This is my song for little Noah, as he goes to sleep...*

Monday, August 14, 2006

"Sleep, no I never get enough,
Always thinking I'm tired!
Sleep, no I never get enough!
If I don't show up I might get fired."
-Riley Armstrong, "Sleep"

After a long Sunday that I could feel in every bone and muscle in my body, I finally slipped between the sheets, settling myself next to my husband. 1:28 a.m., said the LCD green oversized-for-nearsightedness numbers on my bedside alarm clock. Jason and I had both stayed up past our bedtime watching a movie--Jason usually turns in at around ten, but the credits didn't flicker across our television screen until ten after midnight. Of course, at that point, he was able to go to bed, but I, unfortunately, still had some chicken stock to drain, put into individual containers, label, and put in the fridge or freezer. Thus the late hour when my flannel-clad body sank into the enveloping sheets.

I had not been horizontal for longer than 60 seconds when I heard the tell-tale thump of little feet on linoleum (the floor covering in Jude and Noah's room), followed immediately by the creak of their bedroom door and footsteps clumping across the kitchen floor, along with fretting in Noah's little voice. Not tonight! my inner child whined. However, to try and prevent disturbing Jason as much as possible, I got up right away and intercepted the toddler before he even reached our bedroom door. As soon as I picked him up, he laid his little head on my shoulder, and I thought he must have just been startled awake by something outside or some such thing, and would easily go back to sleep after I laid him down.

Imagine my chagrin when I was once again just getting into a comfy position when I heard the whump, creak, clump clump clump clump... Rebelling against the thought of getting out of bed again already, I procrastinated until he was nearly to our door, then once again went to deposit him back into his own sleeping receptacle. On my way out through the door, I noted that the green numbers now said 1:32.

Not wanting to have to repeat this incident again, I decided to sit with him until he settled a bit. I perched on the edge of his blue plastic toddler bed which is shaped like a corvette, tucked somewhere between the front and back wheel-wells. I supported my head on my hands, trying to keep from nodding off completely. After Noah seemed to be settling down (although I knew he was not yet asleep), I decided it was safe to retreat. 1:44 said the green numbers.

Soft, cool percale welcomed me. I tried to resist the siren call of sleep as long as possible, not daring to believe that Noah would actually stay put this time. However, the allure was too strong, and soon I was drifting off.

Before I was completely, utterly unconscious, but after I was deeply enough asleep that I could not easily rouse myself back to full awakeness, I heard our bedroom door creak, then felt Noah climbing up on the bed beside me, then right over me onto Jason.

"Noah, go back to bed," I heard Jason mumble in a rather annoyed voice through a thick haze of sleep. Then, blissfully, he got up and put him back to bed. At that, without even cracking my eyes at the clock, I let myself plunge into the depths of dreamland.

Wouldn't it be nice if that had been the end? I mean, I knew I was going to have to get up somewhere in the neighbourhood of of 7 a.m. with the baby. I knew Jason would have to get up even earlier. We were already creating a sleep debt before we even got into bed last night, simply because we wanted to spend some quiet time together. Why is it that the nights you choose to do that are the nights your kids get you up eighty million times?!!

At 3:14, as I was getting back into bed yet again, I marvelled at the fact that Noah had been awake for roughly an hour and a half. In the middle of the night. What is with this kid?! my brain screamed out in rhetorical fashion as I once again found the path the sandman had left for me, with only a little bit of difficulty due to the fact that I was getting really, really PO'd at our son.

At 6:30 a.m., I heard the back door slam as Jason left for work. (Unfortunately, because it does not hang straight and does not seal well, there is no way to close it except by slamming. Sucks for me, since it is right next to our room, but not so bad for the kids, usually, since they are on the front side of the house. Keyword: usually.) What is the next thing I hear? The oh-too-familiar patter of naked Noah feed on kitchen laminate, flannel pajamas sliding down stairs, the creak of our bedroom door, and a warm, twitchy body climbing up beside me. Too desperate for a little more sleep to get up and put him back to bed, and knowing that all I would likely accomplish by doing that at this point would be to wake Jude up early, as well, I left him there. Eventually, he figured out that Jason's half of the bed was empty, and--blissfully--went to lay over on that side.

When Jabin woke up at 7:20, a small whimper escaped my lips. Heaving a sigh, I finally got up and put on the DVD Noah had been rattling next to my head for nearly an hour.

If that boy thinks he is going to get a three hour nap today so he can do it all again tonight, he's dreaming!

*This is the first line of a lullaby I wrote for Noah when he was less than two weeks old.

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  1. Oh what agony, Talena! You poor, sleep-deprived, boy-blessed mama. I hope the Sandman takes care to visit all of you tonight.

  2. Hmmmm....I remember it well! But too soon.....from this end at least....the kids don't wake you ever...and you miss it!!


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