Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Sleep. I want to talk about sleep because I’m starting to believe in the vague notion that more of it is better. For instance, I did an experiment last week. I went to bed at 10:30 instead of the usual 11:30-12 creeping toward 12:30 – which usually is for no good reason except I need a certain amount of non-kid time at the end of the day and as daylight savings glows brighter each night, they go to bed later and later, even when I start baths, etc. at 6:30.

Anyway, I went to bed at 10:30 and lights off before 11:00 and nothing after that, just blissful dark, and I got my husband to go to bed early, too, because otherwise I can’t sleep, and the next day was, and this might be coincidence, I don’t know, better. It was a good day. I got the kids out the door on time without major fights or yelling. I dropped Aaron at preschool and he extracted a plastic butterfly from his jeans pocket (the jeans were, remarkably, clean enough to wear a second time and it was in the pocket from the day before). Then his face became very sad and he looked at me sadly and held up the butterfly, which was missing an antennae. “Are you sad?” I asked. He nodded. We tried to think up a plan to fix it, though I couldn’t see how to make another antennae that would stick. Maybe trace it and cut out the piece of paper and decorate it? No. I knew I had to leave, but we walked over to his wonderful teacher and I turned him over to her to continue the brainstorming process. Later, she told me they figured out a way to attach a piece of yarn, and happy enough, he left it behind and went off to play something new. It was a good day for him.

I picked up him and Sophie later from school and we hiked around in the local park, climbing up into the scratchy, trail-less woods looking for leprechauns, a year-round activity for my kids. A spinning leaf in a ray of sunlight is always a sign that they are there.

At the end of the day, I felt better than I had in weeks. I was tired, but I hadn’t become a stark-raving lunatic, a desperate, overwhelmed mom too tired to come up with anything to do and bickering with my kids over little things.

It’s little things all the way. I don’t want to be depleted this early in the game. They are only 7 and 5 and we have a long way to go. The only problem was, and I was afraid this was going to happen, as soon as I had one good night’s sleep, I was more tired that night. How much sleep will it take to catch up? When I don’t sleep enough, I’m too tired to notice my tiredness and I don’t know if I want to know. But I want to be a better mom and a better person. So I know I have to give in, and dream.

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