say — however, during the 3 a.m. squeals we melt into a sweltering pile of uncertainty topped with insurmountable ignorance. There is an unexplained difference between daytime diapers and diapers of the night. In the safety of daylight where the world seems to make a bit more sense, diapers require little effort and, in most cases, no post graduate degree. Yet, as darkness falls, so doth intellect. Navigating the halls of our home typically poses no physical threat yet one squeal indicating necessary diaper removal morphs our otherwise happy home into a domicile of daunting danger where no man is safe and no woman sane.
Seemingly innocent tasks shift impressively into arduous undertakings of monumental consequence when slumber fails to fall on tired souls of the parent type. In trying times such as these it is no cliché that you find out who your friends are and our friends come in unsuspecting form. Never have I met the creative being that devised a little lamb that simulates the soothing sea sounds of whales but I am bonded to him or her in a way that can only be expressed after the silencing of the squeals resulting by the sweet performance of said little lamb. Another kindred spirit would be the creators of entertaining infomercials and QVC, for without them 3 a.m. would feel less like home.
There are tremendous moments of joy such as stepping into the solace of a nursery that was created and decorated with such hope in anticipation of our new addition while looking down upon the most precious of faces and realizing that it is now my husband’s turn to change what appears to be a most impressive diaper. It is moments such as this that ease the often tumultuous times of nights with a newborn. There are fleeting moments when sleep sets in just before an alarm sounds as if to remind us that time waits for no one.
In moments of panic and disillusionment we find peace in knowing that one day this amazing life change will be able to help with the yard work, run errands, blame us for all her disappointments, drain us financially and blush eternally when Momma and Daddy remind her of incredible talent of filling diapers.
Be kind if you see us on the streets of this small town. Our hair is unkempt, our eyes sunken, our gait unsure, but our hearts runneth over with a happiness that even sleep deprivation cannot tarnish.