Monday, December 20, 2010

Will I ever sleep again?

Sleep has always been an issue in our house. When the girls were wee, they slept amazingly well, but I was usually spinning with anxiety (post partum depression) and could never get a good night’s sleep. Once the anxieties were lifted, being a light sleeper oft kept me awake (I can hear a nose whistler from down the street). Finally, likely from sheer exhaustion of having years of no sleep, I became a star pupil at sleeping, until Grace developed her night time anxieties, which have awoken me most nights for the past 3 years. With some tools under our belts we are able to get her back to sleep much faster now, but some nights it was hours before there was peace.

Well, last week was a good week. No night time waking at all. Finally, an unbroken, 8 hours (if I was smart enough to go to bed at the right time) of sleep. Ahhh, I thought to myself. We will sleep again. We will be rested and that will give us the ability to laugh, play board games, talk about our feelings, wear things from the LL bean catalogue, use cloth napkins and shake our heads fondly at our childrens’ antics (what, isn’t that wall all normal families do)?

Well, my idyllic dream crashing down on me the other night when, while working at the dining room table, up past my bedtime, Grace came stumbling out her bedroom, glazed eyes and obviously not really “there”. She was sleep-walking. And she headed right for the front door, put on her fathers’ shoes (ha, that was kinda funny) and started pawing at the deadlock and door knob, trying to get out. Hmmm. We tried talking to her, with no success. Jo realized right away she was sleep-walking and was a pro in gently guiding her back to her room. I kept getting in her face trying to see if she registered me at all. It’s really strange seeing your kid in that state – it was like she didn’t even see me, and she didn’t speak, just made creepy little noises *shiver*.

Anyhooo, we happened to be up past our bedtime. What if we hadn’t been? What if we were tucked in our beds, sound asleep when Grace was heading out the door? Remember this dream? It’s a little too real for me.

That night I’m not sure I went back to sleep, pre-occupied with listening for her rise from her bed again. I even got up and checked on her a few times to make sure she was still there. Jo seemed more at ease with the whole situation, sleeping like a log beside me.

Thank god it’s Christmas time, and bells are easily accessible. We have them attached to points of exit of the house so we will hear a cheerful little chime before she again tries to enter the cold abyss.

I don’t like sleepwalking! It’s dumb, make it go away. Have you had experiences with it? What do you do about it? When will it go away? When will I sleep again?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas fail!

Saw Cirque du Soleil in Kingston on Monday night (after a massive dinner) and declared Diet Time! after watching those sinewy bodies doing things no body should be able to do while I mowed on pastries, downing them with wine. Who the buck proclaims diet time during the Christmas season?

Started heading to work yesterday, but turned around because sitting in traffic was not my idea of a day at Disney and my book on tape had just ended, leaving me no choice but to listen to the radio (ears. bleeding). Fanstastic, I thought. This will give me a chance to wrap all the gifts! Wouldn't you know that I ran out of tape halfway through? And there were no more Jersey Shore's PVR'd. What a waste of a snow day.

Read the girls the Little Drummer Boy last night and cried. Who does that? For some reason the story made me so profoundly sad, and as we were singing the pa rum pum pum part I started crying, traumatizing the 8 and under crowd. Duh.

The advent activity for last night was star gazing. I wrapped my charges up and out we went in a blizzard. I was determined to see a star, as were they. Cloud coverage hindered that activity, so I convinced them a passing airplane was a shooting star yay! lets go inside now.

And now settle something for me - Jo's Santa wrapped every freaking item in his stocking, down to a toothbrush. My family's Santa did not. What does your Santa do? (Please say your Santa does it the Meanie way!) Keep in mind there is a tape shortage at my house.....

Monday, December 06, 2010

Frank Loyd Wright did not have children.

We live in an open concept bungalow. Very open. It is a late 1960’s
construction that used to have lots of little rooms that the previous owner
blew out to create one big open room. From my Station (the kitchen) I can
see all – what the 8 and unders are playing on the computer, what they are
watching on t.v., what they are eating, what caused the latest “I’m telling
on you!”. I can hear the bleeps of the DS and the blips of the Leapster.
At bedtime, I can even see who is sneaking another book when look-down has
been called. Sounds like a harmonious, idyllic situation, non? Non. It’s
driving me effing crazy. In an open concept home you have no place to call
your own. I had claimed the couch in front of the fire place as mine,
with my books, candles and special blanket my Mom made me spread out just
so. That lasted about a day until I sat on a Webkinz (oh you just know
where that rhinoceros horn went) and found a Polly pocket shoe at the
bottom of my wine* glass.

I can handle pretty much all of the above, particularly when I am self
medicating*. What I cannot handle is when my phone calls are interrupted
with 8 and under Drama (oh yes, I used a capital D). The other day I was
expecting a phone call for an update on a loved one’s operation. The call
came and as soon as I was being updated, Drama broke out. I could barely hear
the person on the phone due to the shrieks of injustice, mutilation and
torture that were going on in the background (see? Drama). I was
mortified. You would think the Angel of Death was visiting our bright
little bungalow. When off the phone, I discovered that the Angel of Death
was merely a pencil eraser crime, the eraser touching the 5 year old via the 8 year old. Most definitely no need for Drama. I was about to show Grace and Edie my
own little Drama. The scary, open a can of whoop ass kind of Drama. It is
not news to them that I want some decorum when I am on the phone or
entertaining. I reached deep into my thespian repertoire of Mom characters and opted for Scary Quiet Lady. I quietly walked over to them, phone still in hand. In my most pointed, quiet voice, I informed them that no computers would be played that night (I’m pretty sure Grace shouted out “I’m melting!” to that one) and that they would be spending the rest of the evening in the basement (to which Edie’s eyes grew even rounder).

Now one would think that medieval torture goes on in our basement. The resistance
movement against the basement is worthy of a chapter in a high school text
book. The girls avoid it at all costs. You would think that there are ghosts
clanging their chains in the closet, large spiders scurrying across the
floor and the Spectre Boredom always on the ready to pounce.

The reality is our basement was re-done with the kids in mind. A nice new berber, bright lighting, a television, comfy couches, a Wii, a play structure and an array of other toys I keep throwing down there akin to a donkey's carrot.

I know, Jo and I should be locked away for the conditions we expect the girls
play in. There’s a freaking play structure in my basement people! A play

So down they went, without a word (you don’t fuck with Scary Quiet Lady).
And lo and behold, they stayed. They played. They watched t.v. When I
told them to come up, they asked for 5 more minutes, please. When they did
come up, I’m pretty sure they were cleaner than when they went down and
with their manners re-charged. When they were in the basement, I sat on my
couch in front of the fireplace, wrapped in my blankie and genuinely enjoyed looking at magazines with pictures of open concept bungalows, in peace and quiet. And I was
re-charged as well, genuinely pleased to see them re-surface. So maybe I don't have a place I can call my own, but at least I can call 1/2 and hour my own. Sometimes.

(ugh, sorry about the layout on this - New Years resolution to clean up damn blog).

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Best reaction ever:

So Grace and I were watching Fear Factor last night (this is her new favourite show) and the contestants were twin men vs. twin women. The whole theme of the show was boys against girls. At the end, the women won all the challenges. All throughout the show everyone kept exclaiming how they couldn't believe the women were beating the men.

At the end of the show Grace asked me why everyone was making a big deal about the women beating the men. I realized it has never occurred to my strong willed, athletic, intelligent 8 year old girl that sometimes it is assumed that men are better at some things than women are.