Shortly after my wife and I had kids, sleep became currency in our marriage. The little buggers just don’t sleep. Sometimes they are moody, sometimes they wet the bed. If they are not getting me up in the night, they are keeping me up late, or getting me up early. Just a few weeks ago this nurse on the news was bitching about her 21-day Ebola quarantine. She obviously doesn’t have kids, because the thought of being shut up in a room with a bed for 21 days sounds amazing.
Sometimes I long for a coma.
We have a new baby. I hope you understand.
Mel and I seem to constantly be negotiating for more sleep, and really anything can be on the negotiation table. Here are a few examples:
“I will have sex with you if you let me take a nap.”
Mel often approaches me with this proposition, and I will admit it, this works 90% of the time. Ok… I’m kidding. It always works. We do, however, go back and forth a bit. I ask questions such as: When will the sex happen? Can we have sex now, and sex later? What will you be wearing?... You get the idea. It’s all very business like. On the flip side, however, I have been known to offer to have sex with Mel if she will let me take a nap. This offer has yet to be accepted (sad face).
“If I do the dishes, then I get a nap.”
We both hate doing the dishes. Doing the dishes often becomes a stand-off. You would think that simply knowing that doing the dishes could lead to a nap would motivate us, but sadly it doesn’t. Honestly, if I had to pick between doing the dishes and slamming my junk in a car door, I’d take the car door. I’m not sure what Mel would slam. The sink will nearly be overflowing before we begin to negotiate. Food is stuck to plates and spoons. Milk has turned. I’m not proud of this. But what I will say is that getting a nap does help ease the pain of doing the dishes.
“If you get new shoes, then I get a nap.”
I’m a bit of a shoe whore. I have far too many pairs of shoes. I seem to be regularly asking for shoes. I like dress shoes, and running shoes, and bike shoes. I love a good shoes sale. I’m not sure what this says about me. But what I do know is that when Famous Footwear has a sale, Mel gets some serious nap credits.
“It’s my birthday. Screw you guys, I’m taking a nap.”
Birthday is nap day. Outside of getting new shoes, the one thing I look forward to on my birthday is getting a nap. And sex. But naps are more consistent. There is always the possibility that I might dream of sex. Win win.
“If you get a night out with friends, than I get to sleep in.”
Sometimes I want to feel like a single dude and go out with my friends, eat burgers, see a concert, pass gas… You get what I’m saying. Mel likes to go out with her friends and do… well… I don’t know what they do, but I doubt they pass gas. Anyway, if one of us gets an evening out, the other gets to sleep in. Or sex. I usually take the sex. Perhaps this list should have been titled, “Negotiating For Sex.”
Do you and your partner ever negotiate for more sleep?
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Clint Edwards was blessed with a charming and spitfire wife, a video game obsessed little boy, and a snarky little girl in a Cinderella play dress. When Clint was 9-years-old his father left. With no example of fatherhood, he had to learn how to be a father and husband through trial and error. His work has been featured in Good Morning America, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, Fast Company, and elsewhere. He lives in Oregon. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Photo by Lucinda Higley