I woke before six this morning. No reason, except that it seems in this last month of pregnancy I don’t sleep well. 6 am and I are getting well acquainted. Which i probably just as well because all too soon I’m sure it will become a necessary habit. Baby Benedict was awake and squirming and I suddenly realized I was ravenous. And then I couldn’t get back to sleep.
It’s actually kind of nice to be up before everyone else, the quiet early morning actually not so quiet but filled with birdsong. But I am not a morning person, so I don’t maximize that time. I pray and drift and don’t make much of the extra time.
I was, of course, exhausted by ten, eyes dropping as I sat on the couch trying to juggle two girls and two books: Bella on my left insisting on Madeline and Sophie on my right Sandra Boynton. I’d read a page or two in one book till the other girl got antsy, then switch. After two Madeline stories my head was about to burst. I declared it was time to go outside and bundled Sophie into her jacket and then strapped her into the swing. I pulled up a lawn chair and sat near the swing to give the occasional push while I relaxed. She was having none of it, though. No relaxing allowed. I had to sing or chant nursery rhymes. Whenever I stopped, she started to fuss.
Mid-morning snack of cheddar cheese was a bit of a distraction for all of us. Then I gave up on being outside and we moved in to my bed where I lay down and gave Sophie a handful or random objects from my dresser to play with: my glasses case, a rosary and its zippered bag, a holy card of Mother Teresa. I lay my head on the pillow and drifted. She soon made a game of handing me the holy card, demanding that I kiss it and say a prayer. (Don’t ask me how a 15 month old child communicates such things, it’s what she wanted and I knew it.) After a while, though, I woke from a much longer nod to find that Sophie was being unusually quiet. She’d fallen asleep, slumped with her head against my thigh. I put my head down again and drifted back to sleep, woke up again and settled her in the crook of my arm, and back to sleep for a good, deep twenty-minute snooze. When I woke from that Sophie did too, stirring a bit in my arms. Bella, somehow sensing an end to our nap, drifted in from where she’d been playing in her own room and climbed up next to us on the bed.
Ah sweet bliss of a nap! I’ve not ever been a good co-sleeper. Only in those early newborn exhaustion days. Otherwise the presence of a child next to me keeps me from ever reaching deep sleep and I end up exhausted and very, very cranky. So this was an unusual interlude for us. Very pleasant. I do like the sweet feel of a little warm sleeping body snuggled next to mine when it isn’t squirming, demanding milk and keeping me from my sleep.
Of course, now Sophie and Bella are refusing to take a nap. I hear giggles again. I’m going to have to go in there a third (or is it fourth?) time to tell them to lay down and go to sleep. Usually Sophie is tired enough to just go down without too much of a fight. And Bella is a good napper if she doesn’t have the distraction of a sister who wants to play. But having the edge taken off of her tiredness is keeping Sophie awake and she’s distracting Bella. I’d bring her out to play until she drops, but I know she’s tired and I have to go to the OB soon. Maybe I should put her in the portacrib in my room to cry until she collapses. Probably should have done that in the first place. I suppose the bliss of a nap and my safe drive will balance out with two cranky girls when I get home.