Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Catching Up on Sleep

I am chronically exhausted.  My youngest still wakes up all the time and wants me to snuggle her in the middle of the night.  Instead of sleep training her last year like a sane person, I let her sleep train me and now we're both broken.  I rationalize the fact that I don't let her cry too long because I don't want everyone else in the house to wake up.  It's a selfless and kind act, right?  From a wonderful and caring mother?
Yeah right.

I'm lazy and I suck, that's why I do it.  It's easier for me just to get up and snuggle her quietly than to hear her scream and cry.  The result?  I never, ever sleep.  It's so bad.  My husband recognizes that this is serious and that if I don't start to sleep more, something bad may happen.  Or maybe I'll just continue to be a B all the time. So on weekends, usually on Saturdays, he lets me sleep in.

That's wonderful of him to do and I am very, very grateful.  But there are several reasons why those extra three hours of sleep on Saturday mornings are not always very restful and are sometimes beg the question: is it even worth it to try to catch up on sleep?  

Let's start with the fact that my son is the noisiest child in America.  When Hawk speaks, it's pretty loud.  When he tries to be quiet, it's even louder.  At a whisper, his voice IS IN ALL CAPS.  He can't help it.  Even when his mouth isn't moving, he's still noisy.  When he walks, his bare feet go SLAPPY SLAPPY SLAPPY down the hall.  Here's my son trying to be quiet at 6:45am on Saturday morning:

Hawk: (whispering louder than most people talk, directly into my ear while I lie in bed) MOM, I'M UP BUT I'M BEING VERY QUIET.  I'M JUST GONNA GO WATCH SOME TV AND SNUGGLE ON THE BIG CHAIR.  OH AND GO POTTY.  AND EAT AN APPLE BUT I PROMISE TO WASH THE APPLE BEFORE EAT IT. OK? DID YOU HEAR ME? OK?
Lydia: Mmm hmm. Please be quiet, honey.
Hawk: I AM BEING QUIET MOM!
Off he goes down the hallway - SLAPPY SLAPPY SLAPPY.  Into the bathroom, SLAM goes the toilet seat up.  HEE HEEE HEEEE, he giggles as he pees long and unnaturally loud, Austin Powers-style (hopefully) into the potty. SLAM goes the toilet seat back down. Flush. SLAM goes the bathroom door closed. Then SLAPPY SLAPPY SLAPPY down the hall to the TV and the big chair.
Lydia: Honey, please wash your hands.
Hawk: (annoyed sigh) FINE.
Followed by SLAPPY SLAPPY SLAPPY into the bathroom, SLAM of the door being flung open.  Sound of the water running for approximately 6 seconds.  CRASH as he yanks the hand towel down and accidentally sends all the crap on the sink flying to the tile floor.
Hawk: I KNOCKED SOME STUFF DOWN BUT DON'T WORRY!  I GOT IT!  I'M GONNA CLEAN IT UP!

At this point, we are all wide awake and he wonders why everyone is giving him the stink eye since he was obviously being so quiet. So now all the kids are awake and I plead with the Cap'n to please just let me sleep.  He is tired, too but he glares at me and says you owe me a BIG one for this, Momma and then gets up and starts his day.

Then comes the periodic sibling skirmishes between Hawk (age 5) and his sister Thumbelina (age 7).  Every few minutes there is some kind of whining, shrieking, banging, or need for judicial intervention.  If Daddy doesn't mediate the dispute to the satisfaction of those involved, they appeal to a higher power.  Namely, me. 

Thumbelina: Mommy!  Hawk burped right on my cereal and now I can't eat it because of his disgusting germs.  What's the point of even having a brother who burps on your food all the time?
Hawk: I didn't do it!  I didn't burp ON her food!  But Daddy made me say sorry and I'M NOT.
Thumbelina: Daddy said I have to finish my cereal. (starts crying) And if I eat that with Hawk's burp in it I'm going to throw up.  I guess Daddy just wants me to throw up.
Hawk: (laughing) You're crying and you're gonna throw up.  Awesome.
Thumbelina: (abruptly stops crying and starts yelling) I'm going to throw up all over you! Gaahhh!
Hawk: AAHHHHH! MOOOOMMMM! (starts running around trying to avoid being wailed on by his sister.  So there's lots of yelling and running and also SLAPPY SLAPPY SLAPPY)
Lydia: (using meanest Mommy Dearest voice ever) Get. Out. And. Shut. The. Door. Behind. You.

In spite of the fact that I have to bust out my mean mommy voice, I suddenly seem to become very loveable when I am trying to sleep and everyone else is awake.  The Cap'n comes in every once in a while to grab something from the bedroom and gives my rump a little thump and kisses my forehead.  Normally, I would enjoy this but when it occurs during my special sleepy times, it makes me want to go upside his head with a sock full of quarters. 

The baby stares at me sleeping and cries heart-brokenly in her baby duck voice that she can't squirm around under the covers with me and drink a bottle while pulling at my hair and poking me in the stomach with her toes.  The cat enjoys waiting until I have entered an REM sleep cycle and then sticks his ice cold nose into my eye socket.  And then sneezes.  It's like every small, woodland creature wants to share this time with me.  The birds sing louder outside my window. The squirrels (those fat, grey bastards) tap on the window as if to say: "Top 'o' the morning, to you!" 

What am I, Snow White?  GO AWAY.  I AM SLEEPING.

By 10am, the time for sleeping is over.  I wish I could go back in time and sleep the way I used to in college.  Ahhhh...  The Sleep of Irresponsible F*cks.  I would sleep until like 2pm.  There could be a fire alarm going off in my dorm and I would roll over and put the pillow over my head and keep right on sawing logs.  Now, if the cat yawns too loud in the next room, I'm all: "What's that noise?  Do the kids need me? Is everyone all right? Is someone breaking in?"  Sigh... It's not fair. 

So, I get up.  And I stumble into the living room to find total chaos.  Toys, books and shoes everywhere.  Crayons crunching underfoot.  TV blaring.  Oy friggin vay.  I smell coffee - or maybe burning? - but I think coffee so I head into the kitchen, which is now totally disgusting. 

Every Saturday morning I swear I will never blow off doing the dishes on Friday night again.  Then the next Friday night, I'm all exhausted and brain dead and the glass of wine and big chair seem too nice and I just figure I'll deal with it tomorrow and that's why every Saturday morning my kitchen is nastier than a frat house after a three-kegger.  Because in addition to last night's dinner mess, there's three hours of debris from the kids self-serving.  Making their own Nutella and banana sandwiches, pouring juice all over the counter, leaving the fridge door wide open...

Great.

Then there's the baby.  At least she's happy to see me.  When she's been under Daddy's care for several hours there are three things you can count on:

1) She's happy as a pig in schmidt because she's been indulged and played with and fed treats and tossed in the air to her little heart's content.
2) She smells like a damn milkshake because she's breakfasted on a combination of vanilla soymilk, waffles with syrup, and the yellow version of Oreos (which the Cap'n buys because after feeding them to the kids "it's easier to hide the evidence").  Also, she's hyper in the manner of someone who habitually snorts cocaine.  And when she gets hyper she lets loose with an ear-splitting SQUAWK like a seagull.
3) She is dressed like she's about to go play Mahjong with Mrs. Seinfeld in Boca Raton.  Imagine a large baby/small toddler in a pink velour track suit, collared blouse, and orthopedic shoes.  There you have my child.  All she needs is a pair of Blublockers and a medic-alert necklace and she can join my Grandmom Joyce at the dollar slots in Atlantic City.  Why the Cap'n invariably dresses her this way, when she has a million adorable outfits and sundresses, I have no bloody idea.  But he always does, commenting on how completely awesome she looks.   

Maybe you are wondering if I think it's worth it, just to get a little extra sleep.  To which I gently and sweetly reply: You bet your sweet Aunt Fanny it's worth it.  The mess?  Who the hell cares about that?  No matter how hard I work to clean the stupid house the kids crap it up again within minutes.  The noise?  The fighting?  Please.  I learned to tune that out years ago.   We're talking about sleep.  Beautiful, glorious, golden slumber.  I love sleep the way John Mayer loves porn.  I want sleep more than food or wine or alone time or anything

So yes, it's all a pain in my arse but it's worth it.  And fortunately, I have a pretty big arse and it's not that big a pain. 

xo, Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

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