I used to be a sound sleeper . . . used to be. That all ended once we had children. I thought it was bad enough that our kids wake us up several times each night for whatever dumb reason - nightmares, water requests, "I want daddy!", etc.
Well, I was wrong. Now, somehow we need to be able to "watch" the children when we're sleeping.
Last night, I woke up (as I do every night right now) to run to the bathroom, then I went downstairs for something to drink. When I came back upstairs and sat down in bed, I noticed 2 of Darwin's bedtime companions at the foot of the bed. I thought it was odd because I was certain they were not there when we went to bed. I spend pretty much all day holed up in my bed right now, so I would have noticed if they were sitting there before bedtime or if he brought them earlier.
I recalled an incident from earlier in the night. First thing in the morning, I am used to waking up to Darwin closing his bedroom door as he gets himself out of his crib and heads to our room. The sound of the door always wakes me up. Last night, I was asleep, and I recall hearing a door close, but I was so tired I wasn't sure if it was a dream or if it had really happened. I asked James to check, but I fell asleep before I made sure he followed up. When I woke up and found Darwin's things in our bed, I was afraid that he slipped out of his bed, brought us his babies, and ended up somewhere other than his bed.
When I told James what I was worried about, he went to check on him. Luckily, he was in bed, but I couldn't help but worry and wonder if he had, in fact, gotten out of bed in the middle of the night. If so, how do I keep the kid out of trouble while I'm sleeping?
Tonight, I was doing some work in bed, and I decided to go downstairs to get something to drink. We generally leave the hallway and stairwell lights off at night. I approached the top of the stairs with a dirty cup in my hand, and I reached for the handrail. [This minor detail made all the difference in what happened next]. I started to step on the first step and felt like I was setting my foot on a small, warm dog. I froze and yelled for James as I save myself from falling down the stairs with the handrail I luckily decided to use.
With the crisis averted, I realize that the "dog" on the stairs was actually Amelia. She wakes up multiple times each night, and tonight she decided to lay down on the 1st stair at the top of the stairs, dangerously out of view from her very pregnant mom in a dark hallway. (Note to self: Always check stairs for sleeping children before walking, especially when pregnant). As her dad takes her back to bed, I think 'I could have just killed Amelia, Baby Tiny, and me if I had not been holding the handrail'. I shake my head that I have actually just had that thought.
As they all lie in bed sleeping (for now), I wonder what our next waking incident is going to be. Hopefully, this is all just a phase because James and I might lose it if we have to put up with the nighttime crazies for too much longer.
Originally drafted in Fall of 2011 . . . finally published on post date