Thursday, September 13, 2007

All I ask for is a good night's sleep!

Sleep's not something that a new parent of a 3 month old is going to get much of. Especially a single parent. Knowing this I would like to stock pile my rest. I really don't know if that is possible; I've gone through the majority of my life sleep deprived so this is somewhat of a guess. But as I've "aged gracefully" I have discovered a new found appreciation for sleep. So for some reason I had hoped to spend the last week or so before my trip to get Ella to get some really good nights of sleep because who knows when I will get more than 5 hours of consective sleep again? My other children seem to plan otherwise.

For the past 31 days (but hey who's counting?) I've been sharing a king size bed with my two girls. Its not like sharing my bed with my children is a new concept. Until last spring I had a queen sized bed and found that 3-4 nights out of the week first Julia would come down in the middle of the night and then Jenna. Always in this order. You would think it would be the opposite but as long as the 4 year old wakes up and there's someone older than her in the bed then she's good. Apparently, it doesn't work in reverse order. Since Julia needs someone older than her that leaves 2 options: a brother in a stinky room who kicks or mom. Who would you pick? Finally I gave up and bought a king size bed.

Having them sleep with me so frequently finally lead me to create some rules.

Rule #1: Jenna must NEVER sleep directly next to me.

An unconscious Jenna has no idea which way is up. I have found her with her feet on her pillow, laying across the bottom of the bed, with her feet in my face, with her body draped across mine. If it is only Jenna and I in the bed then there is a pillow between us. I know this sounds cold but I believe in self preservation.

Rule #2: Only on rare occasions can they start out in my bed.

I like to stay up late watching TV. I'm like a kid that needs to be told to go to bed. Having children in your bed when your watching TV after 9:00 usually means the children don't go to sleep. Doesn't work. What also doesn't work is watching TV shows and movies not appropriate for children while you children are in your bed. Enough said.

Rule #3: No one sleeps on my pillow.

If they start out on my pillow this only encourages them break rule #4:

Rule #4: Stay out of my personal space.

Breaking Rule #3 is an engraved invitation to invade my personal space and having a well intact personal space has become a necessity to a good night's sleep for me. This is the very reason I seem to be so tired lately. (Because it sure couldn't be the stress!) My children are not respecting my personal space.

I've tried to enforce the rules but its next to impossible in the suite. First of all it is only one room. And even though I am suffering without my daily fulfillment of HGTV and Food Network I have found a substitute. (Hey, life is a vacuum and if there is a void it will be filled--like with the Discovery Channel. It could be worse; at least its educational, entertaining and not one of the 6 ESPN channels although Dirty Jobs can be pretty gross sometimes.) So it obvious that Rule #2 is a goner. But I still have strictly enforced Rule #1 and Rule #3 and tried but often fail with Rule #4.

My children start out in their rightful places. Jenna on the edge, Julia in the middle and me on the opposite edge. But the last few night have found my girls leaving their boundaries and encroaching on mine. Two nights ago I literally got out of bed around midnight and took this picture to prove to them that they were out of control!

I had already "repositioned" my children twice. I wanted to prove to them the next morning that they sprawling into places they didn't belong. Here the culprit is actually Julia but often its Jenna who has turned sideways forcing Julia onto my space.

Although my ultimate weight goal is to actually fit into that very narrow space on Julia's left, I'm not quite there yet.

Lest you think two nights ago was a fluke, this is the photo I took this morning after I got out of bed. Notice that Julia is breaking not only Rule #4 but also Rule #3. Also notice the dog in the the lower right corner. Yes the dogs have joined us too. It is now truly a family bed.
Tonight I'm thinking about sleeping in the car.

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