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Because they’d put the baby down and forget where. That’s the punchline for: Why shouldn’t women over 50 have babies? I wrote it down first in case I forgot, which is often the case with my joke-telling.

Forgetfulness isn’t the only side effect to being on the plus side of 50. The fatigue is wearing me out too. Anything that cuts into a full night’s sleep compounds the issue. Mothering an infant would do that. There is no middle ground for a middle-aged woman and middle of the night wake-ups.

I base this on personal experience. As I write now, I am blurry-eyed and my fingers keep slipping on the keyboard. Today, autocorrect is my fiend. Friend.

At 2:30 a.m., my alarm alerted me that it was time to wake my baby – who happens to be a teenager who needed to get ready for a 3 a.m. ride to the airport. I could have let her sit alone in the living room until her ride arrived, but since she’ll be gone the next four days, I thought it was the least I could do to keep her company. And it was the least either of us could do. We were both too tired to talk, except for when I asked every few minutes where her ride was until car lights finally illuminated our front yard at 3:30 a.m.

I stumbled with her to the car, hugged her, then lugged my body back to bed before the next alarm went off at 5 a.m. It was hard to fall into a deep sleep knowing I had so little time to catch some ZZZs. I may have managed one Z before the blare of the trumpet tone. With the aid of coffee I soon merged into the flow of morning commuters.

Trudging into my office, I told my boss that I felt drunk. Who says that to the person who signs their paycheck?  A woman over 50, that’s who, who was up for an hour in the middle of the night with her baby. Doesn’t matter whether that baby is 15 days or 15 years old, the morning after is dizzying.

I realize that with a teen child, it’s more my choice than my duty to get up with her. She can certainly handle an alarm clock and leaving on her own. The infant, however, would’ve wailed until I answered the call of duty, no choice in the matter there.  And then I’d have to feed it, burp it, change it, rock it, and put it back to bed. Maybe. It could be that I’d put that baby down and forget where.

Yawn. I need a nap.