The Dawning of a New Era (or not at all)

Here is what I have decided: sleep will never come for my brilliant, lovely, creative, beautiful boy.  I know I have talked about this before, but now I really mean it.  We are in his third year of life and the illusive slumber continues.  Last night, for example, he only woke up four times before his bunny clock tells him he can get up at 6:15a.m.  And THAT was a good night, folks.  As his non-nursing mother, it has somehow become my job (and mine alone) to tend to his night time needs.  This is for fear he will melt down when denied access to the golden nectar that flows from his other mother’s breasts.  I am, once again, exhausted.

We have a space heater in his room because it is impossible to control the temperature any other way.  This means that we must remove all obstacles within a three foot radius of the heater.  So, we have taken to folding his rug back over itself to create a void for the heater.  What I discovered this morning is that this doubled over rug with rug pad makes a suitable cot for me.  All curled up on his floor, like our over-sized cat Chicken, I was almost able to drift off to sleep.  Once more I turned over hoping I could be a little more comfortable, only to snap to attention as the sticky pad used to keep the rug in place tore away from my pajamas loud enough to wake the dead.  Shocked was I when my boy remained silent in his crib.  Using his little stuffed chair as a pillow, I got cozy and grateful for this one free-pass.  “Mama.  Pat you.” I hear as I am seconds away from dreamland myself.  (Pardon my language here…)   “MOTHER FUCKER!” I screamed inside my head vowing to get rid of the sticky pad and allow the rug to go lawless and untamed.

So, I did.  Pat you, as he says.  Once I could be assured he was fully asleep again, I went back to our bedroom.  Denying the urge to slam the door and wake up my snoring other half, I eased it shut and slid back into bed.  S turned over, never leaving the rhythmic breathing: in-two-three, out-two-three.

The last few days when my son has gotten up for the day, he will tell his other mother that Mama came in and helped him in the night.  He will say, “Mama be there.  Pat you and M be quiet.”  I kind of love it, being the savior if only for a few minutes.  In the middle of the night, I want to be asleep and nothing more.  But in the daylight, I’ll take being the one he counts on when the sun goes down.

-Betsy

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4 responses to “The Dawning of a New Era (or not at all)

  1. heh. this too shall pass, but it totally sucks… but doesn’t, but totally does. with ej he grew so fast that growing pains kept him up for the first 5 years of his life. we ended up with a pallet on the floor in our room that he could just crash on and my hand could reach his hand and sleep would resume. now, the fire alarm doesn’t wake him (which is both terrifying and a relief as our fire alarm tends to spontaniously go off in the middle of the night for no reason…. waking only me…sigh.) but yeah. the waking up 8703580698365 times in a night, is not my favorite… except when it is. heh. gj is a much better sleeper, slower grower, wakes up once a night cause she has to pee and then wants to be walked back to bed… but ya know. and you are the savior much more than you think… but the ones that are rarely get the kudos! 😉

  2. so, so true. thanks for reading eej!

  3. I keep returning to this blog post and agreeing and weeping and … yeah. We have a 13 month old who Will. Not. Sleep. As the non-nursing parent, I’ve been trying to deal with her wakings between 12 and 5, which is when we switch off again. But she’s just starting to walk and is coming up with new words each day, and a new tooth popped through last week…there is always something, but whatever it is, there’s no sleep to be had.

    Last night we gave her a preventative ibuprofen dose at 8:00, she went down around 9, was up at 10:40, 11:00, 12:15. From 11:30 on she was whimpering in her sleep. From 12:15-1:15 she would fall asleep in my arms, but not transfer to the (side-carred) crib or even into a co-sleeping position. I somehow thought it was 2 and we could give the screaming child more ibuprofen and we did and then realized it was only 1:30. Mama nursed her, I went into the office and fell asleep. The morning report was that she slept from 2-4 and then this whole thing happened again.

    She has never slept through the night but it used to be a lot better than this. I like being able to soothe her when it works, especially the day after we’ve all gotten sleep, but last night I just felt like a failure when she was miserable and the only thing that stopped the screaming was milk.

    Anyway. I read your post and even though I dread my darling girl being 3 and still not sleeping, I do like the idea that I might be successful all night long.

    • There are definitely ups and downs with the whole sleeping thing. Na-na has been the magic bullet, but there have also been many nights where he will go to sleep for me and not her. If only there was a pattern we could learn so that we can know what to expect! The good news is that our children are adorable. That is the only thing that makes the sleepless nights tolerable!

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