I’m certain that the number 1 characteristic of a mother is being tired. I used to sleep like a baby and now that I have babies, I don’t. Before I slept through anything. Now if one of the boys dreams it wakes me. I wake up when Trey shifts in the bed, when the dogs or snore (Mojo, I’m looking at you!), when Jack coughs, when Logan sighs, when the house shifts, when the wind blows, when someone in Moscow sneezes. Naps are far and few but greatly desired. I frequently daydream about great naps of the past. I yearn to lie on my childhood bed and fall asleep on top of the comforter one Sunday afternoon. I yearn to sleep on the couch of the staff house at camp while my campers were having swimming lessons. I yearn to float on an inflated raft in our pool in Memphis while Logan also napped. As I write of these glorious sleeps, a single tear is rolling down my chiseled cheek. (c’mon, just go with it) I know that becoming a mother changed me forever. I’m a little bitter that it didn’t change Trey’s sleep as well.
The first night we had Logan home after he was born, I nudged Trey after being up with the crying baby for several hours. Trey stood up, walked to the bassinet, picked my new baby up, and started yelling in a strange voice “It’s not that hard, Lauren! You just feed and water them and everything will be ok!” I quickly realized that Trey was not awake and my inner Mama Bear began to growl. I flew out of bed and grabbed Logan back. Trey just turned around, laid back into bed, and was instantly snoring.
A couple weeks later, Logan had been moved to his own room and I again nudged Trey out of sleep-deprived desperation. He got up and went into Logan’s room to comfort the screaming child. Over the monitor I heard Trey enter the room and begin rocking the glider. Logan continued to scream. Clearly I was not going to go back to sleep so I went to the nursery to see what was going wrong. There I found my sweet husband rocking in the rocking chair while my screaming baby remained in the crib.
When Jack was born and still in our bedroom, I would glare at Trey who was able to sleep peacefully through the loudest of screams…mine included. I would also send glaring thoughts to Logan, who slept peacefully in the room next door. Logan inherited his dad’s ability to sleep through anything. In fact, a tree once fell 3 feet from his bedroom, knocking items hung on the wall off onto the floor. Logan never woke. Several years ago, I was asleep in bed when I heard Logan scream. I flew up the stairs and into his bedroom. He sat up and said “Help! I think I waked up too early!”
Jack is not quite the sound sleeper that his dad and brother are but he does sleep better than I do. He has begun talking in his sleep. In the middle of the night, I’ve woken up to his sweet little voice saying “Mooo!” or “Silly Jack!” No one else was awake to hear these random musings…just me.
I’ve laid awake in bed sending angry thoughts in Trey’s direction. I have hoped that he would wake up and see my narrowed eyes and e too creeped out to return to sleep. Unfortunately for me and fortunately for him, he keeps his hands folded underneath his cheek and snores on. In those moments that I actually am able to tune out noises and fall asleep, I’m often awakened by Trey doing a crocodile death roll in the bed and wrapping the covers around his body leaving me exposed to the cold. I also am disturbed by our two dogs, who by the way are not allowed in our bed but end up in our bed and on my side every night. Mojo attempts to burrow within my womb and Banjo spreads her mass where my legs would typically go. If I dare to disturb Banjo too much, she will wake up and whine until she is fed and let outside…no matter the time.
Counting sheep is clearly stupid. Who does this actually work for and where did this idea originate? Have you ever looked at a sheep’s butt? They have poo matted into their wool. I don’t want that jumping over my face. No thanks. And who thought the idea of Mr. Sandman was positive. I’ve seen Law & Order episodes where people were buried alive in sand. I can’t think of any way that a man pouring sand on your face at night could be the slightest bit endearing. Am I missing something? I’ve tried nature sounds. I don’t understand who is lulled to sleep by the sound of birds chirping or seagulls gulling (?). Once I decided to listened to the soundtrack of “Last of the Mohicans” while sleeping. I ran from Indians all night in my dreams. It was not restful at all. Rain sounds are great but lead to an excessive amount of nighttime peeing. When I do sleep, I have crazy dreams. Seriously, crazy. I’m either attacked by squirrels wearing glasses or my arm has fallen off. I’ve woken up so angry at Trey because of something he’d done in my dream that I couldn’t look at him for hours. I once had a dream that I was forced to have an intimate encounter with a porcupine. Seriously!? Each night when I tuck Logan into bed we agree to meet in our dreams. Sometimes we meet at a campsite, sometimes at the beach, or sometimes we go on an adventure. I’m glad the poor kid doesn’t actually come to my dreams. He’d be scarred for life. I actually went to for a sleep study a year ago. The study showed that I don’t fall into a deep sleep. They suggested I sleep more deeply. Thanks for that.
Someday I dream of running off to a hotel room and sleeping for a full weekend. I would lie in a soft, warm bed and dream of marshmallow clouds and puppies. Who am I kidding? I would probably lie awake feeling guilty for running away from my family. Or the sound of silence would keep me awake. My body would probably not be accustomed to being able to spread out and not share space with Trey and the dogs. Oh well…someday.