A dotti mummy!

An unorthodox review of the dot: Dotting the I’s, and crossing the T’s, then closing those eyes and dreaming of tea.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the author as she is suffering from chronic sleep deprivation and cannot be held accountable for any insanity she assumes and repeats as a result of this. She also wishes to add that if at any time this piece does not make sense, do not mention it as she will rip your head off and scream crazy nonsensical obscenities at you, (which she also won’t be held accountable for).

They warn you about the sleep factor, they do. For the most part all of the advice and information I’ve absorbed about having my first child has proven quite true. Sienna has by most accounts, been a textbook baby. I was prepared for those first 6 weeks – as prepared as you can be I suppose. I had Grandma and Grandad at the ready, Daddy-o home all day with us sharing the load, and I napped when she napped. It was hard on that 2-hour feeding cycle, yes – but we did it. I’m proud to say at 6 weeks she started sleeping through the night.

By definition, ‘sleeping through the night’ for a newborn is at least a five-hour stretch, Sienna would do eight. Well I just thought I was about the best mum in the world! Look at me, I’ve got this parenting thing down. I started to come out of that new mum fog and enter back into the real world (yes, it does exist after childbirth!).

After a glorious few months, with a new house, new city, new job (for Daddy-o), and some new friends, we were doing just fine. This was the truth. Or should I say… tooth. It was a tooth, and the tooth hurts. With the hurting of the tooth comes the hurting of our sleep. She is 7 months old now, and wakes 3 or 4 times a night. As well as ongoing tooth action, I think it’s just become a bit of a pattern for her, waking and needing comforting throughout the night. We’ve tried all sorts to get the routine back, and sought advice from old school to new-age remedies. But basically we’re told that “some babies just won’t sleep through yet” and to “just keep doing what you’re doing”. So that’s what we’re doing, and that’s why I’m slowly going insane.

Did you know sleep deprivation is a legitimate U.N. recognised form of torture? It was used in Guantanamo. True story. It can cause memory loss, increase your chances of weight gain and diabetes; increase risk of depression and anxiety. You can have anger management issues, be irritable, have a far lower pain threshold, minimise your bodies self-healing systems. It can cause memory loss, increase your chances of weight gain and diabetes; increase risk of depression and anxiety. You can get blurred vision, headaches, muscle aches, nausea and staying awake for 17 hours drops performance by the equivalent of a blood alcohol level of .05% – all of the above contribute to the fact that fatigue is a factor in 1 out of 6 auto accidents (I consulted Wikipedia, so it’s true), and did I mention memory loss?

On the weekend Daddy-o and I decided to take a family fun field trip to The Warehouse department store. I apply half my container of foundation so the general Joe won’t think I’m the girl from “The Ring” with a stolen child, and Sienna and I both fall asleep on the car ride there. Dad gets Sienna while I get the pushchair – the phil&teds dot. Easy peasy to lift up out of the boot, but not having been shown how to tame this contraption, it lies on the carpark ground for a minute while I hover over it searching for how it may assemble (and making sure it won’t bite). I figure it out, basically by just pressing random buttons. If a Guantanamo hostage can do it – so can you! How comforting.
Sienna sits in it comfortably, and it’s nice. The seat is padded and red, like the colour of my bloodshot eyes. But unlike my eyes, she looks cute. We cruise around The Warehouse semi-aimlessly. The dot is perfect for maneuvering through the isles and clothing racks. Sienna can see all around, which she loves, and the back is adjustable to prop her up to a perfect viewing-sitting position. We end up making our way around the store and Daddy-o finds me staring at the fishing lures, without even realising. Well, they say shiny things attract… intelligent people. At this point, he suggests we leave and asks if I’ve found anything I’d like. I say we should probably get some potatoes for tea, and he reminds me that they’re unlikely to have those in here, but he’ll ask (he doesn’t ask). Sienna has fallen asleep in her dot so we fully recline the seat. I find myself wishing to trade places with her, she looks so relaxed.

Dad transfers her from pushchair to car seat as I’m in no state to handle fragile items. It takes a second for me to co-ordinate the slidey button with the pushy button, but the dot folds down nice and flat, and isn’t too weighty for my fragile arms to lift into the boot. Not bad for the first run! I have to say, I’m pretty impressed – in this state, a difficult pack down would have been the straw to break the camel’s back, and may or may not have resulted in me gaining super human strength and hurling it through the adjacent Pak’n’save supermarket’s window.

If you’re like me and feeling a bit sorry for yourself on the sleep front, think of poor, wee Rhett Lamb of St. Petersburg, Florida. Rhett has a rare condition called Arnold-Chiari malformation, which means the first three years of his life permitted him to sleep only 1-2 hours per day. Poor, wee Rhett was operated on at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg in May 2008, and two days after surgery he slept through the night.  Poor, wee Rhett? Poor, wee Rhett’s mother! I really don’t have anything to moan about compared to that. But I will. So I’ll sit here and gain weight, go insane, drink-drive (not literally!), and then take Sienna for a walk in the dot. That’s about as much as a dotti old housewife can manage today.


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