Things That Go Bump in the Night
I swear, any time the phrase, “Wow, we’ve all been sleeping through the night for a while here lately,” stumbles through my brain, a tiny little ESP signal flashes into the brains of my children, triggering a great nighttime revolt.
The morning of Easter Sunday was glorious. My first child didn’t wake up until 7am, and then, being the studious oldest that she is, she merely crawled into bed with us to snuggle until the others woke up close to 8am. I was feeling so thrilled, so happy and rather pleased with everything.
But oh dear sense of self-contentment, what a fleeting stranger you are.
We played hard on Easter. We went to Mark’s family’s farm and the kids ran around outside in the sunshine all day long. “Oh,” I thought, “They are going to sleep SO GOOD tonight,” as I fantasized about laying in bed until possibly even 7:30am!
But… I didn’t even think about all the Easter chocolate, cookies, cupcakes and red dye 40 they were shoving in their faces all day. They did go to sleep rather easily, but at 4am, the sugar monsters came to life in the form of… nightmares. Sarah had a terrible one. One that was so terrifying that she wouldn’t even tell me what it was about, instead yanking her terrified, shaking little body into my bed. She pressed up against me, heart pounding. I soothed her and let her stay there (which is rare in our house – we are firmly of the “no kids in our bed” kind of people). Well that lasted about 20 minutes. She kept kicking me every time I’d start to doze. I moved her back to her bed, yet some version of “my throats hurts,” “there’s a ghost outside my window,” “it’s just impossible to go to sleep” re-awoke me every time I started to doze off again. Finally at 6am I caved and let her watch TV so I could sleep for 30 minutes. My husband somehow managed to sleep through all of this, I might add.
Monday, I thought, would be much better, despite chugging along on only a few hours of sleep. We played hard Monday – visiting friends, playing in water outside, and I put them all to bed early. “I did everything right!” I thought, “Good night, stinkers!”
Cue this 4am gem: “Maaaaammmmmmaaaaa! My bed is soaking wet!” Norah, this time. She pointed to her soaking wet panties on the floor. I felt her bed – it was drenched. Let me pause to say that since Norah decided she was ready to potty train, she has never once wet the bed. However, she has started lying to us out of spite? Contrariness? I don’t know. But she insisted to me that she had gone to the potty before going to bed that night, and that, it turns out was a GIANT LIE. So, off went the sheets, the mattress cover, her blanket. I re-made the bed. I finally got her all settled and went back to bed, only to have my mind start making a huge deal out of not-huge-deal-things because it was 4am. Also my husband was snoring. I finally dozed off, only to be re-awoken.
Norah: “MOM! There’s a FLY in my room!”
Me: “What is going on?! A fly?! Are you kidding me?! BACK TO BED!”
She angrily stomped back to bed. Of course when my alarm went off that morning, I was the only one who could pull my exhausted self out of bed. I went to wake the girls and discovered the following: a sippy cup, a half eaten pile of graham crackers and chocolate wrappers. It seems that in order to pass the time from 4 to 5am, Miss Norah prepared herself some delicious snacks in the wee hours of the morning while I slept. But of course when it was time for school, she could not be persuaded to budge from under her cover cave of wonders, which resulted in anguished crying on both our parts.
As we finally got them all into bed last night, I looked at Mark and said, “If ANY of them wake up in the middle of the night, I’m kicking you until you get up and take care of it.”
So, of course, that night everyone slept like soundless baby angels.
Someone pour me up another cup of coffee, please. Or, better yet, I’ll take a glass of wine (or three).