Sunday, March 18, 2012

A good night's sleep

It has been basically five years since I have slept through the entire night.

About this time in 2007, we got a new puppy. For SOME reason, it is always my responsibility to let the dogs out in the middle of the night when they need to go to the bathroom, and - let's face it - puppies have to pee all of the damn time. So, there you go. Just when the puppy learned to hold it in all night, the boys were big enough in utero that I couldn't hold it all night. I got up at least once per night until they were born.

Well, then, they were in the hospital for a month, and we would get home late and get up early and stay up in the middle of the night worrying (and then calling the NICU), so sleeping then was out of the question.

When they were healthy enough to come home, they were also healthy enough to want to eat, and they had been introduced to a 3-hour sleep schedule in the hospital. I'm not complaining, because I know that the NICU folks know what they are doing, and they saved Meatball's life, and they managed to keep Peanut warm when he couldn't, and they hugged us when we broke into pieces, and they were just awesome friggin' people, but seriously with the 3-hour schedule? The boys were awakened every three hours for food, diaper change, and - often - needle sticks. So, when they got home, this schedule was part of the deal. Fine. Whatever.

Then, after I dunno, an eternity, they were off the 3-hour schedule, but they still needed to eat during the night. Well, "they" is generous. One or the other was hungry, but that one always woke the other.

IF, by some blessed twist of fate, they slept through the entire night, I definitely did NOT. Instead, I would lay in bed and listen to them breathe through the baby monitor. Genius.

After a year, we were finally ready for them to have a sleep over at Papa and Nana's house. It was our anniversary, and we went to a B&B where we proceeded to argue all night. Fun time, I tell ya!

At some point, the boys and I got into the habit of falling asleep together in the recliner. People warned me not to do this, but I didn't listen. (And, I really don't care, still to this day.) So, it became difficult for them to fall asleep on their own. We're still feeling the effects of this decision today (and I still don't care).

(Why don't I care? Because I'll never have any more kids. I gotta' snuggle and love on these for as long as possible because, all too soon, they'll be teens, and I'll be completely UN-cool. I'm getting as much hugging and kissing and tickling and whispering and story-telling as possible now.)

Once we got rid of their cribs, we allowed another bad habit to form: getting into mommy's bed in the middle of the night. Why? Because I was always so freakin' tired! (I wonder why!?!?) Now, at almost five years old, at least one of them climbs into bed with us every night. (I still don't care.)

At one point, for about six months, Bub raised a stink about the whole thing. I get her point. The grown-up bed should be for grown-ups. So, I offered to let her take care of all of the middle-of-the-night instances. The whole thing died down rather quickly after that.

Even the times when they sleep over at Papa's and Nana's house, I don't sleep through the night. I'm just used to waking up at 11pm, 2am, and 4am as a matter of course.

So, we have a family bed, and we're fine with it. The boys will soon realize that they need their own space. And, I'll be fine with that, too. (No, I won't.) But, I'll probably still not sleep through the night. Not for a long time to come (like, 18 more years?)

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