Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Does Child Induced Sleep Deprivation Ever Stop!?

I am writing this post in a daze of sleep deprivation. I will be running my day on about 5 hours of sleep, no thanks to that lovely daughter of mine. It starts the day those little bundles of joy come home with you and ends...... wait, does it ever end? That is the whole question of this post.

It is always for different reasons, the cause of the sleep deprivation. When they are first born it's the midnight feedings. When my kids were tiny I could tell you what TV show was on at any given time of day: thank God we live in a time when the networks are on 24/7 and don't sign out like they did in my youth! What on earth did my mom do at 2:30 a.m. while feeding me? (Though, in all honesty, I usually just caught the first five minutes and the last five minutes of any given show. All the in between is a sleepy blur.)

As they got older, the midnight feedings stopped, but the sleep deprivation did not. We then had to deal with night terrors, throwing up and fevers and bad dreams. Jessica, most specifically, had this habit every night of coming into our room. I don't really know what she was doing - the best I can figure she just wanted to make sure we were still there. She never had to go to the bathroom, she never wanted a drink of water and she never had a bad dream; she just came in and gave me a no to all of the above questions. I would get up, walk her back to her bed and tucked her in, gave her a kiss goodnight (again) and back to sleep she would go. This continued clear until she was about 10 years old.

The teen years. You would think by then I would get to sleep a full 8 hours a night. They do not need to eat at 2:00 a.m. any more; they have outgrown the night terrors; they are old enough to get up and take their own medicine if they are not feeling well.... but with teenagers it's more of a mental game. You lay awake at night problem solving or you wait up for them to get home from their date or from a late night work shift. And, here is the question of the hour - Why is it that 12:30 a.m. is the perfect time for that little teen angel of yours to open up and want to talk?!

That brings us to my night last night. Jessica had to work late due to a huge store inspection today and the managers wanted everything to be perfect. Since she is no longer a minor they can keep her as long as they see fit. I cannot go to sleep until I know she is safe and sound at home. I was wrapped up in a blanket with a book (I think I was trying to read at least, the words were a little jumpy at this point) when she walked in at 12:30 a.m. Yes! I can finally go to bed..... nope. That girl just came straight over, curled herself up on the recliner with me, and started talking.

Now I ask you, how can you pass up a moment like that? I guess the 5 hours of sleep will be worth the moment I had with my daughter. Maybe some day I will not be sleep deprived because of my kids, but it's the little moments like last night that make it all worth it.

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