Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sleep? Is That Like a Necessary Thing?

Coffee has been a truly essential part of my life since 2004. Before I graduated to the hard stuff, I recall choking back gas station cappuccino in college and thinking I had a pretty hard lot life because I had to stay up three nights in a row every time midterms or finals rolled around.

Little did I know that true sleep deprivation takes place slowly over time. It's not a three day caffeine bender followed by two days of sleeping till noon and then partying like a rock star to celebrate the end of the semester. It's a tedious chipping away of your sanity. It's kid puke in the middle of the night. It's a toddler in tears at four a.m. because she peed out of her diaper and woke up cold and cranky. It's bad dreams, requests for water, and cries of I'm hot! I'm cold! It's dark! I'm scared!

For the past three nights, it's been an 18-inch sliver of space for my slumber. I use the term slumber very loosely. Picture me teetering on the edge of one side of the mattress with a hot, restless (albeit cuddly) little monkey glued to my back. Picture a beautiful but inaccessible oasis of space in the middle of the bed and then a five-year-old just beyond that area who is determined to shove my husband off the other side of the bed.

We decided long ago to let our kids into our bed if they ever wandered in because Jason wanted them to feel like they could come to us for comfort when they needed it. I don't disagree with that sentiment to this day, but I don't think we knew we would have four kids when we made that call. We certainly never anticipated we would have two in the bed more than one or two nights in a row. In fact, it's actually unusual for us to have that situation for three nights straight.

Maybe this is my grown-up version of midterms (except now I chug Maxwell House Columbian roast in the mornings instead of gas station French vanilla cappuccino in the middle of the night). Maybe there is a celebration of some sort looming aroud the corner. Only instead of celebrating the end of the semester, we're celebrating a good night's sleep (which these days falls under the "at least five hours" category). Instead of sleeping till noon, we'll let the kids play computer games when they wake up, and we'll sleep till 8:00 a.m. (True rebellion for thirty-something parents.) Rather than partying like rock stars with kegs at the nearest frat house, we'll party like rock stars with movie night and Diet Dr. Pepper. It will be epic. Trust me, the world isn't ready for that level of debauchery.   

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