Earlier this May, when Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor (heir to the Barony of Kilkeel, for those keeping score at home) was born, I noticed a dad joke that his uncle, Prince William, cracked to the press: “I’m very pleased and glad to welcome my brother to the sleep deprivation society that is parenting!”
My first child (born five weeks ago, hooray) was coming soon, so I knew that it was the oldest baby gag in the book: new parents are sleep deprived pick up diapers — right up there with “baby pees on dad changing his diaper” and then there’s the night I got pooped on twice in the dark, a pretty funny yet profoundly unnerving experience that greatly overshadows the half-dozen or so times I have actually been peed on already.
People weave in all kinds of horror stories into their chats with expecting first-time parents. Things like: “Oh, my little Suzy cried non-stop for 40 days and 40 nights before she metamorphosed into some type of entity resembling the Loch Ness Monster. Have you picked out a name?” or “I couldn’t keep down any food except lumpy mashed potatoes and I had to spend the last seven months of my pregnancy suspended by large rubber bands above my bed. Have you got your nursery ready?”
Still, I wondered. Just how much sleep would Prince Harry be missing? Doesn’t he have a maid or six and a couple of wet nurses for that sort of thing?
But I wasn’t easily scared. All I know is I’m too tired to be terrified these days.
All of this within five weeks, the last two of which I’ve been back at work grumbling at my coworkers to stop asking stupid questions while I’m typing in anniversary announcements and sometimes my son just doesn’t want to sleep at all. (Happy recent 70th anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. George Dall of Princeton by the way, wow!)
Anyways, sleep deprivation is real, and I wasn’t a peach around the newsroom before my boy was born. I’m practicing deep breathing techniques and walking away from my desk before I scream anything too rash don’t forget wipes. But I am going to be super pumped when my official Sleep Deprivation Society membership card comes in the mail!
Just think, royalty and me, in the same club!
My apologies to the prince, and there’s deadlines to meet before I sleep.