Tuesday, July 20, 2010

This time is not infinite

It's been a rough few weeks in casa de Oscarelli, sleep-wise.  If I'm being totally honest, things are never perfect sleep-wise, but they are usually tolerable.  Usually, one boy wakes up every other night.  Not ideal, but okay.  These past few weeks?  Not tolerable.

It started last week when both boys got screaming high fevers (Miles was 104.8 and Oscar was 103.8.)  They were quite the sick little boys.  The fevers lasted 3 days, and of course were not concurrent.  Nope, my boys prefer to stagger their illness to maximize exhaustion and miserable days for children and parents alike.

So, they were sick.  And, obviously with fevers that high, they were waking in the night.  And this is not their fault.  Nelson and I were up up and down all night for several nights in a row.  At least one boy would be up and unable to sleep, and several nights it was both boys.  Many of these nights both boys ended up in our bed.

It is crowded and I sleep horribly.  Miles tosses and turns; Oscar's blanket smells like death; both boys end up on "my side" of the bed, so I have maybe six inches in which to cram my (not at all small) self.

They've both been recovered for a week, and nearly every single night, one of them has woken up.  Oscar will just wander into our room and crawl into our bed.  It's not the worst, but it's not awesome either.  Miles on the other hand wakes up and refuses to go back to sleep.  That?  The worst.  After an hour of rocking he'll end up in our bed where he'll proceed to toss and turn and throw his body about violently, inevitably resulting in a collision between his (very hard) head and my face.

All of this on top of the fact that Oscar has decided he cannot fall asleep without Nelson or I lying in bed with him, and the fact that if Oscar naps for so much as 10 minutes he won't fall asleep until after 10PM.  It's a bit much.

And you know, it is what it is.  I'm not asking for solutions, or really even sympathy (okay, I'll take a little sympathy) I'm just tired.

This morning I woke absolutely unrested.  We did eventually get both boys back in their own room, but it was too late.  Nelson and I lost hours and hours of sleep.  I've been stumbling through this morning, drinking cup after cup of coffee.

Then, about an hour ago, it occurred to me: This time is not infinite, this time where they wake at night and come to me for comfort.  This time where they long to be close to me, where they steal kisses from me in the night and snuggle in closer and closer.  This time is but a teeny, tiny fraction of their childhood; and even smaller fraction of their lives.

Ten years from now I'll have to remind them to kiss me goodbye as they rush out the door to catch the bus and ask them to snuggle closer while they tell me about their day.  They will confide in friends before they look to me for comfort.  They will get lost in books for hours or prefer to play video games as opposed to playing trains with their mom.  They will need me less and less as the years go by.

I'll long for the days when I was their center.  I will miss this time when little boys filled my bed with their flailing limbs and smelly blankets.  I really, really will.


Heidi said...

That is an amazing case of perspective you caught. Let's hope, unlike the fevers, it takes hold for a nice long ride... 'til, say, 2020?

Frogs in my formula said...

Wow, those are high fevers. Glad everyone is on the mend.

Before I had kids, a coworker told me to cherish the good times and the bad because both are fleeting. Your post reminded me of that.

Amanda said...

I try to remind myself of the same things from time to time. But this was beautifully put. I may have to revisit this post the next time I start to lose my mind.

Becky said...

Totally totally true. I had something of the same thought the other night--Hank too is in a phase where he wants me to lie in his room while he goes to sleep.

But you do have my sympathy!

Keely said...

It's very true, but it's hard to remember that when you're sleep-deprived. I go back and forth on the same thing with Xander.

As my Mom keeps reminding me, "this too shall pass." You won't be tired forever, but you'll remember and cherish the snuggling forever.

(Though sometimes it sure SEEMS like we'll be tired forever.)

Pamela said...

i cannot, for the life of me, imagine missing the smell of the blanket of death.

Sprite's Keeper said...

Nice epiphany. And best before you really lose it.
((hugs and sweet dreams))
(Don't forget. You have BlogHer coming up. There's a few nights of uninterrupted sleep right there!)

Amy said...

Oh, man! You definitely have my sympathy! Those sort of nights are really tough. And high fevers always scare me!

You are SO right, though. It is really fleeting, and every now and then I catch a glimpse like you did. Hang in there! Hope you get some rest tonight.

BTW, the blanket that smells like death? Hilarious! I can totally relate. :)

Michele said...

Yes, there will come a time when they don't want to cuddle. There will even be a time when they actively cringe when you do cuddle them. Then there comes a time when they are wanting to cuddle just a bit again. It's all a big circle. It's hard to remember all that when you are so tired that you can barely remember your own name. Hang in there. It gets better.

gretchen said...

You have an excellent attitude. And you totally have my sympathy. Because I know how hard it is to remember that excellent attitude when you have had about 3 hours of sleep in two days.

Captain Dumbass said...

A guy I used to work with told me once how his wife made fun of him for carrying his daughters even though they were past the age where he needed to. One day they won't want me to, he told me.

Ten years I worked that job and this is the one thing I took with me.

Mrsbear said...

Sometimes you have to take a step back and reevaluate the moments. This is a good reminder. Although holding a feverish baby at 3 am, wrought with worry and exhaustion, it can be a little more challenging. Hope your boys are feeling better soon.

Susanica said...

Not. Fun. No advice. Lots and lots of sympathy. -M

P.S. Being tired from worrying about sick kids is really draining. You've had a tough few weeks Jenni. Hopefully all better now!

Heather said...

While it couldn't be truer, it can be hard to think about missing these little years when in the worst of a toddler tantrum etc. And I do try...it doesn't work until I'm sitting down and have had some space from the latest catastrophe. There's this weird balance of not wanting them to grow up so fast, and not being able to wait for them to grow out of their current annoying habit ( toys strewn about to be tripped on). It's only after the day has ended and I look in on my sleeping daughter that I send out a plea for time to move a little slower.