IN BETWEEN DREAMS
When do you sleep? Sounds easy enough right? Sure, if you don't have kids- or in our case, kid. He rises with the sun, cock-a-doodle-dooling all through the house. He taps our shoulders to wake us, or as of today, clotheslines me across the neck. If I get up with him he wants Mommy. If Tricia gets up with him he wants Daddy. Regardless of who gets up, he wants Barney.
Yes, Barney that we swore he would never watch, who now, through the carelessness of his grandparents has become a fixture in our little universe. These are the same people that taught him to spit. Sure, it's all fun and games when you know he's going home at some point.
So, he rises and goes from 0 to 60 in about one second. After breakfast he hits 100 straight to lunch, when, if at all possible, we flag him in for pit and try to get him to nap, with varying degrees of success. Then it's back to triple digit land-speed records until bathtime, where he sets similar marks in watersport.
Bedtime. The light at the end of the tunnel. Somewhere beyond his bedtime is our bedtime. You can smell it as you are drying the bubblebath off his wiggling baby butt. Getting him to bed is, to quote Forrest, "like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get"- meaning, he may lay right down and fall asleep without so much as a goodnight Gracie, or he may get up a dozen times and refuse to close his eyes without anything short of climbing into bed with him and holding him for the 5 to 20 minutes required to trust us enough for sleep to betray him.
Then, and only then, perhaps you have a movie from Netflix that has gathered a layer of dust waiting for your attention, or there are bills to pay, dishes to wash, laundry to fold, books to read and wine to drink. There is always something between his giving up and our turning in. Something that is quiet and would be relaxing if not for the exhaustion sitting like a rock in your lap (after bouncing off your head). Hours are left. Countable on one hand. Sweet hours where you can curl up in bed between dogs, cats and the usual 3am appearance of a lonely baby.
There isn't much sleep in our home, but what we have is coveted like the holy grail and your neighbor's wife (the hot one).
What deprives us, despite the noise, spitting, and jabs to the neck, and despite being the very culprit that pushed said rock of exhaustion onto our respective heads in the first place, is as precious as any hint of nap could ever be. We may be tired, so tired, but a morning of baking cookies and chasing ladybugs with a little laughing boy is far more rewarding than any night of dreaming could ever be.