Category Archives: Sleep?

The Tale of Seduction

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I don’t have to hit on my husband much anymore. He’s what you’d call ‘a sure thing’ (and, let’s face it, I’m pretty irresistible). But, while I no longer have to craft clever pick-up lines, I have noticed that the sweet nothings I whisper in his ear (or shout in his ear if the kids are awake), have changed somewhat since we’ve reproduced. Here are some examples:

I am attracted to you like our 2-year-old and 5-year-old are attracted to puddles.

I yearn for you the way I yearn for coffee the morning after I’ve been awake all night with a puking kid.

I would give up a month of turns sleeping in for a moment in your arms.

Sooo, not flowery and romantic, but if you have known the sleep deprivation of parenthood, or walked with a 2 and 5-year-old who haven’t met a puddle they wouldn’t jump in, you know the depth of conviction with which I speak.

**Please note Hubs: That last one is a token gesture. I believe it is my turn to sleep in next. I will check the scoreboard and get back to you.

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The Tale of the Best Seat in the House

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When small children have come to roost in your home you long for the days when your level of confidence in getting a full, undisturbed night’s sleep becomes much greater, nigh unto cockiness. I’m actually surprised that those who don’t sleep with one ear tuned for the little slap of footie-jammies hitting the hallway floor don’t actually walk with an arrogant swagger. I think I will struggle to not walk up to stroller pushing, caffeine slugging, bleary-eyed parents of young children and say “HA! Eight hours last night! In your face!”

But I knew about this one. I may not have fully understood the depths of sleep deprivation the human mind and body can withstand over the years. But when you are sporting that baby bump you might as well be wearing a t-shirt that says “Please tell me to ‘sleep now while I can’ or other such tired comments about the sleep deprivation I am about to face”. (This may seem a little long for a t-shirt, but just think about the expanded real estate the pregnant belly provides a t-shirt — you could probably fit that message AND the due date, whether or not you know the gender and/or are sharing that, and your thoughts on home birth just to avoid having other conversations over and over and over again).

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Image source: canadianfamily.ca

What I WASN’T informed about is the longing I have for getting through a meal — ANY meal — without a toddler planted in my lap mooching food from my plate. The little one finishes her meal and then crawls up into my lap to help me finish mine. Every. Single. Time. I share my cereal, sandwiches, salads, burgers — everything. And as it is a biological imperative to feed one’s child I indulge her. But, trust me, the moment she finishes her meal and then hops down to play, I will finish my very own meal with dramatic flourish and then do a happy dance (though maybe I will wait for an hour or two for the dance – wouldn’t want my first solo meal to be ruined by indigestion).

The Tale of the Predator

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The toddler (Homo sapien difficultus) is one of four distinctions of tiny humans in the genus Homo. Second in size to only babies, toddlers can exceed 18kg (39.7 lb) in weight, though their size varies widely. Wild toddlers currently exist on all continents, in all countries. No toddlers have been known to be tamed.

Commonly, the toddler will attach itself to a family unit. Very quickly a co-dependency emerges, each needing the other to survive. Toddlers will exert their dominance early on and establish themselves as the alpha member of the family. The toddler establishes and maintains her dominance through loud cries, posturing (lying  prone on the ground kicking and screaming), and irresistible cuteness. Toddlers are typically found attached to a family as individuals, though sometimes a family will find itself supporting 2 or 3 – and in rare instances even greater numbers (4, 5, even up to 8 have been found on record). Numbers this large can be very disruptive to the delicate family ecosystem, causing significant stress.

Toddlers display an aggressive eating style, leaving feeding sites littered with remains and virtually unrecognizable, so thorough is their destruction. Scavengers by nature, they take over the established living area of a family, claiming everything contained within as their own. They typically mark their territory with scattered toys, books, shoes, clothing, and anything else they find. Though family members may prefer specific areas of the living space for specific activities, the toddler is indiscriminate using any area for any activity (play, feeding, elimination, etc).

The only known predator of the toddler is sleep. Sleep is a silent stalker of the toddler – sometimes taking them suddenly and without warning.  One of the prime places for sleep to stalk is in the family vehicle. Toddlers become entrapped, and with motion are lulled into a Imagelistless state, leaving them defenceless. Within a vehicle sleep may attack quickly (before the vehicle has even left the driveway), or may play a long, slow stalking game (often overcoming the victim mere minutes from home).

When sleep attacks at night, the toddler is often not caught by surprise, and the toddler will resist sleep. Night attacks can be difficult for sleep to obtain their prey as a toddler will “go down fighting”. Toddlers use many defence mechanisms in what are sometimes epic battles between these two adversaries. Diversions, loud cries, flailing movements and sometimes flat out fleeing are the most common tactics of the sleep-resistant toddler. However, sleep is an indiscriminate predator and will go after any and all toddler prey – those who lay down and go quietly, and those who are asking for their fifth freakin’ drink of water at 10:00 at night.

The Tale of the Mind Reader

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Last night I had the glorious privilege of sleeping with both my kids (as sarcasm doesn’t always transfer well in an online environment, I will be plain: that is sarcasm). As I laid there NOT SLEEPING for a period of time, I plotted my 140-character revenge. My comment would be scathing (well, scathing AND funny).

And then the big one woke up, hugged me and said,

“I like you. You are so pretty”.

And now I know: that girl is a mind reader and she knocked the evil Tweets right out of my head. She may play a non-reading, JK-attending child, but she knows. She knows

The Tale of the Snoring Grandmother

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I try really, really, really hard not to be one of those parents who says, “Guess what my kid said” (or did, or the math problem he/she solved).

This is me failing at that objective (as is having the blog to begin with, I know, I see that).

A few weeks ago, I went on a canoe trip with my brother, sister and her husband, Dad and other family. Grandma graciously helped out with all the grandbabies left behind. One morning at 4:30am, my 3-year-old climbed into Grandma’s bed (a woman who is known for her loud snoring). A short time later Grandma awoke to said grandbaby poking her face and then chirping,

Is there any way you could sleep without making that noise?

The Tale of the Standoff

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The night before last the baby ended up in our bed (she was in our bed last night too, but that’s not the night I want to talk about – just stay with me). When “morning” came – technically 5:45 IS morning, just not the part of morning I want to see – the baby awoke. It was at this time that the husband and I entered into The Standoff.

As baby went from parent to parent for cuddles, face slaps (from her to us) and kisses (from us to her), we each determined to be the one to stay in bed while the other got up with the child. Each of us mentally made our case for an imaginary judge, certain that our argument for extra pillow time was clearly stronger than the other. Each of us feigned sleep while the other one was being used as a jungle-gym. Each of us clung more desperately to the bed, silently wishing the other would cave first.

Finally my husband was spurred into action. He got up without the baby, forcing me to also get up (“Oh, I’ll get up, but I am taking you with me”).

Well played, Sir, well played.

I should add as a post-script, my husband claims he merely got up to have a shower and meant no ill-intent. But his handsome face and dimpled grin do not fool me, the slyness of the fox lives in him. No, I am not fooled.

The Tale of the Hostage Note

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It has dawned on me that I have Stockholm Syndrome. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to realize that I am being held hostage by two tiny terrorists. And instead of looking for escape, I cover them with hugs and kisses. No more. I have realized, I can walk, I would be wildly unpopular, but I can walk. So instead of constantly meeting their endless lists of demands, I have come up with a list of my own.

The (sad) reality is, you, my dear captors, can treat me however you want and I will still meet your demands. I will get up at night every time you call. I will serve you endless meals and get you countless cups of juice or milk. I will read you books, wipe your tush, and carry you all over God’s green earth. And all I really ask for in return is the privilege to keep on doing so – to always be your Mom. Maybe the occasional hug and kiss. And how about some artwork for the fridge. And maybe you could have an extraordinary talent that I could brag to my friends about. And maybe once a month I could have a hot bath…..