Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Ahh, sleep. I am finding that it has many faces and personalities. Last night I experienced the extremes of 3 of them all at once.

Today ends James’s busy season for this year. We will be enjoying a sigh of relief tonight and praising God for an easier year. Reflecting, we have gone from 6 month busy seasons at James’s last job where he worked late nights and weekends with mounting stress to his current job where the busy season lasts from August to October and has had varying degrees of weekends and late nights. Before kids I would miss James but fill my free time with “things” and projects. With Nathan it was stressful, now add Evan it’s, well, I can’t think of the word to describe it. Doable but not easy in any way. If I weren’t pumping, things would be so much easier. Even with my new portable, cordless pump that I really love taking care of two boys by myself is more than challenging.

Each year James would tell me next year will be better because we won’t have “x” to do like we did this year. Over and over I heard that and wondered. This year we arrived. It was still stressful for James and a lot of work. But almost unbelievable that he didn’t work a single weekend and only 3 really late nights.

Monday and last night the boys and I enjoyed dinner at my parents house and took leftovers home so James could stay late and I wouldn’t be stressed out of my mind. My parents are so amazing and I just wouldn’t want to do any of this without my Mom’s help. She’s an incredible woman. Not only does she watch both boys all day for me, but she makes me feel welcome and like I’m no trouble at all to stay for dinner. She won’t even let me help and I get to play with Nathan or feed Evan a bottle in her calm and comfortable home. Monday we gave Evan a bath in the sink which he loved because he was able to sit up and play in the water. Baths at home have been in the tub with a big spongy cushion and it’s too hard to keep him in a sitting position to play. I think we will be doing sink baths more often!

To my surprise, on Monday night when we left Grandma’s house Evan cried all the way home. Actually he screamed. I thought sure he would fall blissfully asleep after a big day at Grandma’s and a nice bath. Yeah right. He was a tear covered sweaty mess when we finally got home and Nathan had his fingers in his ears the whole way. I had hoped we could listen to the new Imagination Movers cd I got for my birthday on the way home. But all we heard were Evan’s screams.

So after dinner at Mom’s house last night we thought a bottle might be good for Evan. I didn’t want to take the time to give him a bath because we were running late. Evan had better naps and I thought he might sleep on the way home if we gave him a bottle. No Nap Nathan was running around having a good time and soon we all piled into the car.

Backing out of the driveway, I waved to Mom & Dad and sighed. My headache was going away and we would be home soon. As I shifted into drive Evan started to cry...Oh No. Not again. It was one awful drive home. I hate being in the front seat where I can’t reach Evan, comfort him, see him very well or help him. All I can do is drive and try to hold on to my sanity. The crying turned to screaming, the screaming mounted until he only stopped to cough. I could feel my nerves shattering and my headache coming back. As I struggled to get us home I glanced back to see how Nathan was doing. I expected to see him staring out the window or sitting with his fingers in his ears. No. His little head was turned toward Evan and he was blissfully sleeping while the banshee next to him raised the roof! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I literally looked twice. I was impressed.

So there we sat, three extremes meeting for a 20 minute drive home. Me sleep deprived, nerves on edge fighting off frustration. Evan exhausted but angry and determined not to sleep by screaming and crying. Nathan one step away from from snoring and enjoying the sweet blissful sleep that Evan and I were craving.

When we finally arrived home and I pried Evan out of his seat - tear soaked, sweating, shaking but wide-eyed - I had to laugh at Nathan who continued to sleep as if he was cozy in his bed. Holding Evan, I brought all the bags in the house, put James’s dinner in the fridge and finally stood at the car wondering what to do. As Nathan slept on. James wasn’t home yet but on his way. I had no idea how long it would take for him to get home and I didn’t want to just stand in the garage holding Evan. As much as I hate to wake a sleeping boy, I finally started unbuckling Nathan and he began to wake up. He was really out!

We waited in the front room for James to get home so I could put Evan to bed and James could play with Nathan and bathe him. I just shook my head at these two boys. Evan now sitting up and thrilled to be chewing on a toy while he watched the meowing Niles come and go. Nathan playing under a blanket pretending to hide with his toys. Such a different scene from the drive we had just had...Can I collapse now?

It ended up being a pretty good night. Nathan was asleep before his story ended. Evan was in bed by 9:15 pm. He fussed and made noises while he sucked down 5 ounces only to wake me from a dream at 12:30 to have 3 more ounces and a diaper change...but James said he slept until 8:30 this morning. We will hope for a better drive home today!

No comments: