Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day: The exhausted edition

Happy Valentine's Day!
Heart 'do
I love my family and I love my life. I am more blessed than I have a right to be.

At this moment, though, I am not feeling the "love" of the holiday. I'm mostly feeling beaten down and tired.

Joe and I have never been big celebrators of this holiday-of-love with somewhat questionable origins. We exchange cards and say nice things to each other. Aside from that, circumstances of our lives seem to conspire against much romance in the middle of February.

Exhibit A: The winter that wouldn't stop.

It is cold. We are all wearing layers. It is very attractive.

Exhibit B: The unsleeping 6-year-old.

I have been roused from sleep by Olivia in the wee hours of the night for four consecutive nights. (Prior to the last four nights she averages one night wake up per three nights since December, so it's not as if this is rare.) She does not get out of bed. She shouts from her room, louder and more insistently with every passing second that I don't appear. I have never before been a particularly "light" sleeper, but she has conditioned me to leap from the bed at the earliest provocation and sprint across the house in order to stop her pleas from waking her brother in the next room.

You can imagine how such a thing would make it difficult to go back to sleep. Not to mention the constant fear that she will just wake up AGAIN the moment I drift off (which happens A LOT).

Now, occasionally, she will ask for a drink and ask me to put her earplugs back in and then she goes right back off to sleep. I'd say that happens about once in ten wake-ups.

The other nine instances are just hard. HARD. She has always been sensitive to stimuli, and she has an overactive imagination. She sleeps with a string of Christmas lights hanging on her wall and the bathroom light on. And it is (for her) not enough light. Some nights, I can tell she just wants company. She wakes up, like most of us do, at some point in the night and she simply doesn't want to put herself back to sleep. Instead, she wants Mommy to lay by her so she can toss and turn and keep ME awake, pelting me with questions every three minutes. "Is it almost morning time? Can I lay on the couch and watch TV? Can I have a glass of water?" And then whining if the answer doesn't make her happy.

Other nights, I can tell she is genuinely scared. Sometimes it is a scary dream or a startling noise from outside. If it is windy or rainy or (heaven help us) thundering, I can pretty much just write off the rest of my night as over.

I don't mind consoling her when she needs consoling or is really scared. What I have a problem with is letting her develop a habit of calling for Mommy because she happens to be awake and bored. When this is happening with great regularity, at almost exactly the same time each night (corresponding to that blip in her sleep cycles), I can't help but assume that most of her wake-ups fall into the latter category. And I'm not all that patient at 2 a.m.

So I am tired. So tired.

Exhibit C: My body has impeccable timing.

You know, when I got married, one of the things I was looking forward to about getting pregnant was that between pregnancy and breastfeeding and having a few kids close together, I could quit cycling for awhile (I was stupid. Naive and stupid.)

Yeah, that didn't happen. My body likes to remind me of this at inopportune times.

So Happy Valentine's Day, friends. Hope yours is warm and non-crampy and not riddled with exhaustion.

1 comment:

All in His Perfect Timing said...

Olivia's hair is BEAUTIFUL!!! WOW!!!

Oh, I can't imagine the sleepless nights you are having. I am so sorry. Prayers are being said for you and Miss O right now that this phase is soon over. ;-/

If there's one thing I hate, it's being sleep deprived.