Sleep Stories

Ah, sleep. Lovely, refreshing sleep. How I love it. How we need it. How I wish I was better at it. I've never been a good napper. If I'm awakened during the night, I have a hard time falling back under. I regularly wake up before my 5:30 a.m. alarm clock.

Violet takes after me, unfortunately. She regularly wakes up before 7 a.m, bright-eyed and ready to go. Annie, on the other hand, is a sleeping champ. She goes 12 hours each night, easy. I can usually plop her in her bed, drowsy but still awake, and not have to look back. (Which makes this week's teething, with its coughing and whining and sleep interruption, especially painful. For all of us.)

Violet was never that easy. Getting her to bed at night required her to be asleep in arm and then carefully transferred, Indiana-Jones style, to her crib. We would ease her down an inch at a time, holding our breath, hoping, hoping... Only to end up back in her room several times to retrieve the lost paci or give her another snuggle.

Both girls slept swaddled. Although just this week, Annie has started vigorously objecting to her baby straight-jacket. I'll get her all bundled in, head downstairs, and learn that she's Houdini-ed her way out of it during the 7.2 seconds it took me to reach the video monitor. She squirms around a lot more now and her rustles and twists wake me up, but so far it hasn't actually interrupted her sleep.


Violet found her sleeping bag the other day and has since insisted on sleeping in it, on top of her bed, every night. (She did the same thing after the cleaners came - she fell in love with her newly-cleaned room and fancy made-up bed - and refused to do anything to mess it up. Too bad that magic has since worn off!)

The other day, I was awakened in the dead of night by Violet's little hand and her bright, chipper voice insisting "I'm hungry!" She might as well have said "The sky's awake... so I'm awake... so we have to play!" except that the sky was decidedly not awake. And at 1:45 in the morning, neither was I. We went upstairs and I lay down with her, only to hear "I'm hungry!" and least three more times before we both finally nodded off again.

But that was nothing compared to the 4 a.m. wake-up I had a few days prior. Something pulled me from my sleep but I couldn't figure out what it was. Annie was sleeping fine on the monitor, the cat was behaving himself on the bed, but still something was off. Then I heard, out of the distance, a terrible wailing. I focused in on the sound, trying to figure out what it was. Finally, after several intent seconds, I realized it was coming from Violet's room. I was up in a flash, heart in my throat. Had she fallen out of bed? Got stung by an errant wasp? Was it a night terror? What could possibly be causing the terrifying sounds coming from my child? I raced upstairs, fully expecting to see something wrong.

I found her curled up in bed, screaming. I grabbed her, checking for blood. It really sounded that bad. When I frantically asked her what was wrong, I got this:

"My... bandaid's... not.... sticky... anymore!"

Seriously. I had to get her a new bandaid before she finally calmed down and went back to sleep. And I went back downstairs and lay in the dark, too wired to sleep, for another hour. Sheesh. Stupid unsticky bandaid.

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