Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Interrupted Sleep

Caroline has been a great sleeper since she was born. She's almost three months old and, pretty reliably, will sleep a 5-6 hour stretch every night.

Yes, yes, I know. I'm spoiled by her. That is not the point of this post.

Last night Caroline went to bed a little later than usual. I laid her in her crib around 10 p.m. I went to bed shortly after.

Around 4 a.m. Elisabeth walked into my room. "Mom," she said, "Hank's scared." Elisabeth sounded tired. And annoyed.

I walked into the room Hank and Elisabeth share and, sure enough, there was Hank buried under his covers, eyes open wide, looking like he had just had a bad dream.

The Hank-had-a bad-dream-routine goes like this. Hank wakes up, scared and crying. Elisabeth is woken and is sent to retrieve a parent. Whichever parent wakes up first stumbles into Hank's room, asks him if he had a bad dream and then, too tired to negotiate, sighs in surrender and invites Hank to spend the rest of the night with them.

So, there I am at 4 a.m., going through the motions when I realize how warped this whole scene is. First, my baby-- my not even three-month-old baby!-- is still fast asleep in her crib in her room. Secondly, my four-year-old little girl is sent into the dark night to search for help for her older brother!

But I went through the routine. I invited Hank into bed, grumbling inside my head about how I'd like just one solid night of sleep and if the baby wasn't going to wake me my seven-year-old son sure ought not to.

Hank and I woke at 7 a.m. this morning. And you know what else? That's when Caroline woke up! Her first night of an honest-to-goodness, sleeps through a whole night sleep and that night it interrupted by Hank.

You know what though? I was less annoyed when he told me why he was scared. In his dream there was a tornado and we all ran away from it but, once we were away, Hank realized we had forgotten Caroline and he wanted to brave the tornado to go back and get her.

Now, wasn't that dream worth being woken for?

1 comment:

Bob said...

It's all related to the good heartedness that you and Joe are instilling in your kids!