I try hard not to think about how easy and beautiful my life would be if only my son, Sam, would sleep properly. He is a truly awful sleeper in all respects. Even in the scattered hours of the night when he’s actually asleep he thrashes about, talks, snores, cries out in seeming distress. There is no pattern to his crap sleeping, every night is different: always bad. Sometimes catastrophic.
We’ve tried everything. Whatever thing you’re thinking about, we tried it. I am trying again with the sticker chart as we have had some, small, tiny successes with that. Letting him cry never worked. And anyway we are too late for that now because he weighs 3 stone 4.5 lb and when he puts his head down, squares his shoulders and charges you, you know about it. Especially at 2am.
He is disrespectful of the Gro-Clock and simply didn’t understand Millpond’s stuff about the sleep fairy and having the door open and closed and all that jazz (that’s £300 I won’t be getting back). Living with Sam is like living with a tiny, angry, stupid, really needy rhinoceros. Who’s a crap sleeper.
Some nights are less bad than others. He might only wake up once, for example, and go back to sleep and sleep until past 7am. Then, those days, when I am peaceful and calm and hopeful, the world shimmers at me with a coquettish smile. The other days, the bad days, when not only has there been no sleep but I have been horrible to Sam (‘What is wrong with you? Why won’t you just let us sleep?’) everything looks bad, sharp-edged, bleak.
This morning, as both kids went downstairs with my saintful husband, I went back to sleep between 0710 and 0740, and had a dream. I am in a house and outside is a storm and there are tornados, those twisty wind-things. And I am looking out of the window and Kitty is next to me. And then I see it, the huge, wobbly column of twisting wind that is a tornado coming straight for the house. And I tuck Kitty under my arm and we lie down flat braced against the front door and we wait for the tornado to hit the house. But where is Sam? Where is he? Oh my god, where has he gone? I half-think, in my dream, that I see his shadowy form: he is behind me, sitting on the stairs. But he isn’t. That is not him. He is outside. Because, I realise in that moment: Sam is the tornado.
More than anything, I feel left behind, crammed into a kind of misty half-life where my children, in theory, ought to be much easier, there ought to be more sleep going round, we ought to be, you know, away. But it’s not, I’m not. We all, still, operate at the mercy of the roulette wheel of Sam’s sleeping. Will he!? Won’t he!? Place your bets!
Not even a good hard perve at this June bag from APC can lift my spirits. On a good day I can look at a really hot accessory and know, really absolutely know that if only it were mine my life would change. But on a bad day, I see it for what it is: just a thing. I’m so tired, I’m so tired, I’m so tired. Because what does it cost to buy this bag? Only money. Ha, money! If money was so bloody great it would make Sam sleep.
Of course by the time you read this, Sam will have had a better night and you will say “OMG – how is Sam sleeping?” and I will look up, distracted from browsing the APC website and say, puzzled: “Sam? You know, alright. He’s a good boy really.”