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My Nights

standard June 9, 2008 6 responses

There was a time in my life when bedtime meant sleep, sweet sweet sleep, from the moment my head hit the pillow to the moment my alarm rang for the third time. Today I put off bedtime, lingering on the couch with my laptop and the TV.

It’s not that I don’t like to sleep. Far from it really. I dream of sleep, and no I’m not kidding. I actually have dreams of sleeping. Dreams of long, uninterrupted nights in silky smooth clean hotel sheets. Dreams of naps in rocking hammocks slung under palm trees in paradise. Dreams of lazy morning spent drifting in and out of sleep in a quiet home. But I still delay bedtime as long as I can.

My nights are no longer filled with endless hours of quiet restful slumber. Instead my nights make me feel like the shiny silver ball in a pinball machine, or maybe like a jack in the box.

No sooner than I’ve given in to my drooping eyelids and rested my head on the pillow than Little L cries out in her sleep. I hold my breath and wait to see if she’s going to go back to sleep. She whimpers on and off until I finally give up and hoist myself out of bed. I pop her pacifier into her mouth and tuck her back in and slide myself back into bed.

An hour or three later, without waking up, M rolls over and hugs me to him. The movement wakes me briefly and I hug him back before drifting back to sleep.

Then C has a nightmare and cries pitifully until I stumble to her room. The instant I reach her bed she lies back down and goes back to sleep. Once again I’m the only one really awake. I tuck her blanket around her slim form and head back to bed. On the way I make sure Little L is still covered.

A quick glance at the clock as I get back into bed shows me that I have another hour to go before the baby will be up for her morning feed. It’s a good thing I can fall asleep easily. If I didn’t I’d never get any rest. Even so, when I hear Little L call out it really feels as though I’ve only just closed my eyes. I prod M until he rolls out of bed to go get her for me. I’m done getting up.

He brings her to the bed and she scampers towards me with a huge smile. I pull her close and I lift my shirt so she can latch on. As I hear M start the shower I close my eyes and let sleep claim me again for another precious twenty minutes.

The wake up calls aren’t always the same. Sometimes Little L has the nightmare and C needs some water. Other times one child wakes repeatedly. On bad nights one of them has an asthma attack. On really bad nights they both do. But the pattern is usually there: I’m up, they aren’t, rinse and repeat. And so I put off going to sleep, because until I turn off the night I can still pretend that this is the night they’re going to let me close my eyes and keep them closed until the sun rises.

This post was inspired by the Sunday Scribblings prompt “My Nights”. Click here to see other great entries.

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6 responses

  • Wow, sounds like your nights are busy, but what a gift for your children, that their mother will be there to calm them after those nightmares. I do hope sleep finds you again someday 🙂

  • What she said. This fractured sleep w/ little ones is something.

  • Mother’s are always making sacrifices with love. Here’s to future REM sleep and appreciative kids. 😉

  • Oh… having been mother to a single child (who was also asthmatic and didn’t sleep through a single night until he was 3), I cannot imagine how I’d have coped with 3 babies! Blessings to you, and wishes for peaceful nights soon, really soon.

  • My son is 6. I just started getting sleep a few months ago. And he still wakes up atleast 2 or more nights a week. UGH.

  • That sounds like my nights. I don’t even remember how it feels to sleep longer than 3 hours at a time (at best!)

    Last night was a doozy – my 4 YO and 1 YO co-sleep with hubby and I. As I changed 1 YO’s diaper, he starts peeing ON ME. I change him, I change me. A couple hours later, 4 YO pees in THE BED. I change her, me (AGAIN) and everyone has to get up so I can change the sheets. I really have to get those two back into their own rooms.

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