Saturday, October 2, 2010

demons in the night

After a night like last night, I normally wouldn't write a blog post. Unless I could muster some positivity, of course.

I don't really like to complain. At least not to the general public [sorry, John].

But it's only Day 2 of the post-a-day challenge, and I also don't really like to quit.

Like a starving person searching for food or a parched person pining for water, I'm fixating on what I need most -- a basic need I've been lacking. Sleep.

And last night was the worst night in my recent memory. John was out of town and my usual waking but easy-back-to-sleep baby would Not. Go. Back. Down.

Nursing, crying, walking, shushing -- nothing worked. Then the middle kid woke with growing pains. Then again moments later to go to the bathroom. Needing assistance, of course. I might not have been as kind to her as I'd like to remember.

So I was awake for a good [I mean bad] two-hour stretch, the tail end of which found me trying one last ditch effort -- I was curled on the floor in front of the crib, hoping my presence would sooth this wakeful baby back to sleep.

She was playing.

Reaching through the slats to grab at my clothing. Stretching her feet to kick me. Squealing with pleasure when she got me.

That's when the night demons started speaking.

This is never going to change, you know. You'll never get a full night's sleep. 
You might as well forget doing all the things you love. You can't be happy when you're this tired.
Isn't this a lovely metaphor for life -- parenting is always going to be the thing that grabs you by the shirt. Ties you down. Kicks you when you're down. And laughs at you. 
This is how it is. 

Tears were puddling in the panes of my glasses. My knees were digging into the hardwood floor. I felt extremely and desperately sorry for myself.

But she finally went back to sleep. Of course she did. And I did, too.

Right now I'm off to the farmer's market, where I will smile at my customers. And it will be so frosty, at least at first, that I probably won't even feel that tired.

I'll come home to the baby who will be so happy to see me she will cry. Her hair will probably be sticking up, horn-like, and her eyes will be bright and piercing. She will laugh and say ma-ma and I'll watch her attempt to walk.

I'll forgive her poor night manners. I'll forget exactly how those demons sounded.

And tonight, when everyone is asleep, before another rough [or maybe not?] night really begins, I will do something I enjoy.

Just to prove those crazy, desperate demons that they are wrong.