Oh, the Pain a Child Can Cause at Night

I really have no right to complain because, for the most part, both boys sleep pretty well, and Patrick and I get more or less 7 hours of sleep a night. However, it seems like every time we need them to sleep really well, something goes wrong. Of course, I’m exaggerating, because I need them to sleep well every night so I don’t go straight over the edge, but beside the point…

Patrick was feeling a scratchiness in his throat and I had an interview to do today; we were both hoping for a solid night’s sleep. At 9:45, Seamus started moaning. At 9:50, I went in to settle him down. At 10:06, he started again and I woke Patrick up. I know, the rule, whoever’s already awake tends to the child, blah blah blah. But, I was right because at 10:15 Gilbert woke up to eat, and there’s only one person who can take care of that. Seamus cried until 12:30 when he finally fell asleep from sheer exhaustion. At one point, he was sobbing “night, night” trying to go to sleep. We still don’t know exactly what was wrong. We both crashed and slept soundly until 5 when Gil got up again. He didn’t go back to sleep in his own bed, rather he nestled up next to me for another couple of hours.

Do not even suggest to me that it sounds like I got 7 hours of sleep because, oh no, it did not feel like that!

I’m not telling this story for sympathy, but actually to get to another point, about relationships. At 11:15 Patrick and I were frazzled, at a loss, and exhausted ourselves. The frustration that bubbles out that that point in the night can’t go to the child because clearly he didn’t feel good, so just kind of seeps out into the universe of “why? why can’t I just be in the soft flannel sheets asleep at this moment?” And yes, we got short with each other.

My friend and I were talking about how we all have to think our relationship is special in order to have children in the first place. He and I went a bit further to talk about how it’s important to have friends so that you can say to your partner, “Look at how awesome we are compared to our crazy friends [or family, but that’s a story for another day]” and that ultimately all this allows us to believe that our relationships are special. P and I are not that special…when the night goes longer than it should we get that crazy-eyed look, for sure. You heard it here first, is all I’m saying. We’re fallible. But also awesome.

And that’s why I love to tell stories about my boys, but I also realize how self-indulgent it is, especially when they are hitting developmental milestones every other child hits. For instance, I know that almost all kids at some point are likely to pick up the remote control and pretend it’s a phone, but it is over-the-top adorable (in my eyes) when Seamus does it and says, “Hew-wo” and then looks at me and says, “Bye-bye” and puts it back down.


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