Birth Control. Or: A Typical Night in the Masterson Household

This is a fairly typical night for us. I have not slept soundly in six years. I don’t expect to until both kids are long gone.

2163954308_b1179de27a.jpg8 PM Both kids asleep. Hallelujiah.

10:30 PM Lights out for Sarah and me. Sarah falls asleep pretty quickly. I toss and turn like I always do. Finally start falling asleep when…

11:30 PM Charlie lets out a wail. I fly out of bed to stop him before he wakes Ava. I put my hand on him and he falls back asleep in his crib. I head back to bed and toss and turn until drifting into an uneasy sleep.

2:30 AM Charlie unleashes a scream that peels paint off the walls. I bolt out of bed on autopilot, my eyes still closed when I reach his room. This time he’s wide awake, screaming “Mama” and “Daddy.” This is the scream of “Even though I’m almost two years old, I didn’t eat any dinner, and now I’m starving, and what are you gonna do about it?” Answer: Give him milk at 2:30 a.m. Like a newborn.

Now Charlie is in bed with us. There is no point trying to force him back into his crib. He used to snuggle against Sarah so that I barely noticed him in our bed, but now I’m his preferred victim. He wedges against my back, leaving approximately 8″ of mattress on which to lie. Still, I manage to sleep until…

4:30 AM Sarah is shaking me awake. “Ava!” she says. I’m so tired I think she is actually talking to Ava until I realize that she is telling me that Ava is screaming her head off, which she is. Sarah and I have a tacit agreement that I get up for the majority of these episodes because I can function on about 2/3rds the sleep that Sarah needs. It’s a plain fact and I harbor no resentment. So off I go to Ava’s room.

Upon entering, Ava instantly composes herself and says, “Daddy, I am screaming for two reasons. One, my stomach hurts. Two, I had a bad dream.”

“Rest is the best thing for your stomach,” I say.

“OK. What about the bad dream?”

She has me there. I am too tired for conversation. “Snuggles from Daddy,” I admit.

Ava sets about rearranging approximately 8.5 million stuffed animals to give me more room. I curl myself around her like a question mark and go to sleep on even less square footage than I had in the bed with Charlie. Every time I shift to get comfortable, Ava grabs me and begs me not to leave. Normally I can convince her that she just needs another million animals in her bed and she’ll be fine, but again, I am too tired for conversation. I sleep intermittently until…

6:30 AM Sarah enters the room and says she needs to get in the shower. Charlie is still asleep in our bed and can’t be left alone. Relishing the idea of 20 minutes in a king-size bed and only a toddler to share it with, I head back to our bedroom, ignoring Ava’s protests. Charlie has somehow managed to stretch himself horizontally so that he occupies 80% of the bed. The other 20% is occupied by our smelly cat, Lucie. It’s a bad idea to wake either one of them, so I wedge myself in and stare at the ceiling until…

6:50 AM Ava wanders in. I extract myself from my two sleeping companions and lead her into the kitchen to make breakfast. The day has begun.   

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2 thoughts on “Birth Control. Or: A Typical Night in the Masterson Household

  1. Diego usually sleeps through the night. However, last night, he woke up screaming at 3:30, not for me (he never screams for me) but Jessie. The missus had to sleep in the room with him. Of course, I don’t sleep either; the screaming reverberates throughout the house. Jess and I feel for you and Sarah. We feel for you.

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