Sleep, Interrupted

My twins will be 4 in November.  Please do not ask me if they sleep through the night.  I have twitched with anxiety about this question since the day they were born.  When asked by strangers, it seems like a little test of your parenting abilities.  As if I can MAKE my kids sleep well.  When your friends ask, they are hoping the answer is ‘yes’ so that you’ll finally get some rest and stop being a bitch.

Well, as it turns out, my kids really aren’t the sleep all night kind of boys.  I know that ‘sleep through the night’ doesn’t necessarily mean 12 hours of uninterrupted snoozing, but I’d kill for just 6 or 7.  With two, and with our recent move, it seems like 3 or 4 hours is the max.  Add in my very vivid dreams, (Some day I will tell you about the buffalo that got on my bed in the hotel and vomited on my clothes.  This was the least weird part of that dream.) and what you have is a person who is living on too little sleep.

So cute! So sleeping!

The boys do not wake for long every night.  Just enough to wake me up real nice.  Here is a transcript of one of the twin’s contribution to my sleep problems last night (I’m keeping his name out of this to protect him from being unfairly labeled as a sleep-disruptor.):

Child: “Mommy!…..Moooooommmmmyyy!”

Me: (Immediately awake.  Not super happy.  Shuffle to kids’ room.) “Yes sweetie?”

Child: “I want to go to the other side.”

Me: (Sure, I totally need to help you roll over.  Lift blankets.  Watch kid roll over.  Lower blankets.  Leave.  Back under my covers for approximately 5 seconds.)

Child: “Mommy!Mommy!Mommy!”

Me: (Huge passive-aggressive sigh I hope my sleeping spouse will hear.  Shuffle back to kids’ room.) “What?”

Child: (Pauses to think of a reason he needs me.) “Mommy?  I love you.”

Me: (Well played son, well played.) “I love you too.” (Back to bed for about 1 microsecond.)

Child: “MOMMY!”

Me: (Angry shuffling back to kids’ room.) “WHAT?!?!?”

Child: “When we wake up, can I watch a TV show?”

Me: “Sure.  Please stop calling for me.”

Child: “Okay Mommy.”

Me: (Standing outside kids’ door just in case.  You won’t trick me this time young one.  Nothing.  Okay, safe to get back in bed.)

Child: “Mommy! Mommy!…………………………Mommy!!!!!!”

Me: (Are you f’ing kidding me?  Very angry shuffling to kids’ room.) “What do you want!?!?!?”

Child: “I need to go potty.”

Me: (Mother F’er.  Scoop child up.  Try to let his soft hair under my chin make me less angry.  Go in bathroom.  Turn on lights.  Wince.)

Child: “My eyes hurt!”

Me: (Really?  My soul hurts.  Deal with it.) “I know honey; it’s hard to turn the lights on after being in the dark.”

Child: (Does his thing.)

Me: (Carry Child back to bed.)

Child: “I can’t see.”

Me: (sigh) “It’s okay; you’re going back to sleep now anyway.”  (Right?  Tuck beautiful boy back in bed.  Pray he stays there quietly.  Back to bed.  Please, God, for good.  A good minute goes by…success!)

Child: “Mommy?  Mommy!”

Me: (*&$$%@#%$^%&&^ Back to kids’ room. ) “You have to stop calling for me.  What do you want?!?!?!?”

Child: “Mommy, will you get a chair and sit in my room until I fall back asleep.”

Me: “No.  I am so tired I can’t remember which kid you are.  Please, don’t call me back in here or I will wake up crabby.”

Child: (Totally gets it now.) “I won’t Mommy.”

Me: (Back in bed.  Praying really hard this time.  It works!)

So, that’s what I’m doing at 1:30 am in case you are wondering.  I know the boys are not trying to make me insane.  They are good, sweet boys.  I know this too shall pass.  Or, I’ll die from tired.  Either one.

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5 thoughts on “Sleep, Interrupted

  1. We’ve been having bedtime problems lately with one of our girls (also four) too. It’s more with getting her to go to sleep, rather than her waking up in the middle of the night (which also happens, but less frequently.)

    Do you have the book “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”? It’s our sleep “bible” and we’ve found it useful at every step of the way, from when our girls were 3 months old right up until now.

    Also, have you tried some kind of reward system (a sticker chart or the like) for “good” nights, when your boys sleep through, or don’t call you multiple times? Amazing what a little incentive can do….

    Good luck. I feel your pain.

    • Thank you!

      I was banned from baby books when the boys were little and am scared to try again….I do not do well if the boys don’t follow the rules exactly! 😉

      I do reward them at nap. Super easy to say they can have a long walk or play with play doh if they don’t call me in. Works well. I’m going to try a sticker chart for nights now I think. Just need to make one….I was waiting until school settled back in.

  2. Steph, You will sleep when you are dead. Not before. Until then you can look at a loaf of bread and think…”Wow this stuff is cool, soft, spongy.. I wonder what it does?”
    Live now, sleep later.

  3. Oh my gosh, I can so relate to this, except for the ability to verbalize. My daughter who is 23 mo. (20 mo adjusted/developmentally 7 mo) does this every night about 3:30 am for about 1.5 hours. Vocalizing, yelling, cying, back to talking to herself oh so loudly, while her twin brother sleeps in the room next to her and I hold my breath praying she won’t wake him. I have had so many vivid dreams with bizarre things happening (no buffaloes yet, but you never know, there is still tonight to look forward to!). When people ask me if they sleep through the night, I want to crawl out of my body and just leave my frame there explaining that my son Q does well, while E is much more complicated. Good times. The best is the constant sleep deprivation. I hope this does pass but for now we just hunker down and pray each night we might get a 5 hour stretch. Good luck to you with the wee ones and cheers to caffeine.

  4. Pingback: Caffeine the Wonder Drug « Talking Is My Primary Function

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