I am daydreaming of BBQ Cat. It is now 4:25AM. I began trying to get you to sleep “For Real TM” at 11PM. I tried it all. Your nose is snuffly and you have some gas, I’m pretty sure you’ve got the same thing that your 23 month old brother has. Just a bit more mild. Whatever it is, it’s made it difficult for you to sleep much (at all?) these past couple of days. Oh, and your daddy has it too, so he’s been a bit less helpful than usual as he’s keeled over with a sore throat and doesn’t want to touch you for fear of passing on the ick any more than you might already have it.
So here I am at four thirty in the morning thinking about BBQ cat. Specifically one small gray feline by the name of Valentine who is currently sharpening her claws on the wallpaper in the corner of the room while I type this. Roast rack of kitty ribs, perhaps?
Ok, not really. I’m just offloading a bit of ire in her direction. You see, when your daddy used the bathroom she stealthed her way into our room and hid under the bed. She likes to do this. Then when I finally had you to sleep at 3AM after quite a few hours of attempting to get you to sleep.. She waited. And I fell asleep. And then she decided to join you in your bassinet. And then you decided to scream because you ReallyWantedSleep(TM). At that point I gave up on the idea of sleeping ever again (because A- I have to be up at 7:30AM to get your biggest brother up for school, and B- If I were somehow able to fall asleep at this point I would repeatedly dream that you or MiddleChild had woken up, and I would launch out of bed ready to rock, to burp, to wipe a snotty nose, or otherwise tend to an in-fact-blissfully-sleeping child. So rather than attempt to fall asleep again, I took you downstairs and snuggled up to you in the rocking armchair in the living room in the dark and nursed you back to sleep while Said Kitty of Extreme Annoyance sharpened her claws on the back of the armchair and at one point leaped up, missed the top of the chair, and smacked into the back of my head. I then tucked you into your wrap and wandered into the office to read my email and kvetch about kitty to anyone who might be awake. (Which is no one.)
No one is awake to commiserate over insane felines (the same insane feline who repeatedly escaped from the house, climbed a tree and perched on the roof meowing to be rescued.. While I was pregnant. And who forced me to climb out the window- nearly getting stuck in the windowframe- to rescue her. While I was pregnant. And who continued to do this for my entire pregnancy with you. And who has not done it a single time since you were born. Right. That cat.)
So I decided to write you a letter.
The first point of this letter is this: Do not adopt a cat until your children are significantly older and can sleep through less disruptive things such as buffalo stampedes.
Okay, not really. I’m just a bit loopy from not sleeping for a few days.
The real point of this letter is this: I am very very tired. And I don’t blame you or your brother in the slightest. (Or the cat, really. As much as I’d l0ve to.) It is not your fault. You are not “the damned baby” that kept me awake. Your brother is not “damned kid” that kept me awake. I see and hear so many people talking about their children this way when they won’t sleep. I am tired, so very very very very tired. TIRED. Not angry. I have no reason to be angry with you, you are not intentionally keeping me awake. You are awake, you are unable to sleep, and you cry because you need my closeness and comfort. I am honored by this, not irritated by it. One day you will have children of your own. One day they will be sick. One day you might be unfortunate enough to have adopted your own cat. One day I’ll smile and say that it happens, and that it passes, and to just take it a day/night at a time. Yeah, all this parenting stuff is hard, but babies grow into kids and kids grow up, and it’s precious and you should cherish it. (AND NEVER ADOPT A CAT.) Some will tell you that if you were not breastfeeding your baby will sleep through the night. Incorrect. All the other things conspire sometimes to give us sleepless nights. Breastfeeding quite simply ain’t one of them.
I’m still trying to figure out some positive way to look at the behavior of the cat who is now sitting on top of the laser printer hoping that it will print something so that she can send it flying into the air. But you? Your brother? You’re just doing what sick babies do. Waking up and needing comfort. And I’m happy to give it to you.
The cat, by the way, just fell asleep.