Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oh, what a night

M had a 6:00am flight to catch this morning, so the alarm was set for 4:00. It never had a chance to go off (see tagline above). He actually never went to bed, so swamped is he with grant-writing deadlines and other work. So when L woke up, M was awake to plug her with the paci. But then E woke up around 3:30, from another of the nightmares that have been routinely plaguing her recently in that part of the night. She gets so upset from these dreams that she doesn't want to return to her crib, and asked to go to Mommy and Daddy's bed. I hate to bring her into the bed and try hard to discourage it when M isn't there because she has a habit of rolling off in her sleep if she isn't buffered by both of us. But she was very agitated, and started wailing, and A) I didn't want L to wake up, and B) her sleep was more important than being dogmatic.

So I made a wall of pillows, tucked her in as close to my body as I could, and hoped for her to be more stationary than her usual sleep patterns.

L woke up anyway, and when she wakes up at that time of night I usually bring her into bed and nurse her while we both continue sleeping, but instead M gave her a bottle and put her back in her crib.

M came in to the bedroom to shower, and since E and I were still awake, he whispered to me asking if I wanted to take an early shower and then climb back in bed, so that I could shower while he was still home instead of having to shower at my regular time in the morning, but while home alone with two awake girls. E jumped out of bed. "I wanna sit on the potty and talk to you while you shower, Mama!" And she ran to the bathroom. "Why not?" M asked as he shrugged. "She's awake anyway." So at 4:15 in the morning, I was showering while my two-year-old dictated my shampoo choices.

We said goodbye to M, and I got dressed and lay a towel on the pillow, and just as soon as we got comfy back in bed, just as soon as M was gone and we were almost asleep, L started screaming. Not in her usual asleep cry, but in a panicked shriek. E sat up in bed -- "Let's fix her, Mama!" and she jumped off the bed and ran into the hallway. L had, for the first time, rolled onto her belly in her sleep, and realized she was stuck.

I had already failed in keeping E out of our bed, and now L was very agitated, too. I found myself doing exactly what I hope never to do when M is gone - I was alone in bed with both girls. E wouldn't agree to let me sleep in the middle, because she wanted to hold L's hand. So we lay in a row: me/L/E/teddy bear/wall of pillows. L nursed herself to sleep quickly, and E fell asleep, finally, too. I think I finally slept a little myself, but not before watching the room turn a light gray as the first rays of dawn showed through the curtains. And in the soft light that fell across our very crowded bed, I watched our two daughters, fast asleep, shallow breaths exiting matching open mouths, still holding hands. The image of them was so beautiful that I thought it was almost worth starting my day at 3:30am. Almost. Because then the alarm went off and I had to dress myself, dress two children, deliver them to school and function for a full day of work. Pin It