The past six weeks I’ve clocked a lot of hours in front of my laptop watching movies. Most of this happens between midnight and three in the morning since that is Baby E’s favorite time to be awake. I visit the public library weekly and pick out a huge stack of DVD’s, carefully avoiding the seemingly judgmental eyes of the woman who checks out the materials. I swallow the impulse to throw in a few books just for show, and I slink out of the library, embarrassed at my couch potato-esque borrowing habits. But the sad truth is that the movies are saving my sleep-deprived emotional health.
Last night, I didn’t have a movie to watch and, in fact, cried between the hours of two and three. If you haven’t ever found yourself watching the minute hand tick closer to 3 AM and pleading with a squirmy baby to go to sleep, you won’t understand the despair that comes creeping in to remind you that, while your baby will eventually nod off and sleep soundly all day, you will need to be quasi-functional on four hours of sleep. If you’ve been there, I don’t need to excuse my movie indulgences to you. For my part, I choose a movie-induced stupor over futile sleep cravings.
All that to say, I have seen the whole range in the past few weeks: some winners, some regrettables, and everything in between. My favorite thing to do is borrow TV series DVDs and get sucked into a particular show. With my first son, it was I Love Lucy (Lucy’s laugh is a very surreal experience in the early morning hours), My So-Called Life (a trip down nostalgia lane and back to high school), and Lost (which resulted in more sleep-deprivation for my husband and me as we compulsively watched episode after episode when we should have been sleeping).
This time around I’ve watched more feature length films, but I have seen a few TV series, most notably: Seventh Heaven (which I can’t believe that I’m publicly admitting to watching) and my new favorite, Monarch of the Glen (the end result is me stumbling around the next day with a half-Scottish accent, a craving for hot tea, and an irresistible urge to use phrases like “a wee bit more”). The original intent of this post was to tell you to check out Monarch if you haven’t already. I find I’ve rambled on enough already, so I’ll just say that it’s worth a watch – light-hearted, beautiful scenery, a wee bit corny in parts, but the accents make it all worthwhile.
And I can’t end without saying that today made all the unpleasant sleeplessness irrelevant. My husband, who takes the morning shift, woke me up too soon with an inconsolable baby. Did Baby E want to eat? No. Did he need to burp? A new diaper? Nope. I picked him up and he looked up at me with a huge, open-mouthed smile. You know the kind. Not the gas smile. Not the unintentional smirk. The real deal. And he kept doing it. Apparently, he just needed to play.
It’s midnight now, and I hear little baby stirrings signalling an impending feeding. Do I have a movie lined up for tonight? I’m not sure I’ll need one after all.