Mom! Are you awake?
“Let’s talk about sleep, baby. Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good dreams and the good Z’s that we need. Let’s talk about sleep. Come On!”
Please tell me that you read that to Salt N Pepper’s Lets ‘Talk about Sex’. Even if you didn’t, PLEASE tell me that you did.
Seriously, let’s talk about this elusive thing called sleep. I remember it. It was 10 odd years ago when I had my last real restful sleep.
When I was pregnant with Dave, I kept thinking that in just a few months, I’d be able to sleep again. Without the bulbous tummy that I was working against.
Then, when Dave was 6 months old, I thought: Ok, just a few more months and then I can have sleep. He was getting up super early and falling asleep at about 9pm. Surely, that couldn’t last. Right?
But when he was older, we had our fears confirmed. Dave was an early riser. A VERY early, 4 or 5am, early riser. The hubs and I never have been early birds. Nope, we are night owls. It HURTS to get up before the sun. We learned that if we tried to sleep in a bit, something always happens. And not a good thing. Like the one morning, we woke, to find a grinning Dave sitting in the hallway. The walls, carpet, doors, dog and Dave were covered in the yummy scents of fancy soap. Soap that was set aside for a holiday gift.
But it is ok, there are nap times. Right? ”Nap when the baby naps!” Right? Yeah. No. We woke one nap time to the doorbell. The little thief had gone through my purse, gotten my car keys, went out the garage door and into my car, where there was a new toy. It was waiting for the afternoon. Sadly, the garage door locked behind him and he couldn’t figure out the house keys. It was winter. He was in jammies and no shoes.
And this is my easy child.
Hank, however, does not sleep. Like, ever. He comes down nearly every night just after bedtime. His tummy hurts. His tummy says that it is hungry. He saw a spider, maybe. He heard a noise. He saw a light. He can’t sleep. He doesn’t think that it is bedtime because it is still light. His tummy needs something.
Even if he doesn’t come down minutes after bed, chances are, 3am, we see him. At this hour, it is all about his tummy, his throat or he just needs a drink and a cuddle.
During a flare up, there is no sleep. Sure, maybe 10 minutes here and there. Or even a half hour. But for days – sometimes up to a week – there is no sleep for Hank and I. Sometimes, we even get the hubs up with us, but that is reserved for when I am covered in vomit. Though, this happens a lot more than I will even hint at.
Hank’s first year of school was hard. Very hard. Earlier, I wrote about the germ factory, getting sick and having a flare up at the same time made it really hard. Weeks and weeks of no sleep. Weeks and weeks of vomit. Weeks and weeks of middle of the night crying, both babe and me.
The non-sleeping kid does have the occasional benefits. I won’t be telling this to Hank, but I love mornings when I wake up to him snuggled in with me. His soft snoring, his tiny Hank feet wedged into my back or belly. It is seriously a wonderful snuggle. It is also a snuggle that I’m trying to break him of. He already sleeps mainly in his chair, should he need a bed, he has one. But, man. Those snugs.
As I am typing this, I actually got a fairly decent night sleep. Well. Without kid interruption. At 1:30 this morning, our new dog, Libby snored so loud that she startled herself awake and covered up her embarrassment by pretending to protect the house. With barking.
As Hank gets older, he may be able to wake, get his food/drink or whatever, but it looks like I have doomed myself to 15+ years of waking for Libby. Someday, sleep will come back to me. When it does, I’ll sleep through the alarm clock.