If sleep deprivation could kill you, I am certain today would have been the day. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not new to a lack of sleep. We have a toddler and a four-month-old; at this point it’s kind of just my regular state of being. And I wasn’t sure that anything could compare to the week Justus was born. Seventy-five hours of labor and a ridiculous number of medical interventions meant five days with a total of four hours of sleep. But it didn’t kill me. In fact, I didn’t even hallucinate (At least I don’t think I did.) I did lose it a little bit and burst into uncontrollable sobs, causing the head nurse to come in, comfort me, and tell me they would coordinate my and Justus’ care in order to give me some rest. But, like I said, not dead. I’m a mom. I’m a survivor. (Great, now I can’t get Destiny’s Child’s out of my head.)
But I think today might have been the worst bit since that five day stretch. For some unknown reason Thalia felt compelled to wake up about every half hour last night. Every. Half. Hour. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Justus has been waking up with nightmares at some point the last few nights as well. Today I was determined EVERYONE was going to get a nap.
I put Thalia down with not just a little bit of trouble. For some unknown reason, Justus is completely enamored with his sister and I. (Okay, I know why. It’s cause we’re awesome.) I told him to stay in the living room and watch his movie while I put his sister down (he knows he is supposed to stay out of her room when I’m putting her to sleep) but as usual his little two-year-old self ignored me.
About two minutes after I’d gone into his sister’s room, he rolls in pushing his dump truck. “Get out!” I stage whisper to him.
Two minutes after that he’s back, this time wearing a bucket on his head and a blanket cape around his shoulders. “Go away!” I hiss.
Two minutes after that he’s returned wearing one turquoise dress shoe from my closet. I merely give him a withering look. He giggles and scoots out.
Two more minutes and he’s back, now wearing only a diaper and a smirk. I did not know it was possible to simultaneously want to laugh at and kill someone.
FINALLY, she’s asleep. I feed Justus, hose him down, and put him to bed with little fanfare. Then I walk into my room, climb under the covers and close my eyes. “Sweet sleep,” I think as I drift off. I’m almost completely out when the cat starts screaming at me. That is literally what it sounds like – a screeching meow for no apparent reason. I get up. She has food. She has water. Her box is clean (well, clean enough.) I shush her and get back in bed.
Just as I begin to fully relax, Thalia starts to whimper. “Okay,” I think, “One more feed and she should be good for a little while.” Feed her. Back to bed.
Justus starts yelling. Oh for the love of –
I walk into his room. He’s standing on his pillows. “Bear!” he says, holding up his giant stuffed animal.
“Yes. That’s a bear. Now lay down and go to sleep.”
“Okay, here’s your daddy doll.” It was literally right next to him. “Go. To. Sleep. I love you. Night night.”
I get back under the covers. The cat starts up again. I throw a shoe. I close my eyes.
“They are literally going to kill me,” I think to myself as I get up again.
I open the door. “What.”
He smiles. “Water?” Sigh. I fill up his water glass, give it back to him, tell him I love him, close the door, walk back down the hall, get back under the covers, and close my eyes.
Second later Thalia starts fussing again. I get back up, go in her room, pick her up, start to nurse her. The cat walks in the door, looks at me, and screeches. Thalia’s eyes pop wide open. I grab the closest thing I can reach (an empty infant syringe if you were curious) and throw it at the cat. If looks could kill she would not have survived. She runs away. I put Thalia back down.
Surely now I can finally rest in peace. By some miracle the dog, who usually participates in this kind of nonsense, has done nothing but lay quietly on the corner of the bed. Today she wins the favorite award. I crawl back under the covers for the umpteenth time. I close my eyes. I feel my body sinking into the mattress.
And Thalia starts mewling. I give up. I go in the room, pick her up, latch her on, get back into bed with her, and finally manage to get some rest.
She only woke up three more times during our nap.
For the record, she also woke up three times while I was typing this. I may yet succumb to death by lack of sleep.