Kern Health jul18 leader

Humore@Home: An Ode to Sleep



humor_ode
To My Darling Children:

I love you. Do you know what else I love? Sleep. Why don’t you also love sleep? Why do you fight sleep like it’s a giant, fire-breathing dragon that must be slain? Don’t you know that the end of the day is the best part? You can just cuddle up in your bed, close your eyes, and sleep. I start thinking about that moment from the time I wake up every morning. But you—you avoid bedtime by suddenly needing to do things like replace the Band-Aid on your invisible paper cut from three weeks ago and reorganize the mountain of stuffed animals you insist on sleeping with. And how you know—only at bedtime—that one of the forty-two in your collection is missing, I have no idea. But you do. You know it by name and become suddenly hysterical in your urgent need to find Fluffy or whoever it happens to be.

When you grow up, I will tell you a little secret about how we needed you to be asleep by 8:30, so we had to give you a 6:45 bedtime because it took you an hour and forty-five minutes to get yourselves into bed and settled down. 

It makes me think you just appeared out of thin air. You’re not like me, and you’re not like your dad. In fact, there isn’t an adult on the planet who would say, “Ah, yes, I’m just like that. I, too, hate to sleep.” NO ONE resists sleep. Even babies sleep. (Well, present company excepted. But most babies sleep.)

Speaking of babies, when I look back at your baby pictures, you would think I would find lots of pictures of you awake because you slept so little, but do you know what I find instead? Picture after picture of you sleeping! Do you know why? It was such a rare event that your dad and I photographed it EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU DID IT. FOR YEARS. We would be like, “Oh my gosh, the baby’s asleep! Quick, get the camera!” We were so stunned that it didn’t even occur to us that we had a good twenty minutes of freedom to do something like, oh, I don’t know, take a nap ourselves. We just took pictures of you sleeping until you woke up again. We have pictures of you sleeping in the swing, on the floor, in the crib, next to the cat, next to the dog, on our bed, in our arms, in the stroller. 

Wait. In the stroller?! You both hated the stroller! All of my memories of you being in the stroller are of screaming misery. And sometimes kicking and throwing things. But sleeping?! I absolutely do not have one single memory of either of you ever sleeping in a stroller. If we did not have the photographic proof, there is nothing anyone could say to me that would make me believe you ever fell asleep in a stroller for even a moment.

And so now that you’re a bit older, I can see that your personalities were formed from infancy.  Sleep haters.

Some day, you will have children of your own. May they sleep like babies (the regular kind), so you can be the energetic mom that I can only be in my dreams. The few dreams I have.

With all my love, 

Mom

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Tags: Food & Home, Infant & Baby, Parenting, Toddler


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