I'm sure being parents we've all had one of those nights. You know, the one where you think you are going to get a good nights sleep and just before your head hits the pillow, your precious little bundle starts crying. You do anything you can to stop it, but it's just no use. You better get comfy because it's gonna be a LONG night!
My husband and I recently had one of those nights with our 10 month old daughter, Madeline. It started out nice enough. We got the kids to bed at the usual time and popped in a movie. Well, I'm so pooped by the end of the day that when it comes to putting the kids to bed, I'm about ready to go as well. So that means whenever Mike and I try to watch a movie together it turns into Mike watching the movie, and I'm sawing logs on the couch, by the next morning I ask him if he can fill me in on the movie. Inevitably, that's what happened. At one point, I woke up and I couldn't find Mike. I called for him and he was in the kitchen with Madeline making her a bottle. This was at about 1 am. So, he starts giving her the bottle and trying to get her to get sleepy again. I'm sitting up with them. Being the wonderful man that he is he looks at me and says, "Why don't you go up to bed and get some sleep since both kids will be waking you up around 7 am" He worked on Saturday...so when he does I won't sleep in on Sunday (which tends to be the day I get to) because that just doesn't seem fair.
So I go upstairs and try to get some sleep. Then, at about 1:45 am I hear Maddie cry again and my husband getting frustrated. (meanwhile, my son is completely passed out unaware of anything going on...THANK GOD!) I called to him and told him to bring her in the bed with us. We haven't had to do that in quite a long time. He brings her to me and then gets himself ready for bed. All the while, Maddie starts smiling and giggling...mixed with a time or two of faking me out where I'm thinking this is going to be it and she will fall asleep, YEAH RIGHT! At some point, I manage to snuggle her to sleep and about an hour or so in she pops right back up! So, at that point Mike takes over again. Same thing happened. Maddie popped up smiling so I took her back for another try. When she decided to poke me in the eye and slap me in the face is when I decided enough is enough. I took her into her and her brothers room. (Nathan still completely crashed) and I lay her down in her crib, tucked her in and held my breath. I was confident that this time it was going to take. However, as soon as I get close to the door...she starts to cry. This lead me to believe that maybe my poor little dumpling experienced her first bad dream. She did not want me out of her sight.
After coming to this realization I quickly run to my room, grabbed a couple of pillows and blankets, and proceeded to camp out on the floor of their room closest to Madeline's crib. I got as comfy as I could and I saw Maddie's little head pop up. She then sleepily pressed her face against the bars of her crib. I could see her head getting closer and closer to her mattress. I guess just my presence was enough to make her feel safe and willing to give into the exhaustion.
Even while I am beyond tired... just the notion that my baby had to make sure I was with her in order to go to sleep made me feel so good. Moms (or parents for that matter) don't usually get showered with praise, and I don't need it. It's these little times that make it all worth while. What my little baby did was praise enough in my eyes. It was so cute watching her little head shoot straight up while she was fighting sleep, wanting to make sure one last time that mommy was going to chase the bad dreams away. It must have worked, because I woke up two hours later (at about 6:30 am) and Madeline was crashed. I mean, mouth hanging open, heavy breathing, eyelids twitching kind of crashed. So, I quietly snuck out of the room and lay in my own bed for an hour before both of my angels woke me up ready to start their day.
You would think that after an exhausting night of broken sleep that getting up at 7:30 am would make me a very crabby mommy. When really, I surprised myself. I was in a pretty decent mood. I felt for the most part...well rested and ready to start the day. It's amazing what you can do when you go in "mommy mode". I also have to give credit where credit is due. My husband is such an awesome dad. Whenever we hear one of our children in the monitor crying or calling out, he is usually the one that goes in their room first to investigate.Even if it is in the middle of the night and he didn't get to bed until midnight or so. I am so lucky to have a partner like him.
If we have a situation like the one I have described...he always takes the first shift and only if he has exhausted all his options and nothing he does is working, will he then ask me if I can take over. I never asked him to do any of this. We haven't been in fights lately about who does more at night (at least night not that I can remember)... he just does it all on his own.
We truly are a team. Especially after having the second baby...we seem to be in sync more than ever. It's never spoken. We just do it. Our marriage has become very much like a dance. In fact, I really like this quote I found on the subject of marriage. "Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner." - Amy Bloom
I know I did get off topic a bit but I just felt it needed to be said. I'm sure a lot of you mamas can relate to the late night wake up calls...followed by the impromptu camp outs. So next time, if I find myself in this same situation, I'll just remember.... When all else fails, sleep on the floor! :o)