I seem to get less and less sleep these days. I used to need a good eight or nine hours of sleep; now I am lucky if I get five or six. When I have sick kids, that number drops considerably. I happen to have two little under-the-weather geese at the moment-both Zoë and Remi have the dreaded nighttime hacking cough. It’s been a solid week of using the nebulizer on them both at various un-Godly hours throughout the night. The night before last, I am quite sure that I clocked in an impressive one hour of sleep. It gets to the point where I don’t even feel tired anymore, I am so crazy exhausted.
When I am sleep-deprived, my brain does exactly the opposite of what it is supposed to do-the wheels start turning at high speed and I can’t stop thinking, planning, organizing, mulling, and pondering. It’s typically at this point that I wish someone would hit me over the head with a frying pan (preferably a Les Creuset because they are nice and heavy, but still stylish and colorful) like they do in the old cartoons and I would all of a sudden see coo-coo birds and fall into a blissful, uninterrupted sleep.
I still tend to get up early, though, even when I am most lacking in sleep. Sacha questions (with good reason) why on earth I would want to get up voluntarily at 5 or 6 am if my kids are (amazingly) still asleep? My answer is this-My kids simultaneously being asleep at 6 am happens so rarely that even when it doesn’t, I am still wired to get up and get the day started. And sometimes it’s my only shot in the day at getting 30 minutes alone with a dreamy cup of tea. It’s a bit of a mystery as well, though, because I can do some of my best thinking, preparing, and working when I should be sleeping. I often can’t put a sentence together at those un-Godly hours but I can passionately organize my monthly calendar. Plus, here is my deep, dark secret-I am a morning person at heart. I actually like getting up early. IF I am rested. Those are the keys words. I feel refreshed, motivated, cheerful, and inspired often in the wee hours of the morning when my better half, who is more of a night-owl, would much rather be snoozing away. However, if I am feeling woozy and cranky due to a marathon of terribly sleepless nights, I feel the dip pretty much right after I have the last sip of my tea. Then I can be quite force of grumpiness. I am no longer chirpy and chatty.
Because of all of the above, I am on, what seems like an endless, unfulfilling quest to find the perfect nap. And most of the time, this doesn’t happen. I gave up on naps, for the most part, a few years ago when I realized that I would never achieve the five-hour siesta.
Lastly, when you have kids, there is an endless cycle of maladies that plague the house typically between midnight and 4 am. The barfies are the absolute worst, I am convinced. Whenever one of my children gets a stomach bug, my heart sinks. It’s inevitable that the plague will be passed on to the rest of us and I will spend several days washing and re-washing pj’s and sheets. For my kids, throwing up tends to happen at night, on a full stomach, and in their beds. I would rather have a migraine headache (and that’s saying a lot) than have kids with stomach ailments.
It all just adds to my pitiful, bewildering sleep habits. Oh, and on top of Rem and Z having coughs, Mia is now experiencing some unsettling tummy issues. I already placed the bucket by her bed for this evening and I am, once again, on high alert for Operation “Not On The Carpet If You Can Help It”.