3:00 a.m. and it looks like it's gonna be another sleepless night. I heard the soft patter of tiny feet long before, "I need you, Mommy" pushed through the fog of sleep I'd been enjoying for the better part of four hours. Now, I'm wide awake with a wide awake three year old snuggled next to me. At first, holding her in my arms warms my heart despite the interrupted REM sleep, but about three minutes into this cuddle position my arm falls asleep and my neck stiffens up. Every time I try to shift so I'm not in excruciating pain my toddler clutches at me and says, "I need you, Mommy."
I take a deep breath and try to hold on for a few more minutes. She's bound to fall asleep soon, right? Meanwhile, my core body temperature is shooting through the roof because my daughter puts out about a million BTUs. Now my arm is dead, my neck is paralyzed, and I'm sweating. It's like I climbed inside a Hot Pocket with metal spikes.
Amazingly, it is not the heat or the pain keeping me awake at what is now 3:45 a.m., it's my husband's imitation of a buzzsaw that won't let me find any peace. It's starts off like a gentle purr, almost like a cat with a head cold. Then the volume increases and it sounds more like an old fashioned percolating coffee pot. By the time it hits lawnmower I'm ready to commit murder. Bloody, fleshy, sticky murder.
4:00 a.m. and now the baby is starting to cry. He already has a lot in common with his father. He too starts out with soft murmur, working up to caterwauling maniac. I roll my little hot pocket over me so she's between me and the buzzsaw and roll myself out of bed. At the first sign of movement, she says, "I need you Mommy!" I tell her, "Need the Buzzsaw. I have to check on the baby."
I stumble around the foot of our bed, stumping my toe on freaking Candy Land, and make my way through the semi-darkness to the baby's room. His giant head is thrashing side to side, his little hands are flailing, and he's really letting me know he's unhappy about something. First I try the pacifier. No deal. Next, I turn on the aquarium. Uh, not falling for the maniacal looking see horse and plastic seaweed. Last resort, I pick up my other little hot pocket, bouncing him in my arms in the hopes that Mama's extra cushiness will help him fall back to sleep. After a few minutes it actually works so I put the little lump back in his bed. I turn around to find my daughter standing right behind me. She scared the beejezus out of me! "Samantha! What are you doing?"
"I told you, I need you Mommy. What are you doing?"
"Checking on the baby. Come on. let's go back to bed. Why didn't you stay with Daddy?"
"He's making loud noises."
4:15 a.m. and we're back in the bed. Now Samantha is between us which is actually a huge pain in the ass because she refuses to be covered by our blankets . About the third time she kicked the covers off of both of us I considered moving to Seattle under the cover of darkness, changing my name to Roberta, and getting a job at a Starbucks. Without any of these sleep stealing jerks.
4:30 a.m. and I hear Samantha chuckle. I decide to ignore it b/c I really believe I have a chance of getting some sleep. But she will not be ignored. "That video was funny." I assume she is talking about a video she watched the night before, but again I ignore her. "Mommy, wasn't that video funny?"
"Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy....."
"Samantha! I am going to move to Mars if you aren't quiet this instant! Go to sleep."
"That's silly. You can't live on Mars." 5:00 a.m and I'm engaged in talk about space travel with a three year old. How did this happen?
5:15 a.m. and baby decides he's lonely so I'm back in the nursery. I forgot my glasses so I can't see where his pacifier landed and by the time I find it he is royally ticked. Miraculously, the pacifier and scary aquarium work this time so I'm back in bed by 5:20 a.m.
5:30 a.m., both husband and daughter are now sleeping. And snoring. It's now that I begin to pray to Jesus I can get to sleep before I have to get up for work. I start doing the math. If I fall asleep right this instant, I can get almost an hour!
6:00 a.m. the baby begins to wail as if he has not eaten since the womb. With deep bitterness I climb out of bed, stomp to the kitchen for a bottle, stomp back to the nursery, and feed my little love bug.
6:30 a.m. and I've finished feeding the baby just in time to get in the shower. I hate everybody.
So, if in the near future you read a headline something like this, "Mother of Two Snaps in the Middle of the Night, Locks Family in Bathroom at Knife Point to Avoid Snoring, Whining, and Crying", you'll know I found my breaking point.