I love my five-month-old daughter StarGirl greatly. But that’s not to say that she can’t be very, very trying at times.
Like last night. Or should I say yesterday morning?
I put her down at around 11 p.m., then headed downstairs to finish up a level in Futurama, a PS2 game I’m in the process of reviewing. At around midnight I came back upstairs, creeping quietly, so I don’t think it was me that woke StarGirl up. But you never know.
What I do know is that at 12 a.m. she was up, and not just up, she was bouncing off the freaking ceiling. She was very happy about being awake, and an enthusiastic five-month-old is a hard thing to take at midnight. You can’t just let her play in her crib until she falls asleep — she’s still too little for that, and she wants to be … occupied. And last night, that meant making goggly eyes at Daddy while he was trying to rock her back to sleep, and then happily kicking her mom awake when Dad gave up and brought her to bed, hoping that would calm her down.
Of course, it didn’t, and something like a half hour later I was up again. We were all cranky at this point, but Sue really, really needed to sleep. So I bit the bullet — easier for me to get by on a few hours of sleep at work than it is for her to do the same at home, especially when she’s already behind. I got up, and StarGirl and I went to the third floor and played Warcraft III for a while. StarGirl sucked on a variety of toys — it might have been her teeth that kept her up, but I’m not really sure — and I got my butt kicked by an undead horde.
Around 3 a.m., after giving her another bottle, StarGirl finally dropped off to sleep. I gently laid her in her crib, and then retreated to the third floor for another half-hour of Warcraft (where the undead continued to do horrible things to my defenses). No point in going to sleep right away — based on her track record she could be up and crying again in 15 minutes.
Fortunately though, that didn’t happen, and at 3:30 I finally crawled into bed. Now it’s my lunch break, and my butt is definitely dragging. But hey, there’s a silver lining to this cloud — I did get to spend a few hours of quality time with StarGirl that I would otherwise have missed. Not that I’m eager to do it again any time soon, but a part of me — a big part of me — definitely enjoyed holding that crazy kid until the wee hours of the morning.
This, after all, was one of the reasons I wanted to be a dad in the first place. Sure it’s hard, sure it’s trying, but in the end, these kinds of experiences, well, they last a lifetime. And that’s worth a few hours of lost sleep.