It’s the early hours of the morning where all the calmest mothers can completely unravel. The edge becomes so much closer.
I have been blessed with light sleepers.
That’s complete sarcasm, for those of you playing at home. Light sleepers are not fun. Multiple light-sleeping children can cause horrible flow on effects in a household at 3am.
My 4-year-old believes we co-sleep. We don’t. He just knows when the perfect time is to shuffle on up the hallway from his bed to jump on into mine. That point where sleep is my most important commodity.
With him in my room and my 1-year-old next door, I am sometimes like a Jack Rabbit leaping from one bed to the next with light feet and lightening speed. I leap well, mostly.
This night, Leni (1) is really unsettled. She is snotty and sick and I am trying to do all the things to make things easier on her (rub, vaporiser, cuddles, love).
Ari (4) is needing attention. He’s alert, clingy and 4-years-old. My agile, bouncing out of bed skills are failing me. His need for the bedroom door to be left open is overwhelming him.
The bedroom door that is already open, that was never closed, that I am not closing, must be left open!
It started like a pebble being kicked over the edge of a cliff.
Cue Leni crying and I leap out of my bed before she wakes Ari. There are cuddles and soothing sounds and she is finally dropping off again.
^In comes Ari uncontrollable crying because I “closed the door!”.
Cue Leni crying again and I usher Ari back to my bed (because change now) telling him I’m not going to close the door and it was time for everyone to go back to sleep.
Ari is calm and I am back in Leni’s room. She is drifting off to sleep…
See the “^” symbol up there, three paragraphs up? Well if you read from that point again 11 times over you will grasp how my night progressed.
All the “this too shall pass” and deep breaths did not get me out of this one. On the 12th time Ari woke his sister with his concern for the closed (not closed) door a switch went off inside me. In the darkness with all the crying around me, I pick up the end of my rolled up doona and smack it into the ground, over and over again like a CrossFit junkie working on their latest Instagram post.
There is swearing about the closed (not closed) door. There is now my tears joined into the mix of everyone else’s.
Oh no, wait, the realisation that Mummy has tipped over the edge has Ari sitting up in bed watching me in the darkness. We just look at each other for a minute or two, comprehending the spiral of mayhem that has just happened. The explosion of energy from a mother who was just catering to needs and cuddling and dealing with unreasonable requests in the small hours of the morning.
A mother who needs sleep too.
Leni’s cries have slowed down. No one was disturbing her now and she is completely exhausted from the night’s events.
I walk back over to my bed and Ari falls into my arms. We hop under the sheets and both are asleep within minutes but not before I whisper, “I’m sorry mate”.
The next morning everyone wakes a little later than usual but it is a regular morning.
This too DID pass.
Over breakfast, we chat about the night before. About the door always being open. About speaking quietly so not to wake anyone sleeping. About turning our ears on and listening. About Mummy doing the most exercise she has done in far too long at the end of the bed at 3am because she didn’t know what she was going to do if she didn’t release something.
“We all were going crazy in our sleep, Mum!”
“Yep, I’m happy to leave our nights to just sleeping though.”
“Yeah, you just keep me up while you are doing stuff in the room!”
OK, so thankfully I had not damaged my son for life. I had just inconvenienced him with my doona slaying while he was trying to sleep.
It is hard to be rational when you should be asleep, don’t you think?
Surely the calmest of parents can come undone at 3am!
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