Look. Here's the thing. I'm not suggesting that I'm more tired than you are. Frankly, I'm not even more tired than I was yesterday, six hours ago or four years ago. But yo, this isn't the Suffering Olympics, and it sure as shit isn't a contest going by any other name. But I'm tired, and feelin' a bit salty about it.
You're asking me why, but WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME THAT? YOU ALREADY KNOW.
I drew the short end of the sleep stick when I birthed that sweet child of mine—that miracle human who lives on a steady stream of toast, on stolen pinches of grated cheese and on the tears of her enemies (Me.) (Mine.) (My tears.) It took her two entire years before she started even hinting at an interest in sleeping through the night, and I have a neurotic list of her wakings that's as long as a CVS receipt to show for it.
I know they say everything to do with infancy and babyhood is a phase, and I took a lot of solace in that back in those early days. Yes, she was bad at sleeping; but eventually, she learned. And as though it was some form of cosmic reward, right around the time she hit three or four years old, she turned into a regular old teenage boy. Successfully getting her to settle down and fall asleep on any given night was a complete crapshoot, of course, but once she went down, she'd be down for the count. She was sleeping until 10 a.m. every day like some kind of hungover frat boy. I reveled in it.
She's on the cusp of turning five now, and I hesitate, of course, putting any sort of label on our current sleep trends. God's sitting in a La-Z-Boy recliner in a pair of Lulu Lemon yoga pants, shoving fists of popcorn in her mouth while she watches me squirm with what energy I have left when I'm not lying prostrate on my kitchen floor yawning uncontrollably. We're okay, of course; I'm fine; but wow. If I hadn't been awake from the hours of 2 a.m. - 5 a.m. last night because of that wild child of mine, I might not be spiraling quite so hard today as a result.
The first waking happened at 2:06: her foot was itchy. She got out of bed, walked all the way from her room down the hall to ours, and woke me up with a gentle touch on my forehead to inform me of such. (Um. Scratch it, then, girl. Go for it. Imma call this need-to-know information, and I believe in my heart that I do not need to know anything about this.) Fifteen minutes passed, at which point she came back to tell me that I should drink some water because water's good for our bodies and she hadn't seen me drinking any water in awhile. K COOL. (No.) Half an hour after that, she rhymed off an abridged list of the friends she currently misses, and you get the idea. This went on. It did not stop.
Dare I go on? At 4 a.m., the floor was lava. THE FLOOR. WAS LAVA. AT 4 A.M. She was perched on the edge of my bed, her tummy smashed into my face while she tried earnestly to get me to scoop her up and save her from imminent death. This was followed over the next hour by a stirring rendition of jingle bells, more urging that I should keep myself hydrated, and a request for some chocolate.
We slept eventually, I think, because I have a vague memory of waking up at 9 a.m. in a puddle of my own drool when that kiddo climbed up into bed next to me and lay down on my right boob, and now I know what a mammogram feels like.
Oh, motherhood. It's bonkers, isn't it? I've been saying it for a good while now. I won't stop. Dear, sweet child of mine, oh ye who's fueled by tortilla chips, by stolen moments with Siri and by the smoke that billows out of my ears while I stifle all my most creative cuss words, won't you quell the madness during the dark hours of the night so I can work on unpacking some of these bags under my eyes? PLEASE?