April 14, 2009

So That's What That Odd Feeling Is

As I've said we had a great time on our trip. We always do. It is such a delight to get alone together and just hang out like good friends do. Having conversations that don't get interrupted to take someone potty. Walking together holding each others hand. Going out without worrying about forgetting the diaper bag.

This time we were really struck by something that never occured to us before. What it feels like to be completely rested. Each morning we woke up hours before the alarm and couldn't go back to sleep. Usually, the alarm rings and we vacillate between our overwhelming need for more rest and the knowledge that sleeping in will make for a difficult day and incomplete "to do" lists. But this was an unusual feeling. It wasn't anxiousness about what we needed to tackle that day or a child wanting to nurse or a wet bed. It was simply that we had enough sleep.

I truly can't tell you the last time I have experienced such a feeling. Our teenagers regularly hang out in our bedroom until sometime between ten and midnight when we finally chase them across the hall to their own beds. One boy has "bad dreams." Another son gets leg cramps. Another wets the bed almost every night. On the night we returned, we were awakened 3 times before 2 AM. Prior to this trip, I believe it has been at least a year since we have had a full night's sleep.

The worst part about that is that we are so use to it that we didn't even realize how tired we were until we got some sleep. Just five nights of complete and uninterrupted sleep was enough to ruin the resistance that took us 17 years to build! In the week since we've returned we, usually caffeine free people, have been on a constant IV drip of the stuff just to get through the day. With great shame I admit, that on two days my husband and I actually laid down to take a nap!

While we do miss the adults, the sun, the meals we didn't have to cook...what we miss most is the sleep. The whole sentiment can be summed up very simply by the great Hawkeye Pierce, "I'm going to take a nap and when I wake up, I'm going to roll over and get some sleep."


  1. Oh, I feel for you with the sleep thing. Neither of my children slept through the night for about 5 years. I remember just feeling like I was in a daze most of those years. My son suffered from all of the things you mentioned. He would wake with night terrors between 2-4 AM and I would have to put him in the car and drive with him to bring him out of it. It was horrible. I found that the leg cramps came on when he was over tired. When I knew we had a super busy day and he was in for a bad night giving him a Tylenol before bed seemed to help. For wetting the bed I read somewhere to double make the bed. I put a plastic sheet with a fitted one on top then another plastic, and another fitted. That way you can just pull the top layer off and get them and you back to sleep quick.
    Have a great caffeine filled day!
    (Diet Dr. Pepper is my drug of choice)

  2. Heather Kay,

    My husband swears by advil. Thanks for the sheet suggestion. I can not believe after all these years of child raising, I never heard of that one! Of course this is our first issue with bed wetting.


  3. Oh No! Sorry to hear you now know what you're missing! I do believe you build up a resistance to lack of sleep. The sleepless nights were so hard when my 1stborn was a baby, but by the 3rd child I was just programmed to stumble towards the crying!