I'm pretty sure I spent about 28 years doing the consistent nightly sleeping thing. That's over 80% of my life. So why can I hardly remember it?
At around nine months we had finally convinced Oliver to sleep through the night - that was last month. It was like a break in the clouds. A gift I'd been saving up for. A long-awaited, long-deserved prize. It lasted a blissful four weeks. And then it ended abruptly.
Really, it was too good to last. Having two children close together inevitably leads to years of sleeplessness brought about by teething, colds, fevers and other random reasons to be awake in the middle of the night. But every night, I told myself tonight will be better. Being ever the optimist.
That's how last night, and the night before that started, with me confidently telling J I have a feeling tonight's going to be okay.
The night before last went like this.
11 p.m. To bed.
12 am. My lamp shade mysteriously falls off my bed side table.
1 am. I get up realizing the heat is still set to 22 degrees and it's sweltering.
3 am. Oliver wakes up.
4:30 am. Oliver wakes again.
5 am. Matthew wakes up wanting milk.
6 am. Matthew is still awake and wants more milk.
6:30 am. J gets up for work.
7 am. I get up to the call of the kids.
And after such a bad night, I was once again determined that last night would be better.
11 pm. To bed.
12 am. Oliver wakes crying.
12:30 am. I attempt to bring him into bed with me. This results in him flailing like a wild fish and smacking me around like a tennis ball.
12:45 am. I almost settle Oliver, when there is a power surge, a flash of light, and beeping from various electronic devices, waking him from the brink of sleep.
1 am. Matthew is woken by Oliver. Dominoes.
1:15 am. I stand between the boys' rooms listening to the simultaneous yelling, pondering my options while imagining what it must be like to sleep.
1:30 am. J brings Matthew into our bed. I console Oliver.
1:45 am. By now we have read three books with Matthew, who's wide awake and giggling merrily.
2 am. Everyone is back in their beds.
2:30 am. Oliver is asleep but Matthew is talking. Loudly. I put a pillow over my head and just hope that by some miracle I'll make it through to morning.
So... guess what my prediction for tonight is? It's going to be awful. It's going to be terrible, hideous, monstrous. So bad that by tomorrow morning I will simply have to pour the coffee beans directly into my mouth and add boiling water from the kettle.
Image from www.cartoonstock.com