I had some mixed reactions to last week’s epic whinge (mainly along the lines of ‘Go to bed earlier, you dummy’) and so I decided I would attempt an earlier bedtime. I tried. Really I did, but in a house of night owls where we think about dinner at 8pm and I do most of my writing at night, it’s near impossible. Plus, it didn’t really matter how much extra shut-eye I got; those 5am wake-up calls were still smashing me. I love my little bear with every fibre of my being but geez 5am makes me want to go and punch a tree. I hate 5am. I want 5am to get stuffed. I never want to see 5am again unless I’m getting on a plane somewhere exotic. (You can probably tell I’m not a morning person.)
Once Saturday hit, I was yearning for my old life with a fervour I hadn’t experienced in months. I wanted a night in a bar round the corner, dammit, complete with a few chilli raspberry cocktails, canoodling with my husband and knowing the only thing anyone expected of me in the next twelve hours was to sleep. And maybe knock up a bacon and egg roll around midday with a lovely cup of tea in bed.
I wanted a night like that so bad, I could taste it. Instead, I had a grizzly, teary little cherub who’d clung to me like a koala for the past 12 hours, drooling for Australia and remaining, defiantly, wide awake. I cuddled him, kissed him, made him laugh, fed him bottles, rubbed bonjela on his little gums and basically tried to make him happy. When he finally went down, I hit the sack myself and braced myself for his daily 5am wake-up call.
It didn’t come.
Sleepily, I checked my phone and assumed he’d wake at 5.30am, giving me a little Sunday sleep-in. Nope.
At 6.30am, I bolted up panicked in bed. This was not normal behaviour for the bear. Was he alright? Was he alive? I got out of bed and saw that he’d rolled onto his tummy in his sleep for the first time ever. He’d turned his head and his fat little cheek was smooshed up against the mattress, so he could breathe fine. And he was STILL TOTALLY ASLEEP.
I went back to bed and tried to go back to sleep myself but I was so excited that he wasn’t awake I woke Mr Chick up to tell him. “CHARLIE IS STILL ASLEEP AND IT’S PAST 7AM! IT’S A MIRACLE!” I loudly and excitedly whispered in his ear.
(You kid-free people must understand that 7am is pretty much the holy grail when you have a baby.)
Mr Chick said sleepily ‘Really?’ and then I just lay there, wide awake with joy, until the bear woke fifteen minutes later, pushing himself up on his fat little arms and cooing gently at us through the bars of his cot.
The boys went off for bot-bot time while I tried to get another hour of sleep but eventually, we all ended up back in our bed. As I lay there, drinking my tea and reading my book, Mr Chick drinking his coffee and mucking around on his laptop and Charlie practicing his rolling and laughing at us, I realised it was the first time in six months we’d been in bed together on a Sunday morning having a cuppa (because normally one of us is off with Charlie elsewhere). I also realised Charlie was six months old that day. We’d survived six months, surprisingly intact.
There may not have been a bacon and egg roll involved, but there was that little warm glow of happiness that comes from the knowledge that maybe, just maybe, things will be a little bit easier from now on.
Of course, this morning the little ratbag woke me at 4.45am for his bot-bot, so everything’s back to normal again. But he IS only wanting to sleep on his tummy, so I’m hoping I have another 7am wake-up call in my future. Or, with any luck, many.
Help me out mamas – do tummy sleepers sleep for longer or is that a baby myth?