Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sad But True Conversation

On a nearly daily basis, Julia asks me, "Mama, why are you always so TIRED?" This is usually after she's gotten up from her fairly brief nap, during which I have forsaken a catnap of my own for laundry, cooking, phone calls, housecleaning, and the lure of the laptop. At that time of day, we do something quiet while waiting for Genevieve to wake up. For me, that generally means "yawn repeatedly while attempting to read storybooks through half-closed eyelids." It's not pleasant.

It's true that I have always--my whole life--needed more sleep than many people I know. Since becoming a parent, I've probably gotten about half the solid sleep I truly need, when you factor in all the night-nursings and the overnight crying and the pre-dawn wake-ups and the babies who rarely napped well and thus didn't allow me enough time to get other necessary things done. I've been chronically exhausted for 4+ years, which thankfully isn't unique by any means, because knowing that other people recall entire decades of their parenting lives as ones defined by sleep deprivation is comforting, in its own sad way. But I don't think it's much comfort to my super-perceptive, ultra-sensitive older daughter.

Earlier today I was talking to Julia about tonight, when her daddy and I are going to go away for dinner and overnight, and her grandma and grandpa [although, let's just be truthful here: really just grandma] will be babysitting her and Genevieve. And how this is because Mama and Daddy need some good rest and some time away from taking care of little girls.

Julia was excited about the whole adventure: Nonna giving her dinner? Nonna doing bath? Nonna putting her to bed and making her breakfast in the morning? Nonna with fun things to do, and maybe even treats?!

Then she gasped, clapped her hands, and leaned toward me, wide-eyed and grinning, and said breathlessly, "Mama! And then tomorrow, you WON'T BE TIRED!"

She was truly excited, too. Like winning the most pathetic preschooler lottery ever.


Mnmom said...

Poor Julia and her high expectations. I've been parenting for 14 years and I'm STILL tired. Of course it could be the fact that I snore now and probably have sleep apnea and that I'm almost always anemic. And watching the Olympics until 11pm doesn't help either. But it all started with babies. Good Luck and have a FABULOUS night out!!

Shan said...

Ha! Yeah! Julia is going to be disappointed in my low-energy level for the next 14 years, I'm sure!

That said, we had a GREAT night out. Ah, grandparents....