The signs of total parental exhaustion start small: eyes slip closed here and there—no biggie; your child can only color so high on that wall with a marker—but they grow quickly, and right about the time you think you should be getting plenty of rest they make their move. That time is when the baby stage has ended. No more night feedings. No more waking up even though the baby didn't because you just can't believe he hasn't woken you up yet and you have to run in and check on him. Your little one sleeps all night now, so should you. Unfortunately, this is the time you realize the months and months of sleep deprivation have built up and are about to SHUT YOU DOWN. You think you have been sleeping, but your body starts telling you that it still isn't getting enough shuteye. You might be experiencing total parental exhaustion if:
10. You don't mind watching the same episode of your son's favorite animated show over and over again.
9. You want to make toast for your son because he'd rather throw than eat what you prepared for dinner, but you can't find the loaf of bread even though it's right in front of you.
8. You begin to think the floor by the crib is actually very comfortable for sleeping when your son wants you to stay and sing another song.
7. You start to fall asleep reading to your son even though it is 8 AM and you are not in bed.
6. You collapse on a giant bean bag and let your son repeatedly throw a small cardboard box at you because, hey, he's having fun and you know he's safe and you don't have to be vertical.
5. You admire your son's decorating skills and let his creative juices be free without rushing to clean up the mess, er, art!
4. You read a book with your son and say, "Look at the cow," then realize it is a dog.
3. You mentally keep track of how long a single Cheerio has been on the floor just barely under the edge of the couch. Three weeks.
2. You remember random facts like a Cheerio's lifespan but can't remember what day of the week it is.
And the number one way you know you have gone over the edge of the exhaustion cliff:
1. You bend over your son in his crib and start to say good night prayers and instead say, "Dear Lord, thank you for this food."