“Tired?” Arnauld asked as I walked into the kitchen.
“Why do you ask?” Thinking maybe he noticed that I had just been rubbing at my eyes in the other room.
“You always say it…took a chance,” he said. It felt like a dig. Most days, by the time we actually connect at the end of the day, I have hit my wall and I’m heading to bed…before 9pm.
Why am I always so tired? Let’s take a look at last night as a case study…
Somewhere between 10 and 11, I hear Adi whimper on two separate occasions. I wait, anticipating her cries ramping up and having to go up to settler her. She has a cough and her sleep has been rocky for the past few nights. Thankfully, she quiets herself down. Yet, I still lay awake listening for more.
12:39am I am awoken by cries. I listen trying to determine the voice I am hearing. “I want out!” I hear Rose crying over and over again from her crib, followed by stomping. I wait a moment, adjusting to being jolted from sleep. Her cries continue and I go up to get her. Instead of sitting with her, I carry her to our bed. Within minutes Arnauld is telling her to stop kicking him. “She just wants to know you’re there,” I justify. “She’s just being sweet.” I hold her hand, an invitation for her to pat me and rub my arm…I drift off to a semi sleep only to be awoken by more petting. She isn’t going to sleep. “Let’s go back to your bed,” I say.
Rose knows the drill. She gets really still, trying to persuade me to let her stay. “Night night.”
1:15am After about three more rounds of this, I get firm and say, “Let’s go to your bed.” I sit up to show I mean business.
“I pooped,” Rose says.
“Did you really?” I ask grabbing a diaper and wipes. As I change her, I give her another lesson in pee vs. poop. Then I carry her back to bed. “I love you,” I tell her as I tiptoe out. I know that she nods in response. She always does.
1:25am I am back in bed. I pray for no more interruptions. Those morning hours of sleep go fast.
1:55am Adi is crying again. Arnauld says, “Just let her cry.” I know that these cries are different and will only escalate.
“Her blankets probably fell off,” I say as I head back upstairs.
When I get to to the top of the stairs, I call out into the dark, “What’s wrong, Adi? Did your blankets fall?”
“No. I just want you to lay with me,” she says as I watch her cozy back into her blankets. I climb into bed with Wren, shoving her all of a sudden long limbs to one side. Adi’s version of laying with her means I lay in Wren’s bed…I mentally decide that I will just spend the rest of the night here instead of being woken up again. At least from here, I can mutter reassurances. “You’re ok, just go back to sleep.”
3:39am I wake to kicks. When laying with children, why do they feel the need to bury their feet into your sides? I shove Wren over again, apologizing for taking over her bed.
5:00am The house is quiet. Everyone is sound asleep. It is time to get up. I move carefully, to avoid waking any of the sleeping children. They need their rest.