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Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

I can’t stop screaming.

I want to crawl out of my skin.

I want to burn my bedding. And sell my house.

I want to shake T to snap him out of his sleepy calmness.

I’m both grateful and totally freaked out by my own ability to sleep through such things.

There was a squirrel. Again. You may remember the last time a squirrel found its way into my bedroom. If not, go check it out. I’ll wait…

This time there was no cat for a night-long chase. I was awoken by T’s whisper, “Allison, don’t go into our bathroom. There’s a squirrel in there.” With that he rolled over went back to sleep. My eyes flung open into a position they’d keep until morning. I listened to small crashes and frantic scratches all night from the bathroom. I thought of all of the things in there that I love that I’d have to throw into a pyre in the morning.

And silly me, I thought a squirrel locked in my bathroom all night was bad. Then T told me the whole story: While I lay dead to the world, he felt a critter on the bed. (A CRITTER ON THE BED!) It walked over his feet and he kicked at it. (I’m panicking as I write this.) When he felt it sniffing at his hand (!!!!) he flung it away. He heard it land in the bathroom so he got up and shut the door. Then he offered me the warning and went back to sleep.

WTF is wrong with the man I married? Any sane person would freak out, stand on the bed and issue a series of glass-shattering screams. Honestly, a wild animal on your bed, sniffing at your hand? It’s too much to bear. And you know what’s the worst part? I was in that bed too! Who knows how that squirrel violated me in my sleep before heading over to T’s side of the bed?

In the morning T caught it and I got some photos. He was annoyed with me because I couldn’t stop myself from my own occasional (all the time) screams and shrieks. I totally freaked the kids out and for some reason T thinks that’s a bad thing. Hello?? I’d like my kids to have normal reactions to wild animals in the house. So here he is. Our flying squirrel:

You think it's cute? Imagine it in your bed. Still cute?

Is that a child's placemat T used to catch the thing? Yes, yes it is.

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I can’t take any credit for the brilliance of what follows. Cyndi from My Convertible Life wrote this song here. I love the sentiment and agree whole heartedly. Enjoy! (I’m reproducing it with her blessing.)

The 12 Days of Mommy’s Christmas Wish-List

On the first day of Christmas,
my children gave to me
a chance to pee in privacy.

On the second day of Christmas,
my children gave to me
two smiling faces,
and a chance to pee in privacy.

On the third day of Christmas,
my children gave to me
three whine-free meals,
two smiling faces,
and a chance to pee in privacy.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my children gave to me
four great big hugs,
three whine-free meals,
two smiling faces,
and a chance to pee in privacy.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my children gave to me
five FULL nights’ sleep…
four great big hugs,
three whine-free meals,
two smiling faces,
and a chance to pee in privacy.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my children gave to me
six days a playing,
five FULL nights’ sleep…
four great big hugs,
three whine-free meals,
two smiling faces,
and a chance to pee in privacy.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my children gave to me
seven toys a cleaned up,
six days a playing,
five FULL nights’ sleep…
four great big hugs,
three whine-free meals,
two smiling faces,
and a chance to pee in privacy.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my children gave to me
eight easy bedtimes,
seven toys a cleaned up,
six days a playing,
five FULL nights’ sleep…
four great big hugs,
three whine-free meals,
two smiling faces,
and a chance to pee in privacy.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my children gave to me
nine “please” and “thank yous,”
eight easy bedtimes,
seven toys a cleaning,
six days a playing,
five FULL nights’ sleep…
four great big hugs,
three whine-free meals,
two smiling faces,
and a chance to pee in privacy.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my children gave to me
ten laughs a tickling,
nine “please” and “thank yous,”
eight easy bedtimes,
seven toys a cleaning,
six days a playing,
five FULL nights’ sleep…
four great big hugs,
three whine-free meals,
two smiling faces,
and a chance to pee in privacy.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my children gave to me
eleven “Love you, Mommy,”
ten laughs a tickling,
nine “please” and “thank yous,”
eight easy bedtimes,
seven toys a cleaning,
six days a playing,
five FULL nights’ sleep…
four great big hugs,
three whine-free meals,
two smiling faces,
and a chance to pee in privacy.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my children gave to me
twelve solo trips shopping,
eleven “Love you, Mommy,”
ten laughs a tickling,
nine “please” and “thank yous,”
eight easy bedtimes,
seven toys a cleaning,
six days a playing,
five FULL nights’ sleep…
four great big hugs,
three whine-free meals,
two smiling faces,
and a chance to pee in privacy.

 

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When L was a baby we used to try to eek out a few more minutes of weekend sleep by bringing him into our bed when he woke up in the wee hours of the morning. This seemed like such a perfect idea, and I knew other people did it. But our baby was just too excitable. (Some things never change.) Apparently being in bed with us was thrilling, even when he was a tiny infant, and he just couldn’t contain himself. He’d flip and kick and squirm and crawl and fall and roll and flail. Not being in bed was better than being in bed with this baby.

We figured all babies must be like this and that other parents just had a higher tolerance for this type of thing. He was the only baby we had, so how could we know? Then came S. We brought her into our bed. She lay still. She’d fall asleep, or cuddle, or coo, or just lay quietly gazing at us. This is kicked-in-the-gut-love. Heaven. Those other parents had this from day one? Not fair!

Over the years we’ve periodically re-attempted the family weekend sleep-in. Each time it’s a huge disappointment because L still can’t contain himself. He is in and out of the bed faster and more times than you can keep track of or stand. He jumps, rolls, kicks, squirms, hops, jumps, burrows, crawls, stands, jumps, climbs etc. It is beyond annoying, and at his current stature of over 40 lbs, dangerous for the rest of us.

Being in bed with L is like being in bed with a bag full of ferrets. On coke.

I feel like I’ve been cheated. I would love to snuggle with my kids. L is just un-snuggle-able and we can’t figure out a way to keep him out and let S in. So, we just continue to drag our sorry asses out of bed at the crack of dawn no matter what day it is. Looking forward to my revenge when L is a teenager and wants to sleep in until the afternoon. Hah!

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Addled

I am brilliant.

I am hilarious and insightful and a freaking word-smithing-savant!

All in the middle of the night when I have insomnia. And then I don’t remember any of it.

Last night I wrote a great post in my head. The words swirled and then slid into perfect order, creating a sweet, funny and relatable story. An anecdote full of smart little phrases to delight the reader. One sure to entice a real LOL, perhaps embarrassing some of you at work.

But it’s gone. I can almost recall it, but just as I home in on it and it begins to materialize, it vanishes like smoke.

Surely my problem could be resolved by the placement of a pen and notebook on my bedside table. But with so much genius-filled-insomnia, I never remember to get those things and put them there.

So, I’m sorry. It was really a good one too. You would have loved it. You probably would have tweeted it to all your friends and I’d get, like, a million new readers. Damn.

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Lullaby

When L was a baby I made up a lullaby that I sang to him every time I put him down to sleep. Somewhere around 2.5 he decided he was too grown up for it. But then when he heard me singing it to S, with her name in the place of his, he wanted it back. So now each night I have a few moments when L and I are at peace, and he’s my baby again, and I get to sing him my lullaby. I’m happy it’s back.

Before you think I’m some kind of creative person, here’s the song itself –

To the tune of Auld Lang Syne (don’t ask me why):

It’s time for L to go to sleep, and sleep, and sleep and sleep. It’s time for L to go to sleep, and sleep and sleep and sleep.

It’s a song of optimism. For what it’s worth, my kids are great sleepers, slept through the night pretty early on. I think they took the song to heart. Feel free to use it.

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Pool = Sleep

Want sleep? Get a pool! We just spent from Friday night until Tuesday evening at my parents’ house with an in-ground pool. L would have preferred to take all his meals and sleep in the pool, but we did make him come out occasionally.

Most of the time was spent with his cousins and all the kids wiped themselves out all day, every day. By evening they each had that glassy-eyed, over-played, over-sunned look and went to bed with enormous cooperation. Nieces 1&2 actually asked to go to bed at L’s bedtime because they were so tired.

Nieces 1&2 don’t nap, and even for naptime L agreeably walked away from serious playing to take a monster nap. All of this happy sleeping occurred in strange beds in strange rooms. I want a pool!

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I saw a friend of mine yesterday with her brand new, less than a week old baby, her third. I asked her how she was and she said, “fragile.” I can’t think of a more perfect description of myself immediately after having each of my babies. I felt like a broken live-wire, with my emotional nerve endings frayed, buzzing and sparking in their new exposed state. The slightest touch or breeze and they’d shock and jolt me. When kindly people came by to drop off a meal, meet the baby, see how I was, I lied and said “great!” when asked.

Here I am, self-proclaimed teller of motherly truths and I perpetuated a very damaging lie to brand new moms. I was not great, not fine. I was a mess and felt like I should not be trusted with this brand new baby. By the time S came around, I knew the baby would be fine, but I was again shocked, raw and frayed. In a moment, I could go from rapturous wonder at my new perfect baby, to despondently crying. My moods shifted on the slightest notions. I was fragile.

I had been told I’d be hormonal. And the few people who saw my emotional flare-ups reminded me that I was hormonal. But this was more, different. I had been hormonal before. Afterall, I just finished pregnancy. But pregnancy is different. It feels transient and thus less real. This felt permanent. I felt crazy. And I hid it.

Of course it was not permanent, and I was hormonal. Slowly my self emerged again, well, maybe a more tired shadow of my self. The fragility gave way to a new brand of strength. An ability to hold it all together, to move forward, to lead myself and my kids through each day no matter what presents itself: days of no sleep, weeks of colic, illness. This is the stuff that makes a mom a mom. It’s not something I could have predicted or had heard about. And even though I experienced it with L, I doubted it when S came along. But it did come back, reinforced and stronger.

I’m certainly not saying that my life is without challenges and I’m without days when I feel harried, emotional, and like I can’t possibly take another minute. But it passes and I do take another minute. And another after that. I don’t really know what the purpose of this post is. It kept me up until 1:30 AM writing itself in my head. Maybe I just need to publicly acknowledge that I lied to everyone when I first had my babies.

I have a few friends who are expecting their first baby and I hope they read this. It’s just my own experience, but in case you’re feeling fragile in the days and weeks immediately postpartum, know that you’re not alone, you’re not a bad mother, you’re not crazy, and that you will come out on the other end as a bona-fide mom. If you need help, ask for it. And if any twit tells you anything stupid like “it only gets harder from here,” or dismisses your overwrought anxiety, you can punch them in the face and blame your hormones.

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