When you're a new, exhausted, stressed out parent, the gift of a sleeping baby is a beautiful one. That time can be spent catching up on all kinds of things, whether it's showering, cleaning the disaster that is your kitchen, or just taking some time for yourself and watching your favorite show. That is, until your "me time" is interrupted by an ominous doorbell and the clueless individual who has now inadvertently awakened your kid. You'll be pissed and you'll be annoyed and you'll begin to devise punishments reserved for people who wake a sleeping baby.
The house our family lived in, until recently, was what's known as a "war home," built during World War II, and had basically all the original flooring and beautiful antique touches from, including a telephone box, gorgeous lead-paned windows and the noisiest damn floors that have ever existed. It also had zero insulation in the walls, apparently, because I could hear a conversation that was happening two rooms away. Did I mention it was a bungalow with an unfinished basement? It was a nightmare trying to make sure the baby stayed asleep. I have perfected what can only be called the "death stare" over the years, and it's reserved solely for when a child of mine is sleeping and someone dares to be loud enough to wake them.
Creaky floors and thin walls aside, there are plenty of other ways to wake a sleeping baby. Anyone who calls to ask me whether my ducts need cleaning will get an earful, as will the person who knocks on my door to tell me they can paint my chipped garage door for a good price. If you're delivering a package or mowing your lawn or doing something that inhibits my child from sleeping (and me from resting) your automatically on my sh*t list and, my friend, that's no place to be. I have a particular set of punishments for those who wake a sleeping baby, and a particular set of skills to enact said punishments. You've been warned.
Death By Lullabye
Waking up a sleeping baby should require you to sing said baby back to sleep. Of course, this will take forever, and so you will more than likely end up dying from singing so many soft, sleep-inducing songs. Hey, fine by me, pal. Think before you ring the doorbell, next time.
Poopy Diaper Duty For The Next Week
Don't tell me you can't handle it. I'll be starting my baby on meat shortly, and then you'll really be in serious trouble.
Forced Sleep Deprivation
Let's start with four hours of sleep a night, and then maybe wake you up once or twice during those four hours, OK? Also, if you start to nod off during the day, remember that you have to clean the bathroom, which hasn't been done in more than a month.
No Showering For A Week (Maybe Two)
The time my baby was supposed to be sleeping is the time I was supposed to be having a nice, relaxing, hot shower. Now, I get none of that, and I'm also still not clean. Your turn.
Cleaning The House
Baby's nap was when I was going to finally unload (and reload) the dishwasher, so that I can get some counter space back. Also, I was planning on removing all those dust bunnies so that my now-crawling child doesn't decide to eat them. Get on that, will you?
No Eating (Except For Scraps And Leftovers)
Sorry, what? Oh no, honey, you're not going to be eating dinner tonight. Nap time is prep time, and I just lost that window, so don't expect to eat, either. Alright, fine. You can either prepare food for the entire family with no prep-time (so you know what I am now forced to work with) or you get to go out into the world and bring back food. Pick your poison, my friend.
Holding The Crying Baby While Mom Goes For A Shower
At a certain point, I don't care that much about why my baby is crying (assuming their basic needs have been met and they're safe), so you can hang on to my cranky child while I get the glorious shower I so completely deserve.
Sitting For Several Hours With A Crying Baby, Not Knowing How To Make Them Stop
I think this punishment goes hand-in-hand with the one above. It happens even to the all-knowing moms, sometimes, especially when their baby is woken up early from a nap, unexpectedly. Good luck with that.
Starting The Same TV Show 15 Times Without Ever Being Able To Finish It
This may, in fact, be the definition of hell. You know, when the baby has trouble settling back down, and every time you think you can get back to what you were doing, they wake up again? And you manage to watch a total of 11 minutes of the show, and eventually just give up and read the synopsis online. It's the worst, and now it's your reality.
Starting The Same Workout 15 Times Without Ever Being Able To Finish
See the explanation above, only it happens during the day, and all you want is to fit back into non-maternity clothes. Is that too much to ask? Yes. Yes, it is. I'm not sure how to turn this into a punishment for someone who doesn't have kids, but if I could, trust me, I would.