The boys are back in school and even though we are still not in our house — instead in a furnished apartment down the road from the old hotel — we are managing. I guess the great lesson from this whole summer is that we survive. It may look impossible at the outset, like we will drop to our knees and beg to be beamed away, but we will adjust. Two boys who have issues with change and disruption will adapt.
The adaptation ain’t always pretty. I should have completely omitted from my last post the part where they are sleeping through the night because that must have been someone else’s children. While Sam has had an easier time of it, John has started some vicious manic awakenings. Every night, usually from about 1:30 to 5:30 a.m., he is laughing, singing, yelling. When brought to our bed, he does all that plus kicking and poking and jumping.
Desperate, we’ve started giving him melatonin before bed, a remedy I’ve read has worked wonders for many of you other sleep-deprived families. I was pretty skeptical, but as far as helping him fall sleep? Amazing. Normally it could take up to 90 minutes while one of us lies with them. Now: 5 minutes. I am slowly reclaiming huge chunks of my evenings. The only caveat is that it may help him fall asleep, but not stay asleep, which is why I’ve been up today since 3:20 a.m.
I’m afraid that the lack of sleep is not only interfering with John’s school day (he’s pretty low-energy mid-morning), but it is also making me less patient, more irritable and very frustrated. I watch Twins Dad’s reservoir of patience at 4 a.m. and am simultaneously grateful and dismayed that I can’t match it. I’m done and the day has barely started.
John has always had this sleep issue, but it used to occur much less frequently. I remember when he was barely two and I would go to him in his crib and his legs would be hyperextended and he’d be so tense, so wide awake, that I worried about how stressful it was on his tiny body. I don’t know how to help him when he’s like this or if I even should.
Do I get earplugs, double-bolt the doors and make sure he’s in a safe place? Is there something I haven’t tried yet? This morning, John could not tolerate covers of any kind, not even a sheet. And yet, he sought out Twins Dad with his feet and legs and arms, reaching out for him with an urgency I’m not used to seeing. Then as soon as he’d make contact, he’d jerk his legs, almost involuntarily, and push away. Over and over and over.
In the dark I rage at the fact we are still not in our home, as if that might make all this bearable, that the familiar would make these night-time awakenings cease. I guess the great lesson from this whole summer is that we survive. It may look impossible at the outset, like we will drop to our knees and beg to be beamed away, but we will adjust. Two boys who have issues with change and disruption will adapt.
And hopefully that means Mommy too.