Today is Memorial Day. I started writing a really heavy post about Gregg’s service and how it changed his life. But, I decided “screw it, I’m not ready to go there.” I’m not canning it, just saving it for later, and instead I’m going to talk about what is happening with us here, right now, because that’s the reality I still have to live.
Sleep. I used to be a really heavy sleeper, then I became a mom. Actually, I started sleeping like crap before that, when Gregg got home from deployment. His nightmares and sleep paralysis were so bad at times, I’d wake him several times a night. First he would get goosebumps all over his body. Then his muscles would tense up. Then he’d start doing this mumble/moan thing that was the saddest, most helpless thing I’ve ever heard. Sometimes he would start thrashing or he would open his eyes ever so slightly, but you could only see the whites because his eyes would be rolled into the back of his head. He’d be terrified when I woke him up, which could take anywhere from a few seconds to up to 10 seconds. So I became a light sleeper.
There I go, getting heavy again.. Nope, can’t do it.
These days it’s Thomas and Luke who I wake up for.
Why is it that I have a king size bed, yet Thomas always ends up right up against my body with at least one arm or leg thrown over me? Seriously, I love him so much I would die for him, but man it’d be nice to not wake up 17 times a night to try to put a little space between me and his warewolf-esque body temperature. “Why don’t you just put him in his own bed?” Because then I couldn’t as easily watch him while he slept and think about what a beautiful, sweet, smart child he is and how lucky I am that Heavenly Father sent him to me, that’s why.
And don’t even get me started on Luke. I would literally give anything for him, including my sanity apparently because the time I spend trying to get him to sleep is turning me into a crazy person. I laid down next to his crib last night, trying to soothe him while he learns these “sleep skills” everyone keeps saying babies need to learn, and within 30 seconds I was asleep and I had the most vivid dream I’ve had in months. It was about Carrot King, who had a crown made of carrots. Carrot spirals, actually. Big, cascading, orange ringlets. Yeah. That’s as far as I got, the next wail of protest 4 seconds later woke me. I just read a post on a breastfeeding group I’m a part of about a mom who was trying to fix her oversupply of milk in the mornings because her 7.5-month-old baby slept for 12 hours at night. I almost cried. I want to sleep for 12 hours.
And I know all parents struggle with getting their kids to sleep. And that I’m not the first single mom to have to do it alone. And that I could ask my awesome family members upstairs for help, but that shows weakness, and also I might as well get used to doing things solo. Also, my kids are 100% mama’s boys, they would be ticked if someone else tried to put them to sleep.
But like, could mother nature give me a break? Like maybe don’t mess up the sleep stuff? Things were going great for about 4 days where I would have the children asleep by 8 and then I had at least 1.5 glorious hours to get stuff done before Luke woke up. Then BAM, sleep regression. THWOP, growth spurt. BOOM, teeth. And now we’re all screwed.
And I’m sorry, but what in the actual heck does “drowsy but awake” mean? My kids have two degrees of consciousness: awake or asleep. Awake and going full force, or passed out, wouldn’t be woken by a fog horn asleep. I’m kidding really, I know how to look for signs of their “sleep windows”, it’s just that those widows only open 2″. They have approximately 7 minutes of drowsiness before they need to asleep.
And I can’t help but think, “Gregg, you suck.” I’m down here spending half of my waking hours getting children to go to sleep and half of my sleeping hours being kicked in the head by a stronger than average toddler and he’s just up there watching. If I could tell him this, he would know I was mostly joking. And he’d make some joke about how he planned it this way so that he could skip the hard stuff and just watch the amazing stuff that makes it all worth it. Before we had kids, he used to tell me to not be surprised if he came up on orders for an 18 year deployment if I got pregnant. And then I’d threaten to put antifreeze in his dinner. We had such a playful way of showing our love.
Anyway, I keep telling myself that my children will sleep better as they get older. And that when they move out of my bedroom when they turn 18 and go on their missions, I’ll miss snuggling them all night.