An open letter to my well-rested family:
Now before I set in on the ramblings of my sleep-deprived ways, I will start off by telling you all that I love you.
I love you son — who to this day continues to disrupt my good night’s sleep by listlessly collapsing over my legs at all hours of the night. I’m not even entirely sure if you are awake when you do this. I think it could be some strange sleepwalking pattern developed solely to annoy me and threaten the very thought of your mother getting a good night’s sleep.
How naive of me to have boasted upon your arrival to this world of your great sleep patterns. How inexperienced I was when I told the others that I preferred the ‘family bed’ theory as I felt it was important for bonding purposes. How innocent and wistful these ideas once were.
Six long sleepless years later, I see the error of my ways.
At two, I could still see the cuteness in it. My baby boy still needs his Mama. “How sweet,” I would coo to my friends while ingesting copious amounts of caffeine to merely get through the day.
At four, I was beginning to get a tad worried.
And now at six-years-old, I’ve begun to question the normalcy of it all, but am too occupied with the girl child’s sleeping habits to deal with any one problem head on.
Which brings me to you, daughter — oh, how I love you. I love the way you refuse to go to sleep until I have kissed every single stuffed animal you own good night. All 53 of them.
And then after that ordeal you still proceed to tell me you are too bored to go to sleep. I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you babe, but I think you are using that word in the wrong context. But that’s another story.
Furthermore, there are the late-night lamp runs I have begun to concede to. This is when, at all hours of night, you wake and realize you are in darkness … aside from the LED nightlight I have plugged in an arm’s reach away from your bed (that also just happens to shine into my bedroom and directly into my line of sight).
Upon realizing this sort of darkness, you begin to scream bloody murder, awaking me from the half sleep state that all mothers permanently reside in once acquiring their offspring. I awake with a start but nanoseconds later understand it is just your nightly routine you are yelping about and stumble towards your room to turn on your secondary light source.
I would like to finish there but I must add your unusually early wake-up routine.
It seems that just as your nightly lighting issues end, I find you standing directly beside me breathing heavily upon my face whispering, “Mama … Mama, I hangry. …”
I should have never taught you that word. I thought it would be funny coming from a little kid. In reality, it is just annoying. I get it, you are so hungry you’re angry and need your cereal now!
Oh … and there is your brother laying atop my now deadweight legs.
Oh glorious mornings!
Finally, Husband, I love you, too. I love that in the unusual circumstance you come down with a flu bug, every ache and pain that sullies your body during the night becomes a verbal gasp of sheer anguish. But your being sick is a very remote occurrence so I shouldn’t complain about that.
How about the fact that when we first met, you were the lightest sleeper I had ever come across. You would wake from someone opening the fridge door or sometimes you just wouldn’t sleep at all.
But almost as if the eerie hand of magic was in tow, you now seem to be able to sleep through almost anything.
Small children’s cries in the middle of the night? “What? You were up 15 times with them? Wow sorry hun, I didn’t even hear a thing.”
Some shenanigan-wielding hoodlum comes a knocking on the front door at 3 a.m. in the morning? “Oh hunny, you shouldn’t answer the door at that time it could be dangerous. Next time wake me up.” Sorry to break it to you bud but you weren’t moving no matter how much I elbowed you.
So there it is, some incoherent ramblings of a sleep deprived Mom. I wish I had a memorable line to end this article with but instead I think I will take this time to steal a nap.
Lindsay Brown is a Sylvan Lake mother of two and freelance columnist.