Sunday, February 8, 2009

4 a.m.

4 a.m. is the precise time of night when anything can go wrong. If someone is going to get sick, it will be at 4 a.m. If the baby is going to wake up and fuss for hours, it will be at 4 a.m. If someone has a nightmare, it will be at 4 a.m. Few good things happen at that time of night.

It's the time where parents draw straws. I am lucky that Tom almost always gets up in the middle of the night - mostly a by product of the fact that I can sleep like the dead. (Unless he is not home, of course, then I hardly close my eyes at all.) Just about anything that happens at that godforsaken hour can be handled by Dad. But not everything.

Last night I was tagged. Tom's not a big fan of cleaning up after the kids, no matter what is coming out of their bodies, particularly in the middle of the night. He can help them to the bathroom, tell them that there isn't a monster in their room, calm their fears, change diapers and bring them a drink of water - but cleaning up after them isn't in his job description. That's all me.

The downside to being woken up in the middle of the night with a sick kid is that it's almost impossible to go back to sleep afterwards. I can't help but worry. I listen intensely for any movement out of their room. I figure there isn't much point in trying to sleep anyway, since the baby will be up soon and daylight will come in a little while. I'll lay there for a while, staring at the ceiling. Try to catch a few winks before Ally gets up. Before the baby needs to eat again.

I'll sleep when they go to college.

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