Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Sleep Is For The Weak

Because Genevieve, scared of her "new" (ha!) crib, woke up crying several times during the night on both Sunday and Monday, by the end of the day yesterday I was Comatose Mama. Zombie Mama. Don't Talk to Me and I'm Sure We'll All Be Fine Mama.

When Christopher got home from work, I was outside in the backyard supervising Julia, Genevieve, and their little neighbor friend swimming, running through the sprinkler, slipping down the Little Tikes mini-slide into the splash pool, making sand castles in the sand table, and drawing with sidewalk chalk. We had been out there, all of us, doing all that, for more than an hour in the 90-degree, high-humidity heat, and let me tell you, people: singlehandedly supervising a 22-month-old, a four-year-old, and a five-year-old amidst water, concrete, and a nearby county highway, especially when at least two of the children are very over-tired, ISN'T EXACTLY RELAXING. Oh sure--on the surface it might sound easy enough, but remember: 22 months, four years old, five years old. We're not talking about watching a trio of seven-year-olds entertaining each other. This is still high-maintenance child-minding, here. It involves such challenges as poopy swim diapers and individuals so little they cannot yet climb into or out of the pool by themselves without falling on their faces.

I was doing OK, you understand, and had not yet slipped up and raised my voice or threatened to turn off the sprinker for the remainder of the summer, but I had definitely slipped into an exhausted state of mind I like to call Survival Mode, which involves conserving all energy by no longer verbally responding to anyone about anything. The second Christopher stepped onto the patio, I believe I said something like, "The rules are: no more water in the sand table; no jumping off or walking down the slide into the pool; no teddy bears or blankies in the sand table in fact they shouldn't even be outside but whatever; and ENOUGH ALREADY WITH DUMPING SAND IN THE POOL" rather than saying "Hello, how are you, hot day isn't it?" And then I beat it inside.

I was so tired that after dinner I fell asleep sitting up while watching the TV news, over the background noise of Christopher giving the girls their bath. I said I was going to bed--lights out, even--by 9 p.m., or I'd never make it through today (a running day, no less!). I knew it was imperative that I get a lot of sleep, and I figured if I went to bed at nine, I might get nine full hours (Genevieve's been sleeping later these days, probably from being so tired from being up all night). Ah, nine hours. That should do the trick.

And then I laid awake in bed until after 11 p.m., kept up by the heat and the light and Genevieve crying out in her new crib again. And woke up before five, from the sun coming up and the birds singing and Genevieve crying out in her crib (again).

This is why I live on coffee and Diet Coke, people. I'm not saying it's healthy.


Mnmom said...

To anyone who hasn't been home with kids, that sounds easy. But I'm here to back you up and say it's about as easy and pleasant as doing your own root canal. I can SOOOO remember those days. I was perpetually bent over at a 45 to 90 degree angle, and hot, and sweaty, and tired.

Shan said...

"Doing your own root canal!" I love it. You said it. Um, yeah, and perpetually bent over at a 45 to 90 degree angle? Maybe THAT'S why I have recurring, intractable neck pain!