Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sleepless in I’m-addled

At 5:30 this morning, I looked at the cookies that were never put away last night. I opened the package, and grabbed one. No, two, I thought, and grabbed another.

At 5:30 this morning I ate two cookies expressly so I could then do what I did at 5:31. At 5:31 I brewed a jug of coffee and drank the whole thing.

My kids don’t sleep. Oh, I suppose each of them sleeps sometimes. They seem never to do it together, though. They have secret meetings, I imagine, in code. They might hold these meetings right under my bleary eyes. They signal to each other: you stage a nightmare just after midnight and what do you think of this one: I’ll wake up around 2, ostensibly to use the potty, and then complain of great thirst until someone fetches me some water and ooh! I know! It’s been a while since I played the ‘I’m awake’ game. Tonight I’m going to crawl in their bed exactly 90 minutes before that frivolous alarm goes off, and I’m going to say every seven or eight minutes: ‘I’m awake’ and ‘I want to go downstairs.’

We must have irritated the girls somehow last night, because they trotted out their best Insomniac Offense: their brother. I swear one of them put a can of Red Bull in his milk, which is a feat because to my knowledge there is not nor has never been any Red Bull in our house. Nonetheless, that boy-child was awake from about 11:30 last night until 4 this morning.

And here is where I am confronted with an oppositional set of facts:
1) We cannot let the pillow terrorists children win
2) It is not possible to drink any more coffee.

(I’ve tried.)

Today was the first day of work for a new teacher in G’s toddler classroom. So this is how he introduced himself: As always, I opened the door, little G tucked in the crook of my arm. As always, I set him down in front of the toddler-height dining table. Customarily, he then proceeds to unzip his lunch bag and remove items one by one for me to put in the classroom fridge. Instead, today he held his lunch bag with one hand, bent at the waist, and laid his head and chest down on the table. Hello, new teacher. This is my boy. He believes himself to be nocturnal. He will now perform a trick for you and sleep while standing. Ta-da! So, it’s so nice to meet you. Yes, those are his pajamas. His day clothes are in his cubby. When he actually wakes up, can you change him for me?

Our crib history is absurd. First there was E’s crib, of course. Our girls are only 22 months apart so without hesitation, we bought L a crib, too. So there was E’s crib in one room and L’s in another, and then L co-slept with us for the first six months. We moved E, at her urging, to a bed at about exactly age two-and-a-half. We knew we wanted a third child, so no big deal, the crib went in storage. But they only both slept in cribs for six weeks.

But then L had her crib, and I was pregnant with G, so we set up E’s old crib in G’s room. It was missing a piece, but we jerry-rigged it with help and figured it would hold for a lil pipsqueaky new creature. So L had a crib and G-to-be had a crib and then because of the blizzards we moved out of our house when I almost had G, and the girls slept away again while I actually gave birth, and after those two long weekends, L loved the freedom of her (temporary (we thought) air mattress so much that she refused to re-enter her crib.

So G had a crib, but co-slept with us. L had a crib, but slept on the floor. It didn’t take more than a week or two after G’s birth: we bought L a bed, and moved her former crib into his room to be his crib, since we knew it had all its parts. Did we ever really need two cribs? No, the real question is this: for how little my children sleep, did we really need cribs at all?

All we know are two incontrovertible facts:
1) G shrieks in rebellion at the mere sight of his crib
2) I just ordered him a bed. It will be here this weekend. My baby is 19 months old. Carpe diem nox. Cribs are for suckers.
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