- Wake up to child staring you in the face.
- Curse as you realize your spouse is fleeing to the spare bedroom.
- Cajole child into chasing down other parent.
- Hide under covers.
- Yell across house to “remind” spouse he has dodged early wake-up approximately 1,572 times this week.
- Cheer for joy as spouse gets up with child.
- Run to spare bedroom.
- Wake up to see child staring at you while holding a toilet bowl brush.
- Reassure your child that yes, they can clean the toilet this morning as promised last night. (WEIRDO CHILD.)
- Yell across house to tell spouse to help child clean toilet.
- Wait for it. . . spouse can’t find the toilet bowl cleaner. Yell the location of the cleaner.
- Discover a dog has joined you in the bed. Realize soon it will be a child.
- Get up and lock door.
- Wait for it. . .child wails upon discovering door is locked.
- Wait two additional minutes for child to return to tell you “Daddy is making you coffee!” A SNEAKY PLOY TO GET YOU UP.
- Lie in bed wide awake smelling coffee.
- Admit defeat.
Happy Saturday morning! At least I have a clean toilet AND coffee!
Did I miss any steps? Share your own. Solidarity sisters.
As my four-year-old stated last night (at 4am): “I am a little bit tired and a little bit awake!” She was very excited because grandma and pop-pop arrive today and are staying at our house for several nights while the husband and I go to KEY WEST to celebrate ten years of marriage! So exciting! I look forward to the sleep that I get there.
p.s. I seem to be accumulating posts dedicated to middle-of-the-night conversatons with my daughter–I think it warrants its own category. Today, the category “4am kid convos” is born!
Child climbs into bed with me. Husband is blissfully asleep in guest bed “getting over a the stomach flu.” Please, you know he is psychic and predicted this event transpiring.
4 y.o.: “It is dark!”
Me: “Yes Z, it is the middle of the night.”
4yo: “I AM THE CHEESE MONSTER!”
Me: perplexed. Laughs.
4 y.o.: “I bet Jupiter is GLOWING!” (She is referring to a model kit of the planets that my husband bought her and is not-yet-assembled.)
me: “It doesn’t glow honey. You have to paint it to make it glow.” ( The kit comes with glow-in-the-dark paint you can put on the planets.)
4y.o.: “BUT DADDY SAID THEY ARE ALREADY PAINTED!”
Me: “Yes, they are painted, but not with glowing paint. You need to paint them with the glow paint.” Thinks to self, why am I having this conversation??!
4yo: “Will grandma and pop-pop be here soon?”
Me: “Not until you sleep!!”
4yo: “I found Jupiter!!! It isn’t glowing.” Holding a model of Jupiter. Definitely not glowing.
me: “You have to paint it.”
4yo: “But daddy said it is already painted!”
I give up.
4yo. Starts to slowly breathe in that “about-to-fall-asleep-nobody-make-a-damn-noise” way.
Smart dog: “Ouuurrr. Ourrrrrrrrrrrr. Ouuurrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” Standing by the lanai door. Wants out.
Me: mutters under breath. Takes dog outside. Beautiful night! Should be sleeping though! Dog pees. Return inside the house.
4yo: AWAKE AGAIN. Yes, predicted that.
4yo.: Twitching in that “about-to-go-to-sleepyland-nobody-move” phase.
Smart dog: “uuuurrrrrrr. Urrrrttt! Urrrrrrrrrrrt!” Standing by his empty water bowl.
Me: DAMNIT DOG! I fill the water bowl.
4yo: You guessed it: awake.
The-less-smart-dog: “Rrrrr! Rrrrrrrrr! RrRRRRRRRR!!!!!” Standing by the bed. Too fat or old or duffus-ey to figure out how to jump onto bed. Need to purchase dog ramp. Not yet ready to remove his last shreds of dignity.
Me: Mentally muttering swear words. Lifts dog onto bed.
4yo: Laughs and laughs and laughs. Is this funny to you kid?!
7:00 a.m. (sharp!)
Alarm clock: “EEEP! EEP! EEP! EEP!”
Me: (Shaking fist into air) “Darn you husband!” (He forgot to take alarm clock with him to other room.)
Time to make the coffeeeee!!!
Did your cheese monster let you sleep last night? Feel free to share your own stories–but not until you make the coffee.
Flashback to 1983. My parents are watching Dallas in the basement with their friends. I’m at the top of the stairs, trying not to squeak the steps, hunched in a nightgown with my knees pulled tight. Of course my mom sees me and yep, she is upset. Despite her frustration she lets me sit on the floor and join them in watching the number one show of 1983.
My mom had to do this a lot–put up with a kid who was awake until all hours of the night. Usually it was just the two of us. She’d let me watch Love Boat on the tiny black and white TV in our kitchen while she made popcorn. Initially she would be exasperated (Of COURSE she was, adult Sarah gets it now!) but she always softened and lovingly let me join her in her late night routine.
Let me write it out right here in case my prayers haven’t reached my mother: MOM I AM SO SORRY FOR WHAT I PUT YOU THROUGH. MOM HOW DID YOU DO IT. MOM YOU POOR WOMAN YOU NEVER. GOT. A. BREAK!
Why the mea culpas? Because now I’m in her shoes. My almost-four-year-old is having what I jokingly refer to as the “four-year sleep regression.” She is awake approximately 99.98% of our waking hours. No break from the kid. No down time. And let me tell you, as an introvert this is so hard.
How am I responding to it all? I’m trying to model my mom’s love. (She still teaches me. When people say love never dies, that it extends forever, this is what they mean.) Lately I’m following her lead as much as I can. Like her, I’m surrendering to the fact that my kiddo won’t sleep and there isn’t much I can do about that fact. I might as well make some popcorn for her while she sits on the floor to join in watching Jane the Virgin.
I have a feeling she may someday look back fondly on these moments. I have a hunch I just might, too.
Nobody is getting sleep in our house lately. The kid seems to be getting too much sleep at preschool nap time plus allergies and colds and high-spirited-child. No sleep. No time for watching Jane the Virgin before bed. (Me, not the child.)
Ok, I’m done whining.
But first, a story. A humorous story where I thought I could perhaps FIX this lack of sleep thing!
I read about some music that has been proven by science to be the most relaxing and I thought, a HA! WE WILL TRY THIS.
So while my husband was trying to get the kid to sleep I listened to it to try it out. I nearly fell asleep. Oh this was good.
When it was (inevitably) my turn to take over trying to get this child to go the f to sleep, I brought my handy music playlist.
This is a recap of how it went down:
Me: “We are listening to nighttime music.”
(Turns on ambient-ish music on iphone.)
Child: “I WANT TO SEE! I WANT TO SEE!”
Me: “NO! There is nothing to see. You listen with your ears.”
(Places phone high, high up where child cannot reach.)
Child: bouncing on bed to music.
Me: Yelling, cajoling. Finally gets kid to lay down in sleep position.
Several minutes pass. Music is weird and includes rainstorm sounds.
Child: Sits straight up in bed. “What is that sound?? It is not raining! Why is it raining in the music!”
Me: “It is supposed to relax you! Just LISTEN! AND GO. TO. SLEEP.”
Music nears the end of six minutes. Child is twitching and falling into sleep. Omigoditisactuallyworking.
KID WAKES UP.
Child: “I want the music again!”
Annnnd back to square one.
(These small beings eventually grow up and actually sleep. Unassisted. Right??)
Last night my child got over-tired and wouldn’t sleep, perhaps because she went to sleep five minutes early or maybe it was five minutes late, I don’t know. Maybe it is this lunar eclipse that is a full moon in pisces with its “surge of emotional energy” or maybe it is because we tried to put her to sleep on a day ending with a “y”…nobody knows. My child requires precision with her bedtime routine and if you veer off course, hold onto your hats folks.
Well, you may recall that yesterday I was a tad sleep-deprived. So there it was, 9 pm at night and it is already two hours past my kid’s bedtime and I am SUPER CRANKY and yelling at my kid to GO TO SLEEP NOW. Because that is always effective. And my child runs to the living room, suddenly naked, because she has decided to strip any and all clothes off of herself of course. So she is lying upside-down naked on the couch and is being RIDICULOUSLY silly. Making jokes and laughing.
And I stood there and I WAS SO MAD THAT SHE WAS BEING FUNNY.
And then I realized how ABSURD I was being. And I started cracking up. And she cracked up.
It reminds me of when I was little and my mom would do this game where we would be grumpy and she would go, “I feel a tickle coming up your throat…it is tickling your lips, I feel a smile coming!” And goddamnit she would MAKE ME SMILE AND LAUGH. The nerve!
I think this is how we survive as parents. Our kids, thankfully, are cute enough and funny enough to break through our pissy-why-won’t-you-just-sleep attitudes. And we smile. And eventually the moon waxes and wanes and the stars align and finally, at last, the child does fall asleep. (Even if it is three hours past bedtime.)
I was going to write about the hilarious mad-cap evening I had last night, wherein my kid consumed dark chocolate and was awake on a sugar-caffeine-fueled high until 1am…. but guess what. I’m too tired to write this *yawn* story.
The chocolates have been hidden. It is time for bed.