Friday, November 02, 2007

Parasomniacs

When it comes to sleep, as with so many issues in my life, I'm an all-or-nothing girl.

Either I'm a snoring, drooling lump buried under a mound of quilts for a twelve-hour stretch, or I'm walking laps around the kitchen island at four o'clock in the a.m., stopping only to switch a load of laundry or tackle another enthralling round of Web Sudoku.

Just as I determine that my best Sudoku time will go unchallenged tonight, the washing machine beeps. The towels, they are clean.

But off in the distance, I hear another noise. It's a creaky old house, so anything's possible, but my hackles immediately stand at attention.

Thump. Thump THUMP.

After a full minute has ticked by, I shakily exhale. It's not a rodent: that was much too large and heavy a noise. Unless, of course, it's a large and heavy rodent, in which case I will run shrieking from the house and into the safe haven of the minivan until morning breaks.

The minivan! Yes, yes; I'm sure of it now: that was the unmistakable sound of a car door closing. Someone is definitely breaking into the minivan.

Naturally I'm concerned, but not overly alarmed; after all, we have insurance, and I have full confidence that the thick cloud of eau de spoiled milk will chase away even the most hardened criminal in a matter of seconds.

Summoning every ounce of courage in my possession, I pad over to the dining-room window and peek through a miniscule opening in the blinds. Nope; both cars are resting undisturbed in the driveway.

But now... what was that? I hear another noise, but this sounds more like bedsprings squeaking. And do I hear someone whispering?

Ever since Spencer helped me with the laundry one afternoon some months ago and decided that the baby monitor might benefit from a good soaking, I've been blissfully unaware of what noises emanate from the nursery while the majority of the house sleeps. Who know? Maybe Katie's a somniloquist. I tiptoe down the hallway and press my ear to the door.

No, this isn't a one-sided conversation. Katie and Spencer are talking to each other. At 4:00 in the morning! Little fuckers.

What? Oh, I'm sorry; I meant to say darlings. Little DARLINGS. Whose grandparents read this blog. Sweet, perfect darlings, who simply need gentle, loving encouragement to guide them back to dreamland for three more hours, at least. Precious angels, is what they are.

But just between you and me, they haven't been acting especially angelic lately.

Refusing to eat... well, almost anything, because it's so much more fun to toss handfuls of couscous at your siblings than (yawnsville) ingest it.

Responding with conviction, "NO!" when ordered to clean up the ensuing mess, then running away in a blur of wild, raucous laughter.

Foiling all attempts at napping, because climbing out of their respective beds and rearranging furniture and toys in the nursery? Not only possible, but oh: the fun. Sure, the lack of sleep ensures a steady stream of evening tantrums, but that's a small price to pay for newfound freedom and independence.

I take a deep breath and push open the nursery door.

"Good morning, Mommy!" Katie chirps. Spencer, lying next to her, waves with a wink and a smile. I note that he's brought along his own stash of blankets and stuffed animals, so the two of them are wedged together in a lone strip of otherwise unoccupied space.

This is new. And it would probably be incredibly cute if I weren't so tired.

So tired that I don't even consider expending the energy to return Spencer to his bed.

So tired that the only response I can muster is, "No, sweetie; it's not morning yet. It won't be morning until the sun wakes up."

Four bright eyes blink at me. I can't tell if they're smiling or smirking.

"Spence, is this where you're sleeping tonight?" I ask. He nods, a bit solemnly. I already know the answer, but I ask anyway, "Katie, is this okay with you?" She dips her chin once.

"All right, then. Goodnight, you two. Mommy loves you."

Mommy does, of course. And now that I've finished typing and the house is silent once again, I'm off to bed, too. For three more hours, at least. I hope.

5 Comments:

Blogger Big Mama said...

Are you kiddin' me with two posts in two days? It's just pure goodness.

Oh, and the nocturnal visiting drives me crazy. Like I tell Caroline, the reason life is boring at 4 a.m is because you're supposed to be asleep.

6:16 AM  
Blogger anniemcq said...

Oh Franklin. I love you. It's so nice to have you back. This post was pure hilarity wrapped up in a ball of sweetness.

6:56 AM  
Blogger SHA said...

Your kids aren't a handful at all...You lie. I mean when we're on the phone and I'm assaulting your ear with my tales of whoa, I only hear them a little (lot) bit....and they are always on their best.
Safe travels today friend. I heart you, Bug and PepperKatie.

8:15 AM  
Blogger sarah kate said...

i can see it and i love it...because it's not me. and it's 1:36 pm - nowhere near 4:00 am.

bring on the nocturnal blogging!

11:33 AM  
Blogger life with the wisners said...

oh franklin. how sweet of you to be thinking of us. to be back here in blogsville (or whatever the cool people call it). thanks for helping us get through another day. i am SO looking forward to november.

and i hate to say it -- i don't have nocturnal blogging. as neither of my children are awake at that time. hate me? :) (grinning and evil chuckling just a little bit.)

2:32 PM  

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