In the middle of the night I am awake.
I glance at the clock; 1:36 am.
The baby is crying and kicking about. I roll over and offer my breast, adding to the rod already firmly attached my back, and hope this will settle him back to sleep. It’s cold and he’s trying to do acrobatics while sucking, then he sleeps.
I crack open one eye and lie still listening. My arm is at an awkward angle and my bare breast is freezing cold but the baby is asleep next to me. Why am I awake?
Then I hear it … “Muuuuum”
I creep quietly out of bed so as not to wake the baby and stumble into the girls’ room. Someone has had a bad dream. I offer a cuddle, a suggestion to think happy thoughts and a story CD.
I make a detour to chuck another log into the fire and I wonder of the last of the zucchinis will be ruined by the frost tomorrow.
I’m still thinking about zucchinis when I crawl back under the doona and carefully roll away from the baby and attempt to go back to sleep.
It’s 2:24 am.
At 2:47am I am still thinking about zucchinis.
Should I just cut and freeze the three giant zucs sitting on my kitchen counter or attempt to cook them all this week?
I wonder if I have blogged about that chocolate zucchini cake yet?
Then my mind wanders off into blogging mode, writing posts in my head that I will never remember in the morning.
I toss and turn and think that crazy thought that I’m sure has crossed every blogger’s mind….
Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a device to take blog posts directly from my mind as I think them!?! I could blog so much faster. Imagine how much time I’d save. But then I’d need to spend time editing my auto brain blogs because they’d be so terribly rambling and full of ridiculous side tracked thoughts…
I wonder if it will rain tomorrow…
One eye open; 3:12am.
Two eyes open, looking at the screwed up face of my baby boy.
He is crying again, I go for the magic milk cure again, but he isn’t having a bar of it. I pat his back and he relaxes for a moment…. but only for a moment. He is very sad, but oh so very tired. I try rubbing his soft soft head, massaging his feet, but nothing works.
I sit up and bring him into my arms, rocking and shh-ing and singing the wordless soothing song that just seems to come to me at these moments.
I watch him settle then wake, relax then grimace and I wonder what is bothering him.
Perhaps he is getting more teeth?
A pain in his belly?
Maybe he is getting the same cold that Izzy has?
Maybe that fall when he hit his head was worse than I thought?
Perhaps there is something terribly, horribl, wrong with him and I am the worst mother in the world for just wishing he’d bloody well go to sleep.
It’s the time of night when the crazies creep in and I doubt everything I ever thought I knew about everything. I remind myself of that and refuse to let the crazies get the better of me because the baby is finally asleep and I need to be asleep too.
The Boy child calls out from his little bed in the corner.
“No…. no…. don’t… nooooooooooo”
I realise he is not awake when I get to his bed and find him sitting up with wild but unfocused eyes.
“Shhhh… it’s ok buddy, lie down” I tell him
“no no nooooooooooo NO!” he yells but lies down and is snoring before I manage to pull the blankets over him.
The baby wakes from all the shouting. I offer milk again and this time he takes it. I lie next to him and watching him drink, my brain just won’t turn off.
It’s the worst possible thing to do when you can’t sleep, I know that, but I do it anyway.
I begin to calculate just how little sleep I’ve had so far and how little of the night there is left before I have to drag myself out of bed in the morning. I think of all the things I have to do tomorrow… today… and I wonder how I’m going to manage it all on so little sleep. But I always do I tell myself. Then I begin to wonder when last time I slept for more than a few hours at a time was? So long ago I can’t remember. I wonder how long it will be before I get a decent night’s sleep again.
Then I look down at my now sleeping baby.
He is just a baby now. A baby who can’t tell me why he isn’t sleeping. A baby who needs me to soothe him and rock him and sing the wordless song. Although these sleepless nights seem to last forever, they won’t. Before I know it he will be three and like his big brother and he will only wake occasionally. And then he will be seven like his sisters and he will rarely need me in the night. Soon he will be a teenager and he’ll never get out of bed…. Soon there will be no more ‘In the middle of the nights’, no more quiet moments watching him sleep and contemplating how lucky I am.
The baby stirs again, I rub his back and his eyes clothes, his breathing slows…
Now my eyes close and my breathing slows and my mind is left to wander.
I really like stripy socks, I must buy myself a pair…