Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Too Old (and Young!) for All-Nighters

I haven't pulled an all-nighter since college. Actually, I don't remember pulling the entire all-nighter. I crashed at my computer (typing a philosophy final) around 3 a.m. and woke up in a pile of drool a few short hours later.

It wasn't until I had children that I totally got what the "all-nighters" were all about. Usually it involved feeding an infant at all hours of the night, but thankfully they'd go back down (only to be up 1-2 hours later to nurse).

Brax, though, has always been a sleep fighter. It wasn't until 20 months to where he actually slept all the way through the night. He's had some episodes since then, but last night totally took the cake and made me realize:

1. I'm too old for all-nighters (they give me eye wrinkles and white hairs - and I'm not old enough for those yet!).
2. He's too young for all-nighters (wait until your teens and 20s, kid, when you're off at school and old enough to make your own dumb decisions like cramming for a final all night long).

Here's what our night looked like:
12:35 a.m.: Moans and crying.
1:15 a.m.: Repeat
1:35 a.m.: Repeat
2:15 a.m.: Repeat
2:30 a.m.: Repeat
3:15 a.m.: Repeat
3:33 a.m.: Repeat
3:47 a.m.: Repeat
4:10 a.m.: Repeat
4:35 a.m.: Repeat
5:09 a.m.: Repeat.....and fall asleep until 7:47 a.m., looking like this....

What?! I was up all night? You don't say!

I'm not a good mommy at all when it comes to staying up hours on end at night. I get cranky. Once I'm awakened by a moaning, crying baby, it's really hard for me to shut my mind off (I struggle most nights with my mind shutting off as it is!). When Brax was going through his sleep issues for several months, I was just plain mean to Jack and the kids. I remember being in a delirious state of mind, crying and sometimes yelling for them to just be quiet. Not cool.

Last night those sinful tendencies came and slapped me in the face again. At one point I just looked at Brax and loudly asked WHY?! And then proceeded to turn the light on in his bedroom (this was during the 4 a.m. hour) and told him to go ahead and play since he'd been up for so long (and we'd been up for so long!) and I shut the door behind me. (Jack immediately got up and said otherwise - smart man I'm married to!)

I should also note that I don't get as cranky when the reason for no sleep actually is a reason for no sleep. I loved getting up and nursing my babies for months on end. And I'll (slowly) go and snuggle with them during a bad dream or rock them if they're not feeling well. 

But because we're just plain stubborn and want to test mommy and daddy's sanity? I fail miserably every.single.time. 

Thank you, God, for your endless grace and mercy. And for giving me such a forgiving husband who calmly approaches the sleepless nights. And for children who forgive their mommy for being such a grump box in the middle of the night. 

Here's to a (yawn-filled) day with freshly-ground Starbucks Italian roast. I pulled out the darkest roast coffee I could find. 

This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass!

And I'm really gonna miss it (maybe not the limited sleep) when it indeed does pass. And my babies are big kids. And teenagers. And (gasp!) grown-ups. 

May I remember these precious days in the middle of the night...you know, the next time I'm wanting to yell and cry (just like my toddler) and turn the light on to let him play at 4 a.m. 

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