bentangle

Tag: sleeping patterns

Night Shade

by on Aug.17, 2010, under family

Last night as I’m kneeling on my son’s floor waiting for his stuffy sniffling to transition to the stuffy mouth-breathing of sleep, I found myself pondering the number of times I’ve found myself in such a position – apparently enough to know that neither sitting nor lying down would have left me in a comfortable state when I left.  These moments are much fewer than they’d been in the past; at times my wife and I practically took turns sleeping on his floor.  Now it is once a month on average at most.

Grasshopper’s sleeping woes have typically been just what one would expect from a toddler:  afraid to be alone, afraid of the dark, afraid of the sound of the washing machine on the other side of the wall.  In the past few months he had resorted often to sleeping on his floor claiming he was scared of his bed.  His bed, mind you, is a happy, plastic fire engine, so I wasn’t really clear of what there was to be afraid.  But it was easier to setup a couple of comforters on the floor as a mattress than to delve into the motivations of a 3 year-old, so we accommodated him and went about our activities.

For the past few weeks it had escalated to the point that his mattress sat on the floor for him to sleep on and I was close to sliding his fire engine bed out to the back yard as play furniture.  But as I contemplated this plan, I realized that I should really address the root problem rather than work around it (after all he was running out of floor space).  So I put his bed back together and we attempted a return to relative normalcy.  Of course, that very night as I attempt to settle the troops, he starts to get anxious and claims that he is scared.  So I ask what it is that he is afraid of.  As it turns out, he is afraid of a shadow that his night light makes on the wall as a result of a hump on the side of the bed along the wall.  So I grabbed something firm and rectangular, wedged it alongside the mattress to block the dip where the hump shadow was visible and – voila! – problem solved.  Unfortunately the object I grabbed was a picture frame which I didn’t realize actually had glass in it, so yesterday there was a clean-up issue.  But now the frame has been replaced with a blanket and a pillow and all is generally leveling out nicely … until allergies kick in.  It is always something.

Seeing the bedtime drama I still experience with Cricket, I know that the end is not yet in sight.  But it is at least getting easier to diffuse.  And soon I may never have to sleep anywhere but my bed … unless my wife has something to say about it.

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The Pitter-Patter of Tiny Feet …

by on Jun.02, 2010, under family, parenthood

… is not nearly as innocent as it sounds.  I find lately that it is the sound to which I am awaken – often followed with cries for help that are disproportionate to the need behind them.  Often it is Grasshopper, usually between 6 and 7 AM (sometimes earlier), always much louder than is necessary or appropriate at such an hour, and typically related to something minor or for which our assistance shouldn’t be needed (e.g., he can’t find his toy that he fell asleep with that he is likely sitting on, or he has to go potty – which he cries as he is dancing 8 inches from the toilet).  Though I often find the small footsteps that are followed by no other sounds much more anxiety-raising – you would think it would be a positive sign, but it rarely is.

This morning I was awoken by such a sound at the surprisingly late hour of 7:30AM.  As I braced myself for the possibilities as I walked down to the second floor, I find my children both sitting on my son’s bed (wearing matching nightshirts – would be cute if not for the mischief that seemed to be brewing between them).  I decide to avoid asking what they are up to in favor of diffusing their plans with the enticement of television and breakfast.  As we walk downstairs – Cricket zooming in front of me, Grasshopper bounding behind me – I suddenly feel a small projectile strike the back of my head and bound over the railing to the floor below.  I turn to my son and calmly but firmly express that we don’t throw things at people, to which he responds with a tone of innocence “but it was only a weapon”.  Clearly the implication of this word has not been fully grasped by his 3 1/5 year-old brain.

To be fair though, even their mischief is innocent at the core of it.  The kids are typically good and mean well.  And all of the growling and pelting by projectiles melts away when I see your son hugging my anxiety-ridden wife and telling her everything will be okay (long story) or when my daughter decides to commission me to help her make Mommy breakfast in bed “just because we love her.”

So yes, those little feet can have many implications – joy as they dart to welcome me home from work, jubilant mischief as they scurry to hide on to jump out and tackle me when I come near, or devilish mayhem as they cross the threshold of a department store.  I’ll take them all, though I wouldn’t mind if my morning alarm clock had some sort of snooze button – occasionally I wouldn’t mind sleeping in.

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Blurbsday: Sleep

by on Jun.11, 2009, under family, health

I remember a time before I had kids when I would sleep in on the weekends until 10 or 11 – sometimes later.  I recall days when I could stay up until 3 in the morning and still be able to function semi-normally the next day.  It seems that those times are in the past.  No matter when the kids go to bed, they are inevitably up by 8am a the latest (including the weekends).  And if I’m up past 1am, I’m usually groggy for half the next day.  And yet I put my kids to bed at 8pm and stay up until midnight almost every day.  I know I should go to bed sooner so I can get a full night’s sleep.  But after getting up with the kids, going to work, coming home to the family and putting the kids to bed, I need some time just for me.  So I take it … sleep will be there when I need it.

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If Only I Had Insomnia

by on Feb.27, 2009, under career, health

Tonight is the fifth night that I have been awake until 3:00 AM or later and it is catching up with me.  I wish that I could say that I’ve been up doing something fun.  I wish that I could say that I’ve been up doing something productive and worthwhile.  I would even be content to be able to say that I’ve been up because I wasn’t tired and couldn’t get to sleep or because my kids have kept me up.  No, unfortunately this series of late nights have been work-related and the majority of that work has been waiting  and monitoring. (continue reading…)

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Entropy

by on Jan.03, 2009, under family, parenthood

The bumps and potholes in the road of parenthood are many and often unexpected.  And when things are suddenly moving smoothly in the right direction, derailment should not be surprising when it comes.  The trouble is that it is a constant struggle to exert order onto something that is innately chaotic. (continue reading…)

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