I had really hoped to have an inspiring, uplifting, powerful post this week. The last two weeks have been pretty heavy between the Messy Faith and Raw posts. However, I have been plagued with an ear infection that just won’t quit. And my creative juices, I think, must still be stuck behind my ear drum with everything else. So, I thought I’d write about something that I’ve been thinking a lot about recently:
Not necessarily the fact that I don’t get near as much as I need (which I don’t). But more of wondering about my family’s sleep habits. While there are common threads that tie us together, the five of us living under this roof are also complete opposites of each other. How there can be 5 kinds of opposite is beyond me, but there you have it. And those differences are there in our sleep, too.
According to my parents, I never slept through the night. Now, however, I can’t get enough sleep. If left to my own devices, I would go to bed at 9 or 10pm, sleep straight through until noon. Get up, eat something, hang out, take a nap around 2 or 3 until 5 or 6. Then get up for dinner, some TV or a movie, and back to bed. I. Love. Sleep. If I for some reason have a few minutes to spare, and am sitting still, you can often find me with my head flopped back, eyes closed. I can slip into dream sleep within minutes. Did I mention how much I love sleep?
Hubby loves his sleep, too. Almost as much as I do. However, he has a brain that won’t quit. When the rest of the world slows down for the night, his brain gets all revved up and goes 90 to nothin’. So, he ends up burning the midnight oil. If he takes a nap at any stage of the day, he doesn’t sleep at night. But when he does sleep, he loves it and does not give it up easily.
From birth, Flower Girl has never liked to slow down or stop long enough to sleep. She hates the idea that she might be missing something. Similar to Hubby, her mind does some of its best (and silliest) work at night. It takes her a good while to wind down enough to sleep. As a baby, she would often spend an hour or longer singing and talking to herself before finally drifting off to sleep. We would have to meticulously go through the same steps in the same order every night: bottle, bath, jammies, prayer, song. At age 6 1/2, she’s still the same. I can’t count how many times I’ve gone in to kiss her before I go to bed and she’s asleep with several books, stuffed animals and dress up clothes surrounding her in her bed.
Butterfly Girl is another sleep lover. As an infant, she didn’t want to mess around. She liked her bottle and bath, but after that, she just wanted to be put in her bed. You could always tell when Butterfly Girl was/is ready for bed because she would do what we have come to refer to as “the rub”. She would do it with her sleep sack, and then her blanket once she was out of the sleep sack, and rub in on her upper lip between her lip and her nose. Seriously, it would put her in some kind of a trance! She would take a 3 hour nap everyday. At at 4 1/2, she still sleeps 1-2 hours a couple of days a week. When not distracted by her older sister she falls asleep nearly instantly at night. She’s the one person who wakes up in this house in an instant, and almost always with a smile.
The Man Cub is perhaps the biggest sleep lover of all of our children. He struggles to stay awake until 6:30pm when we finally relent and put him into bed for the night. He will sleep all night until at least 7am, sometimes 8 or even 9! He takes several naps during the day, usually 1.5-2 hours each. When he’s tired, he takes whatever fabric he can get: his sleeve, my shirt, the sheet on his crib, and slide his hand along it until it pushes up against his mouth and he acts as though he’s sucking on an imaginary pacifier (or dummy or doty or whatever you call it).
I love seeing how my family’s personality come through, even in our sleep habits. It’s a wild, wacky, chaotic life we live and while exhausting and stressful at times, it’s more often joyous, inspiring, and hilarious. I never expected to be a mother of 3, living overseas, near the ocean. But, thank God for unexpected turns in life’s journey!
And thank God for sleep!
P.S. Sorry there’s no pic of me… apparently I’m the one who takes all the creepy pics of other people sleeping in this house.
P.P.S. Come back tomorrow for a link to my guest post at The Better Mom!
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