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This is a story about a night that occured rather recently… its my version of a “things that go bump in the night” story, except in my house, things go crack.

Before i tell my story, it needs a bit of background, a preface if you will…

My son, J, has never liked sleeping in our bed. He never even really slept well in our room. For this reason he has slept in his own cot, in his own room, since about 5 months old, and i have spent many a sleepless night comforting him, feeding him, rocking and patting him and singing to him in his own room. I have even slept with a pillow and a blanket on the floor of his room because i knew he would just wake up again in an hour and i would end up back in there. He is a very light and sensitive sleeper and wakes up easily to sounds, lights, movements etc. Yay for me!

The first 12 months of his life were difficult and sleepless, but once he turned 1yr old things began to change. He started sleeping, through some small noises, through some big noises and mostly, through the night! Except for when we travel. As i said, he’s a sensitve sleeper, so it goes without saying that travelling, port-a-cots and strange rooms make sleeping difficult… and here begins our story…

We have recently returned from a trip to the lovely Bega where we enjoyed a relaxing stay with my parents. J slept in a full sized cot, in our room. He woke up most nights and came into our bed for cuddles and we all slept reasonably well until reasonable times of the morning… say, 7am. And it was all reasonable because we were on holidays, no work, no pressure and the option of an afternoon nap or early night if the mood so recommended it. Wonderful!

Except, since we returned home, the night waking has kept up and so have the cuddles and sleeping in our bed. Unfortunately, with the added pressures of housework, actual work, no napping time and just life in general, both myself and my husband have become rather sleep deprived.

I suppose i should justify this, and especially for the childless people who have never had a toddler in their bed, (um, sorry that sounded a bit wrong, but you know what i mean) that sleeping in bed with a child (more specifically, my child) is like trying to sleep while wrestling a giant octopus who is trying to pick your nose… and take your socks off, at the same time.

So we made a decision, no more sleeping in our bed! Maybe if it’s 5am and it’s cold and we want another hour sleep then it’s ok, but no more 10pm, 11pm etc etc… No More!

The 1st night was tough. I spent an hour in J’s room resettling him when he woke up and responding to requests for mook (milk) and “Mummy pat” or “rockwhy baby” (rock-a-bye baby)… and i did it all in good nature and with motherly calmness because i expected it and i knew i had to do it in order to return to our normal sleeping arrangements. The second night was the same except it only took 5 minutes and the 3rd night there was no wake up… great! Problem solved! Until the 4th night…

This night was particularly uneventful, until my husband decided it was his turn to wake up in the middle of the night. You see, he’s a sleep talker… a rather boysterous one. So, at about 11pm he decides, in his sleep, to make this weird-ass bird-type kind of noise and grab my arm, which of course wakes me up. So i give him a huge elbow to the ribs, of course. This then triggers him to do some kind of giant commando roll, in the air, over the top of me and almost dive head-first off the bed. Now i am really awake, and wondering what the hell is going on. Then i hear “mummy… Mu-ummy… MUMMY!!”

GREAT!!

Husband gets another giant jab in the ribs, for good measure, and a few choice words, including a thank you for waking the baby up, and so i get out of bed. As soon as i get to J’s room i can hear the husband heavy breathing again. Already!! Really?? *sigh*

What happens for the next 45 minutes is a mix of requests for milk, water, pats, rocks, cuddles, pats, rockwhy baby and so on and so forth and what have you… So i do my best and i get him back to sleep, and i do this at least 7 times, i think it was 7, that’s how many i can remember anyway. Why do i put him back to sleep 7 times i hear you ask? Well, as i mentioned, he is a light sleeper and things in my house go “crack” in the night.

The first time i put him to sleep i was trying to leave the room and my ankle cracked…. then i hear “Mummy, Mummy….”

The second time i almost managed to leave the room but the floor cracked… and then “Mummy pat?”

The third time i turned the door handle as i was leaving the room and it squeaked… okay, not officially a crack, but, whatever, he woke up.

The fourth time i left the door open, smart right? but then i put the milk back in the fridge and because his door was open the fridge-noise woke him up… yep, gonna go postal real soon…

The fifth time a floor board cracked as i was getting back into bed… and then this happened again, which makes 6 times so far.

The 7th time is a charm and i make it back to bed… and the bed cracks, and yep, he wakes up.

GOOD LORD I AM GOING TO KILL SOMEONE! and i apparently let another few choice words fly… to which my husband responds groggily with “i’ll fix him up, don’t you worry, you shhtay in bed” and he bounds of bed banging the mirror, wall, door and anything else in his path on his way out of the room while trying to put his trackies on. Floor boards are cracking and his feet are thumping the floor and door handles are squeaking and i am thinking “oh yeah right, you’ll fix him alright!”

Then i hear “Mummy?” and the husband says “No, its Daddy, and its time to go to sleep. Good Night” (that’s it, no patting, no milk, nothing.) and he closes the door – very loudly – and bounds his way to the bathroom… and does his business – very loundly –  and flushes the toilet! Then thumps his way back along the creaking floorboards and into the noisy cracking bed.

…and you know what happened then?

nothing

*silence*

I don’t hear another sound. huh?

Husband starts heavy breathing again and J is quiet… apparently sleeping too, and now i am so angry i can not go back to sleep for another half an hour.

Now i am not an overly religious person but i start praying: Lord give me the strength not to get up and find that misguidedly-purchased Marilyn Manson CD i have and start blasting it, really loudly, on the stereo. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

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