I'm not sleeping well.  I have a lot on my mind.  And I've been drinking iced coffee too late in the day, in the hopes that it will keep me motivated to stay up late and Accomplish Things.  And it doesn't.  Or hasn't.  It gets to be around ten and my eyes are just tired.  I long to shut my brain off and go horizontal for a while.  And so I go up to bed, and maybe read a bit, and say goodnight, and shut off the light…and the stuff in my brain just keeps churning.

I have to open the door to that room, order those thoughts back to their beds and tell them to just GO TO SLEEP, IT'S NIGHT TIME and IF I HEAR ANOTHER PEEP OUT OF YOU, YOU'LL BE IN BIG TROUBLE! before closing the door – firmly this time – and then, if I'm successful, I can sleep.

And then…not so frequently now but, still, occasionally…the bedroom door opens and I hear the shuffle of tiny feet on the hardwood floor…and the door closes…and the feet shuffle around the foot of the bed…and a little creature pulls back the covers and slithers up onto the mattress…slithers down under the sheet and blankets as I pull them back up…and snuggles against me.  I look at the clock.  It's 2:29.  It's dark out.  I close my eyes, one arm around Julia, and try to go back to sleep. 

Sometimes I can.  For a while.  But she will fling an arm or head-butt me in her sleep…and I wake up.  I try to get comfortable, sandwiched in between my husband, who is sleeping very well, thank you, and Julia, who is also sleeping nicely.  I lie on my side, a barricade between the restless creature on what used to be my side of the bed and my slumbering, has-to-get-a-good-night's-sleep-to-function-well-the-next-day husband. 

Barricades, I have learned, do not sleep.

I looked at the clock again.  3:15.  I should put her back in her bed.  I've been awake for who knows how long now.  My brain is busy, worrying and thinking and planning…and not sleeping. 

So I get up.  I carry Julia, her body heavy and droopy with sleep, back to her own bed.  I tuck her in and find her cheek under a tangle of hair and I give her a couple of kisses and whisper "I love you, sweetie" in her little ear.  I walk softly out of the room, so as not to wake her, and I hear her move around a bit, and then she says something that I don't quiet make out.  I go back.  "What is it, Julia?" I whisper.  "I love you, too, Mommy," she says, and her voice is slurred a bit, and husky, and I know she will go right back to sleep.

I go downstairs, down to the couch in the basement.  I plug in my laptop and catch up the blogs I read.  I have the TV on, to help silence the annoying chatter in my brain.  I should write a post for today, while it's quiet.  But I don't.  I'll do that later.  When there's daylight.  I don't know why that matters, but I think, this week, it's somehow related to daylightsavingstime.  (It always sounds like one word to me, anyway.)

So that's my story.  It's 4:46 now.  I might go back up to bed for an hour, until Bill needs to get up.  Then I'll make coffee.  Pack his lunch.  Make him breakfast.  Feed the kids.  Break up squabbles.  Pack Alex's lunch.  Get him to school. 

And get on with the rest of my day.

8 thoughts on “Sleepless

  1. oh dear…go to sleep! when my mind won’t stop I count to 50 and then back down again really focusing on the numbers…i know, it’s weird or cliche or something, but it always works for me!

  2. Go to Target with Julia. Pick out the “perfect” slumber bag together. Make a big deal about how special it is. When you tuck her in to bed at night, put it right by her bed and tell her that you know she misses you at night sometimes, so if she wants to come sleep in your room in the middle of the night, she needs to bring the sleeping bag and have a slumber party. We had to do this with our daughter when the head butts and the helicopter sleeping were too much for us. It worked beautifully. She didn’t feel rejected and I got to sleep bruise free.

  3. Oh, hon. That’s awful, the spinning brain. I never used to have it but I do sometimes now. Sometimes a Benadryl does the trick for me.

  4. Sometimes, when my head is spinning, it helps to keep a notebook right by the bed. So whatever thought it is that keeps me awake, I write it down to think about it the next day. So I won’t have to worry about forgetting it until then.

    Doesn’t always work, but often. Especially if it’s next day’s to-do/must-not-forget-list that’s cruising around in your brain.

    One of my colleagues swears on thinking your day through, step by step but backwards. Haven’t tried that yet but it’s supposed to work like a charm.

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