Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sleep Interrupted

Everyone knows that having a baby means sleep deprivation for the first few months.  All you have to do is look at a new parent with bags under their eyes, hair that hasn't been brushed for a week, not to mention their constant question of what day it is, to know they are only getting 2 hour chunks of sleep at a time.  It's no wonder sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture.  It sucks.  But eventually, babies sleep through the night and the parents get to as well, right?  Well, that's what everyone wants you to think.  I'm here to tell you that once you have kids, you're sleep filled nights are long over.  

I'm pretty sure I can count on one hand the nights I haven't been woken up by one screaming child or another, in the past 4 years.  When it does happen that I sleep a full 8 hours, without interruption, I always awake with panic that someone has snuck into my house and grabbed my kids in the middle of the night.  Then I hear one of them yell for me and I lay back down wishing to hit their snooze button.  Too bad they don't make one for kids.  Yelling "HOLD ON, MOMMY WILL BE RIGHT THERE!" doesn't always work.  Most of the time it just makes them yell louder.   For the most part, they all do sleep through the night in the sense that nobody wakes up to eat anymore.  Although, sometimes Lana will ask for turkey on rye at two in the morning, which is weird since she doesn't even like rye bread.  They do, however, wake up for other reasons.  

When they're sick forget it, you go back to being that parent of a newborn.  Sonya woke up a few nights a week when she was potty training and would sometimes pee the bed.  We tried getting her to wear a pull-up at night, but she insisted on her big girl underwear.  So inevitably, for about 3 months, I'd get a call from her in the middle of the night that she peed the bed.  Other than that, Sonya has always been a great sleeper.  For the most part we've had no problems with G either, unless sick or teething.  Guess who's been difficult?  Poor Lana.  She really is my challenging one.  I will say she's gotten MUCH better.  Once she was sleeping through the night, to not wake up to eat that is, she was still waking up for who knows what reason.  She would wake up four or five times a night, just screaming.  Most of the time I'd calm her down and she'd go right back to sleep, but there were some nights when it went on for a good hour.  Those were not fun times.  At least when they wake up as babies to eat, that's what they do.  They eat and go back to sleep.  This was harder, because I didn't know what to do with her, or why she was even waking up.  Eventually, she outgrew it.  She will still wake up about once a night, but it's only for maybe 30 seconds.  I go in her room and let her know I'm there and she's right back out again.  I don't know if she has bad dreams or what the deal is, but when she has a bad night it's bad for everyone.  And yes, most of the time it is me getting up.  Not that Andy wouldn't or hasn't, but half the time he doesn't even hear it.  I can be up and down out of bed 5 times in a night, and mention it the next morning as I'm sipping my coffee in an effort to keep my eyes open. He'll say to me, 

"Really?  I didn't hear anything."

YOU DON'T SAY?!  Perhaps next time I'll just put the screaming child on your side of the bed and let's see if you hear it then!  I shouldn't be too harsh with him, though.  There's just something that we mothers have in us to hear our kids at night.  An eighteen wheeler could drive through my bedroom in the middle of the night and I wouldn't even turn over, but one of my kids whispers my name from 50 feet away, and I'm upright and down the hall in five seconds.  Weird.  

This is what happened two night ago.  Not only was I dead asleep, but I had a couple glasses of wine so I was a bit "wined" to sleep.  I had gone out to dinner with some of the girls I used to work with. Not at this job, but a job that was way easier and actually payed me.  It was late when I got home and Andy and I went to bed.  He told me the girls went to bed a bit later than usual. That was fine because they had late naps, including Sonya, something she never does anymore.  They had Sunday movie night and he let them watch "Lady and the Tramp".  A harmless enough Disney movie, or so I thought.  Around 2:30 in the morning I'm woken by a quiet, 

"Daddy?  Daddy?"  It was Sonya, and Andy didn't even move.  I instinctively got up and walked down the hall to see what she needed.  When I got to her room she said she wanted a hug and kiss.  I gave her both, and made my way back to my room only to get up again when she called for me five minutes later.  This time she needed more water.  So again, I obliged.  As far as I can remember I was in there 3 or 4 times for one reason or another.  It was between 2:30-3ish.  Finally, on the last call into the room I asked her what the problem really was.  She informed me that she was afraid there was "something" under her dresser and nightstand.  I assured her there was nothing there and to go back to sleep.  I don't know if me telling her that helped or she was to tired at that point, but I managed to go back to sleep and not hear from her again.  I didn't really question her about it much in the morning.  It wasn't until I was putting her to bed the next night that it came up.  She asked me again about something being under her nightstand and dresser.  

"What do you think is under there,  Sonya?" I asked.  

Without hesitation she answered, "A rat."

Then I realized what it was that kept her up the night before.  Lady and the Tramp.  For those of you who have never seen it or don't know, there is a scene in the movie where Tramp saves a baby from a rat trying to sneak into his bassinet.  THAT is what kept my daughter awake at 3am.  A scene from an animated Disney movie. A RATED G DISNEY MOVIE!  THAT is the reason I didn't get to sleep through the night.  

So yeah, when I say parents never get to sleep through the night again, we don't.  And when I say Sonya is a bit scared of movies, I'm serious about that too.  So, no Dad I won't be showing her Star Wars anytime soon.  On second thought, next time you come to visit I will let her watch it.  Then YOU can get up with her at 3am when she's afraid that the Storm Troopers are going to come out of her closet.  


Anonymous said...

I don't even want to know what she would do watching Empire or Return. Think carbonite and Jaba...

Allison said...

brian never hears nate either. "so nate slept thru the night, huh?" ah no, he was up twice actually. "oh, i didn't hear anything." stupid men!!!