When you look at a mother cat, and her kittens are jumping all over her, nuzzling to be fed, batting her ears, attacking her tail, have you ever taken a good look at her face? I could never figure out why mother cats all have that same expression of bemused edgy tolerance. I know now.
There have been moments in the last two days when I felt exactly like that mother cat looks. The bun isn't sleeping well, so I've been plucking him out of bed to try and relax him. Instead, he only sort-of eats while flinging his brand new working hand around, grabbing my lips, popping off the boob as if it were a Tootsie Pop, kicking his back leg like Thumper. It's okay at two in the afternoon; it's a bit much at midnight. And then two am. And then five.
Last night there was almost an international incident, when, after I had fed the bun twice and he was still kicking and fidgeting, my husband turned over in his sleep and said, as if this were the answer to our problem, "Are you going to feed him?"
Are you going to start making milk so I don't have to, bub?
Anyhoo, after this rather unfortunate question (I think steam actually escaped my ears), we tried in vain to get the poor suffering boy back to sleep. We even put the bun in his big-boy crib in the other room. It lasted all of five minutes, but was a sign of our complete desperation.
Then, when my husband was trying to sleep in the guest room, and I was feeding the bun a third time in the living room, the cats decided to play a little "Spy Vs. Spy" through the house, ambushing each other and running up and down the stairs. Donating their little kitty lives in name of science is looking more viable all the time.
Finally, the bun fell into a peaceful sleep, and my husband and I wearily fell back into bed. Together even.
All was good until the thrashing started again, and my husband, who offered to take Gaseous Clay into the other room so I could sleep a little, asked perfectly innocently, "Have you fed him lately?"
"Are you fucking kidding me?" I asked.
My husband is the sweetest person on the planet. Really. I actually tell people I don't understand why he married me because he's so much nicer than I am. So to throw this perfectly reasonable question back at him like this was extremely unkind. As my husband explained, he had no idea whether I had fed the bun or not because he had been asleep.
And that's the rub, isn't it? Not only am I pissed because I'm awake, but my dear, kind husband is sawing logs next to me while I glower in the half-dark of the morning. And I'm pissed because even when the bun is thrashing around like Pris after she gets shot in Blade Runner, he is fast asleep. I'm pissed because everyone's asleep but me. Even those gawd-damned cats get to catch some zzz's between ambushes.
I'm thinking that all mothers fit the legal definition of insanity for the first year of motherhood due to the torturous condition of sleep deprivation. I'm going to call Rumsfeld. I think he's behind it.