You will also be hated on your transcontinental flight. Little old ladies who had smiled warmly and offered to hold your infant before takeoff will be giving your whole family the “stink eye” by the time the flight is over. On overnight flights, your children will time their cries and tantrums to occur just as you are finally drifting off to sleep. You will depart each flight harried and weighed down by emergency toys that failed to divert tantrums.
|You might even consider this a preferable way to transport your children. |
Avoid this temptation. FAA does not look kindly upon it.
And I don’t use the word “tortured” lightly. I use it literally. Because sleep deprivation is enough of a form of torture that our country saw fit to use it against so called “enemy combatants” in Guantanamo. I once heard a US soldier interviewed about this. He said you could always tell a prisoner who had been “sleep dep’ed” (it’s a verb now, pay attention) because they go a bit mad. (He probably said “crazy” not “mad” because he’s not British, but I digress). Sleep dep’ed people ramble incoherently, cry uncontrollably and even hallucinate. They digress multiple times in the same paragraph. They go out of their minds. (Which makes me think it’s not the best intelligence extraction tool, but I digress.)
We do live on another continent than aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents necessitating horrid international travel. And sleep deprivation.
So, we are currently on our annual trip home from Kenya. This has entailed 4 flights, 26 full hours of travel, an 8 hour time difference and zero hours of sleep.
We arrived at our destination simply desperate for sleep. I once, before children, flew back from China (13 hour flight and 11 our time difference) and promptly slept for EIGHTEEN straight hours, which might just clinically qualify as a coma. So, after our harrowing journey my body was totally ready to settle into a nice mini coma. But my children had other ideas.
Instead of the 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep my body was crying out for, my first night back was this:
10:00 PM: I pass out sans brushing teeth and in the same clothes I’ve been wearing for almost 2 days. With pleasure.
Midnight: Infant wakes and needs to be fed.
12:20 AM: Realize I’ve fallen asleep while nursing. Give thanks the baby has not fallen off the bed. Put him in the crib and fall back asleep.
2:00 AM: Excellent dream in which I eat gouda cheese is rudely interrupted by crying infant. Nurse the baby.
2:15 AM: Just as the baby is about asleep, the toddler starts screaming like he’s being stabbed. Husband attempts to calm him, but it’s not going well. Put down now sleeping infant to go soothe toddler.
2:20 – 3:30 AM: Soothe toddler. For the whole hour.
3:30 AM: Infant wakes again demanding milk.
4:00 AM: Confess to 2 terrorist attacks and a failed coup attempt.
Are you getting the picture?
I’ve been sleep dep’ed. It’s hard to carry on an adult conversation or follow a train of thought to its conclusion. Things like not finding my sunglasses might bring me to tears. I fall asleep mid-conversation like a narcoleptic, and I’m starting to hallucinate.
Good thing I’m visiting family. They expect little more from me.