Monday, January 07, 2008

Do you have children?

When you first have children you kinda get used to walking around in a daily fog. We learn as parents to sleep in short spurts. Like dogs. Napping when we can, but always keen and alert.
Our babies wake us several times in the night for feedings, diaper changes and sometimes perhaps just to sit in the rocker by the night light – skin to skin, feeling our rhythmic breathing.

As they grow into toddlers their minds start to work in mysterious and sometimes frightening ways. They call out in the night for comfort. As good parents, we go to them, gently rubbing their back and soothing them back to nod. We trudge back to lie in bed… waiting – listening for awhile before sleep will take us for the split second before dawn.

As potty training progresses the middle of the night brings inevitable sheet changes. A now skilled parent can change a full set of sheets - including waterproof padding, wash and re-pj a child in record time.

Even as they begin to sprout, a nightmare can regress a 10 year old by years. Our bed becomes a haven of safety and rest... for them.
When they are sick – they need us to be by their bedsides.
When they reach their teens, they no longer come to us with bad dreams and upset tummies – but there is still the occasion to share an immanent break up or a spat with the bff... at midnight.

Then they drive.
And basically we just lie awake all night.

We then pay an enormous amount of money to an institution of higher learning if they will just let them sleep there.
For the first couple weeks we worry. We don’t sleep well. We hope they are adjusting, and happy and making friends and getting their homework done and changing their sheets (well ok…maybe that’s just me).
And then…. then… we may – just – sleep. Ah … sleep.
All night. Until morning.

We get used to sleep. Every day.

Until they come home on break.
And we learn that they have managed with great finesse and they are happy and well adjusted and made friends and got good grades and … and do this all between the hours of 10pm and dawn.



teresa said...

Eighteen years of sleep deprivation takes its toll on you, sure, but your charge has been napping his entire life in preparation for this moment!

eb said...

Thomas came home last night around 9 pm. He was still at the computer when we left for work at 8:30 am.

Toilet flush and hand washing at 12:25 am
Kitchen foraging at 12:59
Brushing teeth at 1:17 (water on water off water on water off)
Toilet flush and hand washing at 2:36 (at least he washes his hands and brushes his teeth)
Kitchen foraging at 3:22
TF & HW at 4:39

I imagine he'll be asleep when we get home and like most boys it'll be the sleep of the dead. WWIII won't wake him.

clammy said...

A testament to his fine upbringing, I'd imagine. Look what you've created!

Val said...


Hahn at Home said...

These teen years are by far the hardest--in the scary department. I hope you enjoy the visit and then get right back to sleep!

The Recovering Straight Girl said...

Oh, how I dread that. I know it's coming sooner than I can imagine!

Anonymous said...

and if youre REALLY crazy you have the infant AND toddler AND teen away at college AND teen who ruled against college and is trying to make his way in the world all at the same time!

WordsRock said...

Good times, good times.
Sleep is overrated anyway.

drowning pisces said...

hmmm... maybe someday

KMAE said...

Okay, that was really cute.