Archive for the ‘Sleep’ Category

The same child who barfed on the gym floor of the YMCA at 1:15 p.m., in the van on the way home and twice more before 11 p.m.  en route to grandma’s house is also the child who perked up this morning at 6:51 and announced in my left ear that he was starving.   “Stuh…R…ving.”

By which time he skittered out of our room and returned two exhales later with an unopened carton of milk and a ziploc bag with pickles.

His breath said he’d already had a pickle.  And the milk…well, the milk just needed to be anywhere but on my chest.  Which was when I got up…and followed the child whapping his pickle bag on the wall, to the kitchen. 

That he would settle on cereal was just as well.  We didn’t have ice cream.  And we try to save ketchup for later.  Much later.

As the only other person awake, I was the sole witness to my son’s mini buffet, which went like this:  bite of pickle;  bite of cereal.  And then a repeat of the pickle-cereal cycle until two pickles were nubs and the cereal just a bunch of floaties.

Only all this means nothing.  Except to say that the same child who just hugged me smelling like chips has apparently made peace with his stomach.


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At the three o’ clock hour I folded. 

As in, my mind had played one game too many of Backyardigans Memory, Giant Dice, and Tri-ominos, and I just…

I just wanted to close my eyes.  Which turned into my eyes closing on their own.  And my two children–God bless them–doing whatever they wanted for the next twenty minutes.  Momma was done.

How I ever got to this point I’d like to blame on my 9:55 p.m. trip to Walgreens two nights ago when I’d sauntered in for a humidifier.  Only to be met at the automatic doors by two unbusy employees who chorused that I had five minutes. 

FIVE minutes?! 

By which time it didn’t matter and I snagged myself a humidifier for full price.  I was worth it…heh.

Only my new ‘whisper-quiet’ model did so much whispering I couldn’t hear a darn thing.  As in, I couldn’t hear my kids across the hall breathing or sense them stirring or doing whatever they do at night.  And I went nuts straining.  To hear, that is.  Which meant that when my well-rested son found me at six-thirty a.m. and asked if  my new machine was making popcorn, I wanted nothing more than to succumb to sleep.

I was no wiser last night.

And so, as my eyeballs rolled backwards this afternoon, I simply let them roll.

I heard every word of ‘Deck the Halls’ come from my son’s throat in the living room.  I sensed my son go out the back door.  I heard the confirmation from his sister that he’d gone out barefoot and shirtless and was planting seeds.  And I heard the wail when he knew he’d been tattled on.

It was a glorious twenty minutes.

And I coudn’t me more grateful.

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Mercy for Monday

Today’s ‘To Do’ list.

Modified from its original form.

1. Do not even ponder a shower.

2. Wear the same clothes today as were worn to bed. Courteously add a bra to the outfit.

3. Begin before dawn holding sick child in arms.

4. Wobble down stairs with sick child who claims he cannot walk on his own.

5. Hold child in arms on couch and realize holding a bag of hot coals would be somewhat the same.

6. Listen as child cries about his gourds at preschool. Wonder what gourds. Feel sad that he’s sad. Remind him his gourds will still be there tomorrow. And then hope that they are.

7. Re-situate child on lap to read books. Marvel at how he can sit there like a tiny bowling ball and not roll onto the floor each time a page is turned.

8. Make lunch for child. Watch as he turns a single bite into ten teensy nibbles. Carry his fevered body back to the couch. Audibly praise the Lord for a Dora video.

9. Gasp at what stares back in the mirror. Remind self this is not a good day to be looking.

10. Sit on couch for remaining ten minutes of video. Zonk out in sitting position with knees to chest covered in baby blanket.

11. Wake to a kick in the kidney. Beg child to take nap upstairs. Plop 37 pounds of child into own bed. Scooch in beside. Race child to sleep. Win.

12. Repeat steps 4-1o.

13. Wonder how it can still be Monday. Shrug.

14. Carry still-sick child up to bed. Sing. Pray. Promise to return.

15. Thank God that his mercies are new every morning. Sigh…thank him again…

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If it’s all right, I’d like to shout from my sweatpants here that my son, the guy in the yellow shirt beside his sister, did not get out of his bed last night and thereby did not make me get out of my bed either.  That is until his tummy kicked him at seven thirty and told him it was ready to growl.  By which time he had to tell me.

Which bears another announcement.  I am a much friendlier person today. Heh heh…Try me.

That I did not inhale and forget to exhale while my children built a pyramid with my spice jars was also better for my health.  Gah….spice jars…who cares?

But forget the spices.  Forget the jars.

Friend, just don’t forget your underwear.

‘Cuz per the house rule–established out of necessity in 2010, no one paints in the buff.  Not him.

And not her. 

Though she tends to care a bit more about where her paintbrush lands.

Which is why her paintings actually look like what she says they are.

Sunset, anyone?


Only the guy who thought he’d fiddle with the wet sunset after he was told, “Don’t touch the wet sunset”, ended up on the stairs still in his underwear to contemplate his impulsivity of touching, sigh…the wet sunset.

But clearly the only contemplating going on was, “I wonder how I’d look with my sister’s yellow sundress on backwards, and my mom’s white tennis shoes.”

By which time I contemplated whether there was ever such thing as…

enough sleep.

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It didn’t help that my mind carried to bed every burden in the world and could solve none of it or that I bumped into my son in the hallway at two-forty a.m. on his way to our room.  Or that seven o clock came before it should have, and with it the same small boy from the middle of the night.

No…none of that helped.

Because before I could squeeze the non-sleep from my eyes, the day was off like a freight train.  One that apparently had no stops to make.

That it is twelve and a half hours later and I am sitting down–alone–is directly proportional…proportional?  Uh…that can’t be right…anyway…it’s directly something…to the moment my husband put his hand on the door knob and I released all mental, emotional and physical responsibility of my son.

Without regret.

Only now with my eyeballs ready to seal themselves shut and the rest of my body twittering like an old car with one final sputter after the engine’s off, I’d rather flop over and wait for someone to cover me with a blanket than attempt, well…anything. 

Here’s the brief account.

Somewhere between the moment I handed my son his honey lemon drink and the moment I turned around to do who-knows-what, my son splashed half his drink on the floor.  Which is nothing to shout about…when it’s water.  That I stuck to the floor 33 times in the same fifteen minutes and could only find the sticky spot by leaning sideways and watching for it to reflect in the light while I paced the kitchen seemed unmerciful.  But I had no idea.

My son would later fling sour cream off of his nachos and onto his sister’s forehead.  He would unwind the rest of our toilet paper and chuck it in the trash.  Then flush the cardboard piece that held all the toilet paper and with it, all our dental floss.  Only they wouldn’t flush and would need retrieval.  On our way to the store he would drag his cleaned coat along the unwashed van.  While I pushed the grocery cart on a wheel and a half, he tottered on the front end, whisked his arm over all he could reach and then dove off when he felt the whim.  When I reached for eggs, he reached for a couple of coupons dispensing on the milk door.  I was touched when he offered to help pay for everything with the penny he found in the parking lot.  Only he reneged and took to wrapping his penny in his coupon.

While I took a phone call in the car, he dismantled the glove compartment, shoved a bobby pin down the window and offered a tampon to the people in the parking spot beside us. 

I’d hardly inhaled at home when he ran by with a hammer and the van keys.  When I’d insisted he stop a moment and listen, he’d rebutted that he couldn’t hear me because he was busy.  Busy with that hammer, my car keys and a wet strip of toilet paper.

Only before I blew my final gasket, my son clung to my leg and said what he’d been demonstrating all day…”I just need some bu’ttention.” 

One hour and twenty-six minutes later, my husband got home…

And did what I could no longer do.  He gave that kid some bu-ttention. 

Hallelujah.  Amen.

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The same little boy who climbed into our bed at 6:25 this morning saying his stomach had a growl in it, and who then chose 6:26 to whap me in the shnaz spreading his arms and legs past their natural hinges so I could see how much he loved me…that boy–still in his striped pjs with the bear patch on ’em eventually wandered downstairs and  found the Christmas tags.  “It’s almost Christmas,” he beamed, displaying our bottom stair fresh with Christmas tags stuck to the carpet.  And I’d’ve believed him on his enthusiasm alone had his sister not informed us both with a shout from the other room that it wasn’t almost Christmas, but Thanksgiving.

Which caused her brother to shout back, “oh yeah, ” in the same half-second, like he’d merely misspoken.  And then move all seventeen tags to the wall.  Where they, uh, belong.

Here he is later…pondering life at three years old .  Or..

The Letter “H.”  As in take your hand and make one.

Which goes nicely with our van door.

And which I’ll smile at again come February when we scrub the thing off.

Only now, I’ll just smile at our simple exchange.  The one that hasn’t changed from the first to the four hundredth time.  Or grown old from overuse.  The one we shared while we shopped.

“Guess what?”  I’d asked, my face real close to his.

And he’d looked up, waiting with his eyes for the answer he fully knew was coming.

And I’d whispered, “I love you.”


Which made him show his pretty little teeth.

And me wonder how my heart ever beat without this kid.

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If it matters…

And it probably doesn’t.  I hoisted our son into our bed at 2:47 this morning.  And called it good.  That I found him in the hallway outside our door crying for mommy, ursurped my better judgment. 

And guaranteed me an extra set of bags below my eyes.  Roomy ones, too.

It’s just the space my son left for me in my own bed wasn’t enough to not worry about slipping off the side.  So I arced around him. Much like I would’ve when I was ten and sharing my bed with the cat.  And I tried to sleep.  Only I couldn’t just hovering there on the edge, no covers on my back, and with my son patting my face, his eyes still closed.

So I shoved a pillow in between us.  And scootched him to the middle.  Because, by golly, it was my bed–heh heh.  And it was three a.m. and I was out of generosity.  And because–strangely–I can’t sleep with someone poking me and worming around in the covers beside me or pushing on me to see if I’m still there.  For the record (if there is one)…I am still there.  I’m just bracing for the next kick.

Which landed across my stomach and soundly seat-belted me to the bed.

I’d like to say at this time that a wiser mother would have removed the locked leg from her stomach with both arms, unhoisted her child from the bed and tiptoed him back to his bottom bunk. 

But, uh, that woman was not around.

So for the next three hours, I dodged wild limbs and tapping toes,  flinched in anticipation of wayward arms, resituated the pillow barrier to give some false sense of security; and prayed for the miracle of energy without having to sleep to get it.

Because at six a.m. a rested little boy, grabbed my cheeks with both hands and declared it was morning. 

And so it was.

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