Nathan, one of our four-months old twin boys, wakes up crying at 2am. He probably needs to be fed.

Exhausted as Rita and I are from many sleepless nights with both boys waking us up all the time, I get up with difficulty and let her sleep some more. I need to take care of him but I don’t want to wake up too much. I wish I could do all that needs to be done – prepare his bottle, feed him, burp him, change his diaper – without really waking up. I wish I could do it all sleep-walking…

I get up and do what I need to do. I sit on the chair with him on my lap and give him his bottle. While he drinks I talk to him a little, sing to him a little, close my eyes a little…

And then, after about an hour, just as I think that this shift is over; just as I think that I’ll be back in bed in a few minutes; just as I am calculating how many hours of sleep I may still get tonight – if Nathan goes to bed without putting up a fight; if his twin Ilan doesn’t wake up soon; and if I succeed in falling asleep immediately. Just as I lie him down on my legs facing me and wait for him to close his eyes and fall asleep – just then he goes and does it! He opens his eyes wide open, looks straight into my eyes and breaks into a gratuitous, unprovoked, reasonless, crooked, toothless, charming smile!

And I am immediately wide awake. I am charmed, delighted. Now I need to hug him, to kiss him, to talk to him, to party him.

Eventually I put him to bed and he falls asleep but my sleep is totally gone. Soon Ilan will wake up and demand to be fed. No point in letting Rita get up for him. No point in trying to sleep any more. My night is finished…

Don’t ever do this to me again, Nathan! Don’t smile at me at 3am!


About the Author
David Wolf writes about his experience of being a second-time husband and father. He has a daughter from his first marriage, and, with his second wife, has accrued three daughters, two sons-in-law, one grandchild and twin 8-year-old sons. He is a social worker in a mental health department and in private practice in Raanana.