I vaguely remember the last time I slept through the night.
It was the last Saturday in November.
It was a fluke made possible by a stomach bug and my husband’s pity.
Prior to that, the last time I recall sleeping six consecutive hours was a few weeks before The Champ was born.
Lately my state of sleep deprivation has been so horrible, I've actually begun to miss the real baby baby-days of maternity leave. Back then naps just seemed constant and an appropriate amount of sleep could be achieved by collecting it throughout a 24-hour cycle.
The night routine these days, however, goes something like this:
6 p.m. Dinner.
7 p.m. Bath. Act out a pre-apocalyptic version of Waterworld using two wooden salad bowl "boats" and three bendy straws. Brush Teeth. Dress for bed. (No one is really sure which chore is done in which order as most of the time pajamas are wet).
8 p.m. Reading.
8:30 p.m. Bed.
8:30 until ? Mom (sometimes dad) sleeps in toddler bed until sleep sets in. Could be five minutes could be an hour and five minutes. It's a crapshoot.
10 p.m. (regardless of when child fell asleep) Parent will unpretzel them self from the sleep position made famous by a sloth in the Movie Ice Age, and tiptoe downstairs to finish one of 3,000 ordinary household chores that have piled up.
10 p.m. and two seconds Itty-bitty will awake and ask for water ... or why the parent trying to sneak away down the stairs didn't stop in and say a final "good night."
10:30 p.m. Parent who may (or may not) have finished washing the dishes will tiptoe back upstairs and go to bed.
10:35 p.m. Dog will bark at the bottom of the stairs until one of two adult humans gets out of bed and shows the dog that the gate HAS, in fact, been left open.
11 p.m. Dog will finally settle down after walking around the second floor, looking for toilets to drink out of and food to eat.
11:05 p.m. Dog will bolt up for no reason and run to the other side of the room.
11:30 p.m. Dog will resettle.
Between midnight and 1 a.m. The Champ will wake up and start crying. He will not be consoled.
1:15 a.m. The parent who tried to get him back to sleep will bring him to bed.
1:30 a.m. The Champ will sleep.
2 a.m., 2:30 a.m., 2:45 a.m., 3 a.m., 3:15 a.m. The Champ will want to nurse.
On alternating days of the week, which might potentially line up with the tides of the moon, the dog will become incontinent and require the work of a Haz-Mat team during the above-mentioned hours as well. (Last night was one such occasion. I'll spare you the details*.)
*You are welcome.*
4 a.m. The cat will crawl into the mom's hair and lay down.
4:01 a.m. through 5:30 a.m. Mom will try to get the cat to sleep on the dad while simultaneously trying to get The Champ to fall asleep.
She will lose.
5:30 a.m. through 6 a.m. The boy will want to nurse.
6:30 a.m. until 7 a.m. The non-sleeping boy will want to sleep.
7 a.m. The mother - who no longer understands herself when she speaks — will get up, untangle the cat from her hair and try to take a shower.
7:05 a.m. The hot shower and warm suds will make the mother feel somewhat human again. She may even sing.
7:08 a.m. Ittybit — all tousle-haired and unintending – will sneak into the bathroom and sit quietly on the commode. She will say 'Good morning, mommy' and then will flush the toilet. Singing will stop.
And thus begins another day.