Sorry about the long absence from blogland, but I do have a good excuse. For the last week or so, our entire household has been missing one of life's great pleasures -- sleep. Ian and I remember sleep, vaguely but fondly, as something that enhanced our joy in living and enlivened all our higher mental functions. Why, then, have we abandoned slumber as a logical and satisfying end to the day, you ask? The answers (there are two of them) lie in this picture. Firstly, Speck, always a feisty fetus, has taken to kicking me vigorously as soon as I lay down. When I say vigorously, let me be clear -- she is keeping the neighbors awake with her karate moves. She sometimes literally takes my breath away, and while feeling her move is an ever-absorbing wonder, she is making sleep impossible. We are looking into neo-natal anger management classes for her as soon as she is born. With his usual whimsical sense of timing, Max has coincided Speck's burst of nocturnal kung-fu with his own sleep issues. He has begun sleeping like a newborn again, waking up every two or three hours and crying for no reason that we can determine. We think maybe he is teething -- his pediatrician thinks he has some molars coming in. Last night, Max woke up at three and yelled for an hour, demanding (in sequence, and in an ever-increasing volume of rage) milk, to be "done" sleeping, to get down from the bed, milk, milk, and milk!! While it was tempting to give Max what he wanted and hope it pacified him for a decent interval, Ian and I both agreed, after a exhaustion-befuddled conference, that none of these demands should be met, which meant that all of us were significantly the worse for wear this morning.
Max and Speck seem to have achieved a beautifully choreographed symmetry in their sleep depriving behaviors -- as soon as Speck finally stops kicking and retreats into whatever fetal meditations she indulges in during the night, Max begins rolling around and grumbling, then standing up in bed and calling out for various forms of assistance. Ian and I have wondered about the perfect timing of our children's campaign of psychological warfare against us, but I think I have finally figured it out. All this time, when we thought that Max was kissing and hugging Speck, he was actually whispering conspiratorially to her through my belly button. I am going to start wearing thicker pants and sweaters, to muffle their communication pathways.