Sleep. Just Fucking Sleep.
Since Matthew has started playschool my eyes have been opened to other women with the same hollow-eyed stare that I see when I look in the mirror every day. The slightly hunted look, the ever so fidgety way they hop over the gravel to deposit their spawn into the welcoming arms of the teacher. The skin that is dehydrated from living like a prisoner of war for the last three years.
My sleeping pattern is this: Every month or so I get one night of about six hours straight sleep. This sets me up for the one and two and sometimes three hours in a row I get for the rest of the month. Today I am edging onto a full month of broken nights and three-in-a-bed. I am experiencing night time thoughts of valium and massages and the cool solitary beauty that a padded cell might afford me.
People have stopped telling me that they will sleep soon. It has become apparent that I own two of the worst sleepers in the history of the world, ever.
Not only that. Their Dad is all on for helping out. I am NOT ALONE IN THIS. But actually, I am.
Because. In the dead of the night, when the two year old is shrieking like a child who is being murdered, and my first thought is to the family on the other side of our semi-d, who have been unwilling participants in the sleeplessness experiment that is our two boys, my son will only be soothed by me. And I will do literally ANYTHING to shut him up.
So, I gingerly hoosh my older son over in our bed (he has taken to creeping in and hugging me, tight as a clam, until I am powerless against the force of his love and let him stay), and shove the little one in. From then on, we play “Who Can Kick Our Mother The Hardest”, and I find myself looking at Twitter at 3/4/5 in the morning, willing it to put me back asleep.
It is hell. But as a blogger I really admire, and is going through some sleep issues herself right now remarked to me this morning “the days are long but the years are short”.
True enough. But living like this is living with continuous jet lag, and while I can buy creams to make my seventy-five year old skin look a little better, my ass is seriously suffering from the sugar cravings. And. A McDonalds drive through has opened up nearby, so I don’t even have to suffer the shame of walking into the restaurant when I want to eat something filthy anymore. I can quietly and anonymously drive up there in my jim jams and suck my sleeplessness away with the help of one of their life-giving chocolate milkshakes.