When I was young I had nightmares frequently (I still do, but that’s another story…literally). Because of this, I often crawled into bed with my parents because my thinking at the time was that they were the only ones in the house qualified to deal with the epidemic of witches outside my window.
My parents handled this with a grace and tolerance that I wish I could demonstrate with my own kids.
I do not cope well with lack of sleep, and that is probably understating it somewhat. I have been known, on occasion, to become so mad at Husband because he falls asleep instantly, that I will wake him up so I can tell him that I’m awake and furious. And when I say “wake him up” I mean kicking him until he becomes conscious. He deals with this better than I would were the situation reversed.
My youngest can’t get out of his room at night, so unless he wakes up crying, he’s fine. My oldest, now six, is a different story. For the last few months she wakes up every few nights (usually on nights where I have to get up early to work the next day, of course) and comes into our room looking to crawl into the bed. Always on my side.
|This is what a sleeping|
kid looks like.
I try to be kind, gracious, and loving, but what usually comes out of my mouth as this child hovers inches from my face waiting for me to notice her, is a garbled, sleepy, grouchy What?!?. Her answers range from I had a nightmare (legitimate…climb into bed) to My eyes won’t let me sleep (Nope….go the fuck to bed)
I can put up with nightmare recovery, but my eyes won’t let me sleep translates to I’m awake and now this is your problem. Well now I’m also awake, and I want to say mean things to you, which as your parent I shouldn’t, but I still want to.
I love my kids, but I don’t like anyone or anything when I’m woken up in the middle of the night after it’s taken me 2 hours to fall asleep in the first place. The dog used to wake up and bark at night. I would have happily made him into a rug. The fact that he grew out of that habit has allowed him to
survive to this point.
This feels a bit like parent fail because I should like snuggling with my kids all the time, however at 2 am my brain doesn’t roll that way. It focuses instead on: I’m hot, I’m getting kicked in the stomach, and I’m pretty sure I’m never going to sleep again, and this it the 34th night in a row that this has happened. And now that I’m awake, I’m also hungry.
To add insult to injury, it’s not just me that she wakes up; two kittens who want to play, and dog who thinks it’s time to get up for breakfast, all spring to life the moment my darling daughter glides into the room to announce how not tired she is.. Cruelly, however, Husband usually sleeps through everything, and on the rare occasion that he does wake up, he’s back to sleep within moments. Bastard.
And so while I should be in bed happily enjoying sleep, instead I’m awake jotting notes for this piece because I’ve effectively rage-quit my bed for the night and set up shop on the couch, because it was either that or lay awake in bed planning the perfect murder.