I Can Sleep When I’m Dead

The sound of the squeaky bolt sliding into the chamber stirred me from sleep.

“Sssshhh!” my subconscious brain instinctively hissed, not wanting the sound of the opening door to wake the slumbering almost-three-year old pressed against my side. She’s grumpy if you wake her before she’s good and ready. She might get that from her mother.

I don’t yet register that I’m being roused from sleep before I’m good and ready as our five year old slips himself under the covers and lays down right up against me. This is a rare treat, so I decide to replace my budding irritation with a little gratitude.

It’s way more common than I would like to admit publicly for me to end up asleep with our younger child, dodging flailing limbs and an unbelievably hard skull like a first-rate ninja all night long. It’s also common for the five-year old to wake up at some point during the night to seek a sleeping companion, but he usually ends up in the bed where I should be sleeping with his Dad. Let’s just say Dr. Ferber would be sorely disappointed with our kids’ sleep habits. So despite the fact that I’m now relegated to the tiniest sliver of real estate in the middle of the bed, I turn my body sideways to snuggle with the intruder.

There’s no more baby fat! Not one ounce. It’s this thought that jerks me fully from dreaming to wakefulness. The small body I’m spooning is all muscle and bone pressed into my soft belly. When did this happen??

I check my phone (because honestly, who has clocks anymore?) and see that it’s 2:15 am. My alarm is set for 3:45 am. I calculate the odds of its ringing and not waking either of the kids and find them not in my favor, so I decide that if I’m going to write today it’s now or never.

So once again I’m henpecking at the microscopic keyboard on my iPhone, with one arm underneath the five-year old and the almost-three-year old’s feet jammed into the small of my back. I could be irritated (OK I was briefly irritated) by this situation, but honestly what’s the point in that? I mean sure, physical comfort would be nice and all, but metaphysically at least I’m in heaven. I have two people who mean the world to me in the closest possible proximity and I’m doing something I love. Crick in my neck be damned!

These times won’t last much longer, I know that much for sure. So even though my left arm is going numb and there is an elbow perilously close to my eye, I’m just going to enjoy this brief moment while none of my internal organs are being assaulted and hope for the best over the next four hours. Trivial matters like sleep and productivity will just have to wait until tomorrow. Or high school.

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