Last night my son had all the classic signs of being ill. My oldest son’s eye’s have been droopy since Monday. I skipped their T-Ball today. I took them home and not even out to play. I let one play overlong on the computer and the other went to play “sleeping Kendama”. Sleeping Kendama is a game he thought up, which requires one to sleep for a while, then get up and play with one’s Kendama, and then sleep again, etc. He did get up for a minute, but I think he must have forgotten how to play, because instead of going for his Kendama, he instead migrated to another bed. Chances are he will never actually play the game as he described it to me.
Right now all children are asleep, only one of which is in his usual bed. Musical beds. Every night.
I have slept through the night exactly once in the last six years. That was when I had two children, and they were both sick, and exhausted from two days of projectile vomiting. They slept right through their breaking fevers and I woke up in shock. Once, last summer, I slept six hours straight one night. Just by chance. That was really weird. I felt so good the entire following day.
My youngest boy no longer wakes up screaming every night, twice a night, which he did for the first three and half years of his life. So I get more sleep, but still not the entire night. I wake up at every single whimper. Every night someone, or three someones, climbs into bed with me. Every night someone, or two someones, gets up to pee. Sometimes twice.
The psychologist reassured me that, contrary to what people tell me about how I have to lay down the law and deny them the pleasure of my sleeping company, my kids need to feel safe. That since they have their own beds, and they know they can sleep in them, that this is really all I can do. As long as it doesn’t interfere with my own sleep, let them in if they want. The alternative is to reject them when they need reassurance, recovery, healing, safety, and security. I really can’t tell if it interferes with my sleep, because I never sleep a long enough time at a stretch, anyway.
I have permanent bags under my eyes, I think. I am afraid to look, mostly. When the baby asks me to lift her to the mirror to see the effect of some hair accessory, it’s alarming to see a stranger holding her. Because I don’t know who I am, by my reflection. But she does, so I am always reassured by her pleased reaction- that the image she is hamming it up for is really me. Would I recognize myself even if I were rested? I honestly do not know.
At least two of them are sleeping with each other. I can probably bow out, tonight, and as long as I am not woken by the execution of phase two of the Sleeping Kendama game, I think I might be able to sleep alone on the couch.