Sleep deprivation is a real threat to your health, there really are few things in my life that I can say with complete confidence, and this is one of them. (Trust me, an acupuncturist told me and I think he might be seriously magic, so I definitely believe him). And I do not mean the kind of sleepless nights that occur on pre child Saturdays out playing pool (where you get to sleep until noon afterwards), or the late nights of studying where you only got 5 hours before your alarm went off! (wah-wah woes me). I mean the years of built of deprivation. Years spent bleary eyed slumbering in 2 hour increments. Nights where you are so thankful its five, because finally, finally the night can at least be over. Your misery can be concluded.
I know there are lots of ladies out there who can cuddle up with their little ones and sleep tight without a problem or a worry. And believe me I have tried. But, the tossing and turning, (and omg the constant nursing), well? I just can’t do it. Often I do anyways, don’t get me wrong. But, all in all my goal is to sleep cuddled up to my cat. There, I said it. He is amazing, what can I say?
I also know lots of parents have found solace in sleep training methods and I have not a single qualm about them either! I am a firm, and I mean firm, believer in what makes you and yours happy is one hundred percent the right thing to do. My boys though, my boys refuse to be trained. Oh no, they have intentions all of their own; they don’t consider their poor mama. No sir. Not one bit. And truth is, I am not much of a trainer. All right, all right, I am a downright horrible trainer. So, you see the combination never would have worked.
Instead I have perfected the art of tip toeing out of a room and sitting up without letting the floor creak after hushing little ones to sleep and singing for hours on end. I can stick my nose in between the bars of a crib and breath on a babies head just so to woo him to sleep (booyah!). And I have shared a twin bed with two boys and a needy dog more nights than I would like to admit. I follow more of the “wing it” method than anything else. I have not the mind to decide on anything else at the moment.
But…. despite my discouraging complaints, I have had a few supposed to be sleeping moments of the late that have honest to goodness added up to close to euphoria. They have given me little glimpses of hope.
photo compliments go to miles
Our couple of weeks recently spent up north were marked in sickness; Hacking, sniffling, sneezing, feverish kind of sickness. Not an evening went by where I wasn’t baffled by the amount of wakefulness that occurred. Though it was much roomier since I did not have to share a bed with a giant, the evenings were spent with at least one child tucked under my wing, if not two.
And in between bouts of true confusion and fits of exhaustion reminiscent of my children themselves, I found something so precious.
I held my little mans fevered waist night after night while he looked into my eyes, hot hands pressed against my cheeks, as he told me no less than 20 times per night, “Mama, I love you sooooo much.”; All the while mutters of, “Mama! Hug! Kiss!” were a constant from the other side. The feeling of a little baby’s breath on your face is the most genuinely good thing I will ever know. I can see why the delicate little white flowers that surround roses are named after such a thing.
And now back home, a week in, my boys are settling in a bit. Oh, I promise no one is sleeping all night. But we are getting somewhere. I just left the room they (occasionally) sleep in, and I had this wave come over me once again.
I was all kinds of upset with Miles for turning on the light, and riling Rowan up. I tucked them each in respectively again, only to have them get up and jump about and well, just act like they do. Rowan wailed, “Hug!” at me and I came to the side of his bed, wrapped my arms around his little belly, huffing and puffing about it the whole time.
With a frustrated tone I am sure, I told him its time for sleep.
His grasp remained fixed around my waist.
I reminded him it was night-time.
His grip got tighter.
Finally, I sighed and relaxed and just decided to surrender; Just let it be. I figured I was in it for the long haul. Then all of a sudden, just like that, he lied down, hugged his owl, and closed those pretty blue eyes.
It was like he was waiting for me to actually be there.
It is not an easy task when your every ounce yearns a consistent period of rest. But, being mindful that I am in fact participating in the most loving and extraordinary thing that has ever crossed my path, well… it certainly helps.
These days where my boys are bouncing off the walls, I can feel the time just shrinking around me. I can see this blog being a space I search to remind me of these trying times. I can see this space being a memory for what was just so perfectly sweet. I know I will miss this. Sleep deprived or not.
To my qi: I am sorry. I am doing my best.