Posted by Duff

Man, I’ve been tired lately. Like, so tired, I don’t even feel tired anymore. When I lie down at the end of the day for my first pre-night shift nap, I feel wired. Christmas Eve wired. Night before the first day of school wired. What a waste.

Somewhere between tired and wired is the secret to easily falling asleep. I’m afraid I won’t hear Atticus until he is hysterical and/or has woken up The Dervish, because when I do knock out, I sleep like a stone, locked in a foot locker, buried in the ocean, and the walk to Atticus’ room is akin to skipping that stone to the desert. I find myself crib-side with no memory of having gotten there.

The other night I couldn’t sleep because I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck going against the grain. A few minutes later, I wasn’t sure I’d paid my credit card bill and had to search for the statement which ended up arriving in the mail the next day.

So sometimes, instead of lying down, I straighten my hair. Unload the dishwasher. Pack The Dervish’s pre-school lunch.  I stop short of true productivity: organization and the completion of projects, because I panic, thinking I won’t get enough sleep, assuming I could fall asleep. Atticus is a loud and light sleeper, sending me grunty nastygrams from the imprisonment of a crib he seems to hate.

I have been through this with his sister. I remain hopeful that one night, he’ll sleep more than two hours, on his back, in his crib. Right?

I’m lying. I panic that he will be sleeping on my chest or in his swing in middle school.

Eventually, I get tired-on-top-of-overtired enough to sleep. Standing up. With my eyes open.

And then the impossible happens. Atticus sleeps through the night. Once, but it’s a start. Mostly on my chest, but that means a solid block of sleep for the both of us, even if the knot in my neck makes it impossible to turn my head. And while I’m still hallucinating that my cats are in my peripheral vision when they aren’t, I can actually visualize a time in the future, when there is no more sleep training, no more teething, and awake pre-dawn is the exception rather than the rule.

But for now, the spicy adrenaline of survival mode.