Monday, February 28, 2011

My North

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sleep, And The Lack Thereof

Hello, new neighborhood! We hope you like having us here! What's that? Oh, that thing, where you sometimes consider calling the cops on me, because my kids are screaming? Like, crazy screaming "NO MOMMY NO" in the middle of the night? I know, right?

Say again? You think I've put on a few pounds, maybe have darker circles under my eyes? You think it might be related to the nightly antagonizing of my children?

Please. Let me explain.

Ever since roughly December 18, when Marta turned 3, we have been having night tantrums. She has, I mean, though I come close. Two, three, four a night, during which she wakes and SCREAMS, screams in that husky way, screams so that she sounds likes she's gargling, screams an horrific cry of sheer furor, screams in one of those car-screeching ways. She screams, and she yells "NO MOMMY NO!" and, occasionally, "OUCHIE! OUCHIE!"

Seriously. And I go to her, and I rub her back, and she hits and kicks me and yells at me to leave. I calmly ask what's bothering her, would she like a drink, does she want mommy to hold her? Kick. Punch. GO.

So I leave. And in five minutes, as the screaming intensifies, I go back in and suggest that she stop right this instant, or else I'll take away her ponies on the next day. Nothing doing.

And then I just wait it out. About 20 minutes, sometimes longer, and then she's calling me to come in and hold her, so I do, and in about two minutes she's ready to sleep again.

This isn't a nightmare. This is a *&^%$ tantrum. And it's not just one, it's a HANDFUL every night.

(The "OUCHIE" part? That's when she bucks so much in her bed that she hits her head on the wall or the bed post.)

When I return to my bed each time, by the way, our room is a sauna because Marta's room sits in a position over non-insulated house with no storm window (yet), and it's the last room upstairs to have the radiator kick on, and ours is the first right next to the thermostat, so we keep our door closed so that her room might get warmer. Restful.

While this is going on, Berit is over in her room, oblivious to the screaming but in her own little torture chamber, having nightmare after nightmare. She dreams that wolves want to get in. She dreams that foxes are chasing her. She dreams that dragons are coming in her window. "We" go in to her cries, listen to her whole dream (the WHOLE. DREAM, told in falling-asleep language, so it's even slower than Berit's normal speech, which usually sounds like "Um. Mom? Um.... huhhhhhhhh, can I, um.... go to.... dance today?), then take it out of her head (pinch it over her hair, of course) and put it into the jar (our hands), then flush it down the toilet. Seriously.

Of course we have the talks about wolves and foxes and dragons. She gets it, that they won't really get her. Her dreams, on the other hand, don't.

And so, after the fourth or fifth time I return to my room, I turn off my alarm, set to 6 a.m. so that I might run before the kids wake up, my workout for the next day gone in favor of any extra sleep that might be granted.

So here we are! Hope you love us! Thanks for the cookies you brought over!