My world gets instantly knocked off it's axis if I am sleep deprived. I have always been that way. Some people bob happily along running on 4-5 hours of sleep per night. Not me. I am not a happy along bobber without sleep. In general, I am not really very moody. I am pretty mellow. Not much rubs me the wrong way and I don't get worried over much either. But when it's bedtime....and I am ready to go to sleep....you better stand back....and let the Mama sleep!
For a couple of nights now, Sawyer (my 8 year old) has had major trouble falling asleep.....and trouble staying asleep without nightmares. I am not sure what has spurred this. We don't watch scary movies. We don't have mature video games at our house. We don't fight at our house. We don't have the kind of house that would foster nightmares. So, I am confused at what might be causing it. But....he tries to fall asleep and then invariably cames into my room and whispers....
"I can't go to sleep."
I try to give him suggestions to help him doze off, but what's a Mom to do? It's not like I can force him to sleep. By this point in the night it is sometimes after 11pm. I know that this is not late to many of you, but to our household.....which is usually slumbering solidly by 9:30.....this is very late.
Then....to make matters worse for the sleep deprived Mom and Sawyer, we throw his nightmares into the mix. He has been waking up during the night sweating with terrible nightmares and to help soothe him, he sometimes crawls into the bed with me. Once he gets into my bed...the sleep is over for me. I absolutely cannot sleep with a third person in the bed. It's too hot! And Sawyer is like a mini oven. He's the hottest kid ever!
Two nights ago, I was already working off of too little sleep and then Bradley, my hubs, had a sleepless night. He was up and down. Taking a tylenol. Using the bathroom. Then getting a drink. Every single time he got up...I woke up. I was ready to put him in a choke hold, but I bit my tongue. He wasn't keeping me awake on purpose. It's not his fault that I am awakened when I hear the dust blow off a ceiling fan. I am just a very light sleeper.
As we climbed into bed last night, I gently requested of my sweet hubs to keep the noise to a minimum so that I could finally get some sleep. He sweetly brought my snappy tone to my attention and promised to try to improve his noise level. ........Ok, ok,......so maybe the conversation didn't go exactly like that, but anyway.....you get the idea. The night had promise of producing sleep.
Just as I was entering the dream state......I felt warm breath near my face. I heard the whisper....
"I can't fall asleep."
And this is the instant I snapped. This is the instant that I felt like I would never, ever get to get a good night's sleep again. This is the moment that my instincts to be kind and caring and loving were thrown out the door. This is the moment that I am certain my irises turned from blue to red and my female voice changed into the voice of a demon. My evil Mom voice growled....
"Well, what am I suppose to do about it?!! I can't make you fall asleep!"
It was dark, but light enough that I knew instantly that I had hurt his feelings by the look on his face. He started whimpering. I knew I had made a mistake, but I was so tired! I was ready to cry from the frustration of losing sleep again.
After my sweet boy was tucked safely back into his bed....away from snappy Mom.....I crawled back into bed. It was almost midnight by this point. Good sleep was slipping away from me again. I laid there wishing I had not snapped at Sawyer and felt the guilt wash over me.
Then, I started to worry about him. Is it normal for a young child to experience bouts of insomnia? Could there be an underlying medical cause? Was it related to his hypoglycemic symptoms? Is he worried about something?
I suddenly felt like such a bad mother.
After lying awake for what felt like hours, I finally dozed off......only to be awakened by a crack of lightning, the rattling of windows and the rumble of thunder. Over and over the lightning struck and the thunder rolled. The rain pounded the roof and filled the gutters. I felt like screaming a curse at the storm, but since I don't curse.....I just huffed.
This story doesn't really have a happy ending....yet. I am hoping that since the storms have passed and everyone is exhausted...that perhaps tonight will be the night that we will all sleep.
I'm not sure this is even a story worth sharing, except that sleepless nights, and puke, and poop, and bad choices, and heartbreaks, and snappiness are all part of my life, too.
I'm going to bed.